Sunday, April 28, 2013

Workshop in Firenze

I am back from one of the most wonderful experiences in my professional life and from a visit to one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to, Firenze in Italy.
The city is amazing and there's art everywhere you look.  I was so impressed by it's narrow streets, bridges and old buildings full of character.  It's museums were a must and I was overwhelmed by standing next to Michelangelo's David (the original, not the one above which is one of the copies but amazing nevertheless) and the visit to the Uffizi Gallery with originals by Bottticelli, Michelangelo and Caravaggio.
I was invited, along with Victor Navone from Pixar by the wonderful people of the Nemo NT Accademia Delle Arti Digitali, (featured above) for a 2 day workshop and to receive the Nemoland award for my carrer in the animation industry.
From left to right are, Andrea, Isabella, Stefano Casini (An amazing artist and co-owner who gave me an an incredible drawing done specially for me ) Victor Navone, me, Federica (Teacher and co-owner), "Big' Luca (co-owner and technical guru), Morena, Francesco (Teacher and co-owner), Luca Chiarotti (co-owner and founder), Gregorio, Bianca (Our interpreter).

I loved them all and they treated us so well and took good care of us.  I miss them a lot already.
Above are me and Luca with one of my animation drawings from Home on the Range.  I was so happy that he had that drawing there on the wall of his school.
Here is me receiving the Nemoland Award from the hands of the Italian master animator Giuliano Cenci.  What an honor!  I will treasure this award forever.
I loved the book with my design artwork that Nemo published.  It was the first time that I had my work published and they also got my former boss Gary Goldman to write the forword for it.

I signed many of my books and post cards and posters to the amazing and talented students.  It was awesome.
Me and Victor were dined and wined every night.  I never ate so well in my life.  What great and delicious food.
Here are myself, my wife, Federica, Francesco and Luca at one of their favorite restaurants.
The first day of workshop.  The room was incredible and a little intimidating because it was very "grandiose".  I hope it went well.

The room was full with very talented art students.  They were a great bunch, very respectful with great desire to learn. I loved them.

I showed them some of my influences and of course, Milt Kahl had to be included.
I did show some of my approach to drawing and design.

Here is me showing one of my shots from The Legend of the Boneknapper.  I showed them my first pass,  second pass as tie down and final color.  In this one I pointed that all the animation principles were in this particular shot.
Showing a pencil test of a shot from a KFP short.
A color version of another shot.
One of my ideas was to animate an entire shot from beginning to end, from my planing stages all the way to final tie down but the time did not allowed me to finish it.  I suggested to bring the drawings back and finish the shot for the students here at home.  I am planing to complete it in a few weeks, shoot a pencil test and send it along with the drawings to them.
Next time I am there, I will do it again but with more time to finish the entire thing so they can follow me along.  It should be fun.

Another great surprise to me was the exibition of my work for the public.  I was so overwhelmed that I could not believe it.  It was beautifully put together by the so competent Nemo family.  It will open on April 30th and will stay for a few weeks.  If you are in Firenze, check it out.

Again, I want to thank Luca Chiarotti, Francesco Mariotti, Federica Fabbri and everyone else at Nemo Academy for the invitation and for everything they did for me and my wife and above all, for their new friendship.
I had the most amazing time and I will never forget it.


  1. Wonderful! Thanks for sharing the experience Sandro!

  2. What a beautiful place! That pic of the city and statues are great! Nice travel!

  3. Great opportunity to visit the cradle of the Renaissance. Looking forward to seeing your complete animation test.

  4. What a wonderful trip for you Sandro !
    It's great to see you being recognized for
    the work you do + love.

  5. How lucky to visit such a place. Someday I'll make my trip too out there too with my little family. It must be amazing to know your such a inspiration around the world though. Congratulations on your accomplishment.

    I also just started a blog a couple days ago. Let me know what you think. Would appreciate it very much.