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A short film produced by BYU students won an animation student Emmy at the College Television Awards in California on Saturday, April 9, 2011.
The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation recognized “DreamGiver” for animation. The 6-minute film was one of more than 1,500 entries and was directed by Brigham Young University student Tyler Carter. More than 40 other students contributed to the project.
In the past eight years, the BYU Center for Animation has won 11 animation student Emmys. Awards include trophies and prize money for future projects.
“We were thrilled," Carter said. "It’s a really big competition and a big honor.”
Disney art director Bill Perkins, who has served as a mentor to Carter since his internship at Disney, was impressed with the quality of the film.
“This film, in particular, does not look like a student film; it looks like it is a professional category film,” Perkins said. “It really is a cut above. … There was so much collaboration it’s stunning, and it shows in every piece of it.”
Carter, a senior from Sandy, said the idea for the film began as a side project when he was a sophomore. Because he walks in his sleep, he pondered how cool it would be to generate a story involving dreams and nightmares, and how one might stop a nightmare. He was at an Arctic Circle with his wife when the idea came to him. He quickly sketched some ideas on a napkin and a business card. Then he recruited other animation students to help with the project. Carter also called on professional connections he had made as an intern at Disney and Pixar and asked them to mentor his animation recruits on the film.
“It made a huge difference,” Carter said.
The story, told using both 3-D and 2-D, follows a winged, spindly-legged character as he delivers dreams to children in an orphanage. When one dream morphs into a nightmare, the creature tries to fix his mistake. The mix between 2-D and 3-D animation involved new, innovative techniques that Carter called “groundbreaking.”
“We achieved what we wanted to do. We are proud we did it,” Carter said. “The environment at BYU is really good for students who want to come and learn how to make these films.”
The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences also recognized BYU student Lance Montgomery for Best Composition. Montgomery composed the film score which was performed by the BYU philharmonic under the direction of Kory Katseanes, the School of Music director.
Since its release, “DreamGiver” has been accepted into 20 film festivals and won several awards.
For more details on the animation award and to see "DreamGiver," visit byu.edu.