2021 Animation Portfolio Day Goes Virtual

On Tuesday, Feb. 16, animation students from the School of Film/Video showcased their work in the 2021 CalArts Animation Virtual Portfolio Day, a daylong online event during which they received the opportunity to interact with representatives from various animation studios from the US and other countries.

193 students from the programs in Character Animation and Experimental Animation, as well as more than 120 representatives from 47 animation studios, participated in this year’s Portfolio Day. More than 50 Zoom interviews and meetings took place simultaneously at any given time throughout the event, adding up to a staggering total of nearly 800 Zoom interviews and meetings.

Animation student Kim McMahon (Film/Video BFA 22) drew her workspace as it was set up for 2021 Animation Portfolio Day. | Image courtesy of the artist

For the first time ever, student portfolios and other related work from the Character Animation and Experimental Animation Programs were made available to view in one location online: the Animation Student Portfolios website, organized by year-level in both programs. Studio representatives were referred to the website in advance to select students for callbacks.

Students and studios set up two types of appointments: callbacks, in which studios select students for interviews; and student-initiated appointments, in which students booked appointments with studios. The latter appointments were newly introduced this year, and granted students the ability to interact with studio representatives directly and receive feedback on their work.

Typically held in March, this year’s portfolio day was scheduled earlier in the semester to allow students more time to work on final projects and meet internship deadlines. Event organizers and participants noted several advantages of conducting a virtual event over various Zoom sessions—participants’ names were more visible, and studio representatives had a chance to look at students’ work in-depth before speaking to them.

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