Academy of Art University Alumni Win Big at 91st Oscars Ceremony in Technical Categories

academy of art university

The 91st Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored the best films of 2018 on February 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. In 2018, a total of 113 Academy of Art University alumni made major contributions to 12 films that were nominated for some of the top awards.

Beginning in 1929, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has recognized the contributions of talented actors and other artists that shape quality films. While we may think of acting as the primary role in motion pictures, since those are the faces we see on the big screen, there are many other roles that contribute to crafting a popular motion picture. Without these vital jobs, our favorite movies would not enjoy public acclaim and success at the box office.

Over the years, AMPAS has added categories to its awards to recognize creative professionals in many different areas whose hard work and talent are indispensable to the making of modern movies. Academy of Art University and AMPAS have more than their birth year in common (1929). Both also are connected by the many talented alumni who have contributed in major and minor ways to motion pictures through the years.

Top AMPAS Award-Winning Movies with Academy of Art University Alumni

Three of 2018’s top award-winning motion pictures featured creative contributions from Academy of Art University alumni. Each film, with its awards and associated alumni, is listed below.

The Black Panther, from Marvel Studios, Disney Studios was nominated for seven awards: Best Picture, Costume Design, Music (Original Score), Music (Original Song), Production Design, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing.

Black Panther picked up three wins out of its seven nominations and became the first Marvel Studios movie to win an Academy Award. Contributing alumni include Mauricio Valderrama, Jessica Sharp, Hemanth Kovvuri, Chaiwon Kim, Joe Censoplana, Meagan Green, Kyoungsoo Min, and Ambar Singh.

Bao, from Pixar Animation Studios, was nominated for Best Animated Short Film.

Bao won the award for Best Animated Short Film. Academy of Art University alumni who contributed to this film include Laura Meyer, Jon Vargo, Lan Tang, Wen-Chin Hsu, and Joshua Dai.

First Man, from Universal Pictures, was nominated for Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects.

First Man won the award for Best Visual Effects. Academy of Art University alumni Richard Pang and Dan Kunz contributed to this film.

Academy of Art University Prepares Graduates for Creative Careers

Since the same year of the first Oscar Awards, Academy of Art University has been training artists and creatives for exciting professions in a host of different industries, including motion pictures. Academy instructors are working creatives who are currently engaged in artistic professions and lend a wealth of experience to their students. Graduates leave with the knowledge and experience they need to work in numerous different creative ventures.

Academy of Art University graduates are employed by many companies that are connected with the motion picture industry, like Lucasfilm, Walt Disney Studios, Industrial Light and Magic, Stereo D, The Third Floor, Digital Domain, Double Negative, Pixar Animations, and Marvel Studios. As team members with these companies, Academy alumni contribute to the popular films of today and tomorrow in such roles as:

  • Animator
  • Compositor
  • Lighting & Compositing Artist
  • Model/Texture Artist
  • Director of Photography
  • Film Editor
  • Story Artist
  • Rendering and Lighting Artist
  • FX Animator
  • Voiceover Specialist
  • Editor
  • Assistant Editor
  • Credits Designer
  • Sets Artist
  • Lighting Artist
  • Producer
  • Associate Animation Supervisor
  • Texture Artist
  • Senior Modeler
  • Creature Puppet Technical Director
  • Visualization Artist

These and numerous other roles perform the vital behind-the-scenes work that makes modern-day pictures literally jump off the screen. Without these artistic contributions, the movies we enjoy could not exist. While not many will rise to become a Cary Grant or Tom Cruise, practically anyone can receive the education and experience necessary to work at some of these important behind-the-scenes jobs in the motion picture industry.

Academy of Art University is Where You Begin

As an Academy student, you can attend classes on their beautiful downtown San Francisco campus, or enjoy classes online while you pursue a career. The Academy awards certificates and degrees in over 30 different disciplines, with many different specialties, including many that apply to the film industry. Some of them include:

And, while students prepare practically and academically for their chosen profession in the arts, the Career Services Department at Academy of Art University works to connect students with executives, recruiters, creative leaders, and alumni who need creative graduates with the skills and experience they possess.

Related: Academy of Art University Students Use Augmented Reality to Benefit Local Neighborhood


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