Sony Pictures Imageworks' and Sony Pictures Animation's IPAX Education Program Partners With Animation Mentor to Create State-of-the-Art Online Mentor Program

Program Pairs Top Students from 18 IPAX Member Schools from Around the

World with Top Sony Pictures Imageworks and Sony Pictures Animation

Artists, and Leverages Animation Mentor's Learning Model and the School's

Proprietary Interactive Online Technology

Aug 13, 2008, 01:00 ET from Sony Pictures Imageworks

    LOS ANGELES, Aug. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Pictures Imageworks' and Sony
 Pictures Animation's IPAX education program announced today the launch of
 its new online mentor program which will begin in the winter of 2009, and
 will leverage Animation Mentor's unique learning model and state-of-the-art
 online technology. The three-month program will pair top students from 18
 IPAX member schools from around the world with top Sony Pictures Imageworks
 and Sony Pictures Animation artists who will provide individual online
 mentoring, training, and guidance. Animation Mentor's innovative
 mentor/apprentice teaching model and online learning platform will enable
 Sony mentors to work with students to help them develop their skills and
 grow their craft. Tools include live video conference question and answer
 sessions with mentors, video guest lectures with industry experts, and
 eCritiques(R) where mentors can provide video commentary while drawing
 directly on the student's work to illustrate their concepts.
     IPAX, Sony Pictures Imageworks' and Sony Pictures Animation's
 professional education development program was created in 2004 to connect
 faculty from leading academic institutions with industry professionals.
     "We continue to lead the way in working with top schools to bring new
 solutions to the industry," said Barry Weiss, senior vice president of
 animation and artist development and chair of the IPAX collaboration
 initiative. "We're very excited about this opportunity to showcase how IPAX
 schools can work together to develop cooperative and collaborative programs
 that will propel aspiring digital artists forward in their career.
 Animation Mentor's innovative technology and teaching methodology is the
 ideal medium for our new mentorship program."
     "We are honored to extend our interactive student experience to the
 IPAX education program and be the first to support IPAX in creating this
 exciting new knowledge center for the digital arts industry," said Bobby
 Beck, chief executive officer and cofounder of Animation Mentor. "There is
 nothing more valuable than the guidance a professional can give a budding
 animator who is honing their craft. This partnership really validates the
 unique teaching model Animation Mentor embodies and the powerful technology
 we've created to support an incredible learning experience -- no matter
 where you are on the planet."
     This is an opportunity for IPAX member schools to engage future visual
 effects and animation professionals with the mentor/apprenticeship learning
 model perfected by Animation Mentor's online teaching program. Top students
 from the 18 IPAX member schools will be selected through an application
 process where student work is reviewed by Sony artists and matched with an
 appropriate Sony artist/mentor. The program is designed specifically for
 advanced students who are working on a range of special projects including
 short films, animation or visual effects. Sony mentors will give students
 individual input and feedback to help guide their work and perfect their
 skills over the course of the program.
     The program is limited to students from IPAX member schools. Their
 respective faculty will initially recommend candidates who will ultimately
 be selected based on the quality of their work. For more information about
 IPAX and member schools, visit
     About Sony Pictures Digital Production (Sony Pictures Imageworks and
 Sony Pictures Animation)
     Sony Pictures Digital Production is the digital production center of
 Sony Pictures and comprises Sony Pictures Imageworks and Sony Pictures
 Animation. Sony Pictures Imageworks is a leading, state-of-the-art digital
 animation and visual effects studio creating computer-generated imaging
 (CGI) for motion pictures through its live action, all CG animation,
 performance capture and 3D stereoscopic capabilities. Its work has been
 recognized with two Academy Awards(R) and numerous honors. Imageworks also
 houses Imageworks Interactive, a full service creative group that produces
 websites and supports digital marketing for the studio and outside clients.
 Sony Pictures Animation develops and produces CG animated feature films
 from storyboard to screens. Both its full-length features, Open Season,
 released in 2006, and 2007's Surf's Up, were critically acclaimed and have
 together accumulated close to $350 million in worldwide box office revenue.
 Surf's Up also received an Academy Award(R) nomination for Best Animated
 Feature in 2007. Sony Pictures Animation is currently producing Cloudy with
 a Chance of Meatballs and The Smurfs for Columbia Pictures and Open Season
 2 for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
     About Animation Mentor (
     Animation Mentor is a state-of-the-art online education and mentorship
 program teaching students the skills needed to succeed as a professional
 animator in the studio environment. Focused 100% on character animation,
 the 18-month program is designed and taught by some of the industry's top
 professional animators from top studios. Animation Mentor's online campus
 environment provides students around the world with a convenient, flexible,
 and accessible learning environment 24 hours a day, seven days a week. By
 graduation, every student will have worked in a production-style
 environment with mentors who are working studio animators. Students learn
 how to accept guidance and criticism, to meet deadlines and to budget and
 schedule their time to succeed in the working world. The program leads
 students to a diploma in Advanced Studies in Character Animation and is
 built with a focus on production studio skills, allowing students to get
 comfortable with the many challenges and opportunities they will experience
 when working in a studio environment. Upon graduation, Animation Mentor
 coaches graduates and connects them to job opportunities with major
 recruiters, video game companies, and film studios. For more information,

SOURCE Sony Pictures Imageworks