Animation, China, Events, Masterclasses & Education

Ed Hooks & Stuart Sumida: Compelling Characters, Unforgettable Stories

September 22, 2014

Basic RGBMastering anatomy and character performance to achieve truly great storytelling in animation.

iacc-DeTao presents Stuart Sumida and Ed Hooks, two of the world’s leading authorities on characters and storytelling in animation to Shanghai.

The duo will guide us on a journey through their remarkable careers, sharing secrets and behind the scenes stories of working with fantastic characters and elite animation talent on some of the biggest animated blockbusters of the last 25 years.

Both have dedicated their careers to understanding what characters are made of, both physically and mentally, and how anatomy and environment influence movement and performance.  Both are consistently in demand from the world’s leading animation studios (Pixar, DreamWorks, Disney) who recognise that only through compelling character performance can truly unforgettable stories be achieved.

The second part of the afternoon will see Stuart and Ed leading a lively open forum centered around animation movie-making and storytelling, and offering their expert insights on two movies in particular – How To Train Your Dragon 2 (with Sumida drawing on his experiences working on the first film) and the newly-released Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Paleontologist Stuart Sumida, is widely acknowledged as the world’s leading expert on character anatomy for animation and digital special effects, with more than 50 feature-length film projects to his credit, having consulted for movies such as How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda, Life of Pi, Harry Potter I, The Lion King and Guardians of the Galaxy. 

A professional television and stage actor for over 30 years, Ed Hooks is the creator of the legendary Acting for Animators master class – acting training specifically for animators.  He has taught the class at all of the world’s leading studios schools and festivals and his book “Acting for Animators” is a standard text in animation schools worldwide.


Photos from the event which we held at the Shanghai Film Museum:

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