Thursday, October 19 , 2017, 8:13 am | Fair 56º


Earthlight’s Moviemaking Workshops Returning to Santa Barbara in July

Training for aspiring filmmakers and animators will be offered at Laguna Blanca School

Aspiring Santa Barbara filmmakers and animators are looking forward to participating in the 2012 summer motion picture workshops presented by Earthlight Pictures Moviemaking Training, which has trained aspiring filmmakers in Santa Barbara since 1997. Courses in animation and live-action video filmmaking will be offered on the Laguna Blanca School campus in intensive one-week workshops this July.

Earthlight Pictures Moviemaking Training offers students of all ages the chance to begin or continue developing their talents through these summer programs and/or through all-live teletraining available year-round. (Earthlight’s innovative all-live TelAnimate distance learning system, described in an Animation Magazine feature linked to the home page at, extends the same opportunities to students of both live-action and animation filmmaking regardless of location via videoconferencing direct to the desktop.)

Trainees from Earthlight’s college-level classes have achieved stunning success in regional and international student film festival competition, with some taking top prizes at the college, high school, junior high or elementary school levels in six of the last 10 years.

Earthlight trainees screen examples of filmmaking techniques and classic studio and independent films from America and abroad, learn principles of cinematic storytelling, get face-to-face coaching in the production of their own movies, and visit with a range of professionals in field trips or in guest speaking engagements in person or via videoconference.

As reported in the Animation Magazine article, “(John) Teton believes that young artists readily grasp the principles of cinematic storytelling and that animation programs suitable for kids don’t have to be what he calls ‘glorified childcare with animation equipment. Students as young as 10 years old are learning to predict accurately how long a project will take to complete many months down the line. That’s something that many college graduates never learn.’”

Among the prize-winning animators from Santa Barbara who have graduated from the Earthlight program is J.J. Villard, who is quoted in the Animation Magazine article saying, “John talks to kids just like he does to adults. Having someone talk straight to kids and tell them that they can do big things with animation really has an impact. I didn’t realize until I got to DreamWorks years later how lucky I had been.”

Another is Carolyn Chrisman, who told the same reporter that “Teton’s approach to teaching animation isn’t just about learning techniques. … It’s about understanding visual storytelling and the elements that make a plot work.” And when Aidan Terry, now a film student at New York University, had one of his prize-winning animated films at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival at age 13, the Santa Ynez Valley Journal, reported that “Aidan credits his training to John Teton, owner of Earthlight Pictures, which operates a wide range of media production, writing, and training activities … ‘Teton taught me everything,’ Aidan said.”

For brochure, registration forms and information about Earthlight classes in Santa Barbara, teletraining and private instruction, call 503.697.7914.

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