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Four Generations of Influence by Ronald Searle

Title: Four Generations of Influence by Ronald Searle
Sponsored by The Creative Talent Network
Length 45 min

A timeless discussion between industry members whose careers were heavily influenced by Ronald Searle along with students who have just discovered Mr. Searle’s work and find out why everyone at Disney in the  50′s bought a Mont Blanc fountain pen. You do not want to miss this once in a lifetime discussion that features how this legend has inspired multiple generations of artists.

“Ronald Searle is considered a giant of the graphic netherworld” ~Tom Wolfe Writer/Artist

“I am happy for my name to be used in association with the CTN Expo.  I am very pleased to be honored like this and quite surprised that people still think of me” ~Ronald Searle Legend

“Actually I think the whole secret of drawing is looking and then interpreting. Looking what is in front of you, or what is in your head. I never put my pen to paper until I see a clear image in my head and forget the pen, which is only a technicality anyway. If one simply draws without adding yourself – your own vision – to the subject the results are inevitably cliches and empty. This is all done at a million miles a second as the subject passes through the eye and around the brain to come down to the fingers. But individuality is attached on the way, which is the marvel.” ~Ronald Searle Legend

Moderator Frank Gladstone

Frank Gladstone has been working as a professional animator, producer, director, writer and teacher for nearly 35 years. From 1973 to 1989, he managed his own Emmy award-winning studio, Persistence of Vision, producing commercials and educational films, and has since held management positions for Disney, Warner Brothers and DreamWorks, among others. Some of his feature film credits include the DreamWorks productions of THE ROAD TO ELDORADO, SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON, SINBAD: LEGEND OF THE SEVEN SEAS, and SHARK TALE. Prior to his tenure at DreamWorks, Mr. Gladstone was a producer at Warner Bros. Feature Animation and manager of training at Walt Disney Feature Animation, where he was instrumental at recruiting and setting up training programs for Disney’s Orlando and Paris studios. While there, he worked with the production teams on RESCUERS DOWN UNDER, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, ALADDIN, THE LION KING, POCAHONTAS and MULAN. Additionally, Mr. Gladstone has been actively involved in bringing independent animated projects such as MILLENNIUM ACTRESS and GHOST IN THE SHELL II: INNOCENCE to North American audiences. Frank’s most recent credit is IDT Entertainment’s feature, EVERYONE’S HERO.

Frank is currently the CEO of his own company, Gladstone Film, Inc., producing and directing animated projects, consulting on animation processes, filmmaking skills and story structure at major studios worldwide. Additionally, Frank continues to teach about animation, film history, production techniques and cinematic fundamentals at secondary schools, colleges and professional guilds across North America, in Europe, Asia and the Caribbean.

jbaxter_thumbPanelist James Baxter

James Baxter (born May 1967) is a British character animator. He was first known for his work on several Walt Disney Animation Studios films, including various characters in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Rafiki in The Lion King, Belle in Beauty and the Beast, and Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

After Notre Dame, Baxter moved over to DreamWorks Animation, where he worked on films such as The Prince of Egypt, The Road to El Dorado, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Shrek 2, and Madagascar. Early in 2005, Baxter left DreamWorks and set out on his own as an independent animator. He became the head of his own studio, James Baxter Animation, in Pasadena, California, where he has directed the animation for the 2007 film Enchanted and the opening credits to Kung Fu Panda. As of the summer of 2008, James Baxter has returned once again to DreamWorks Animation as a supervising animator.


Panelist John Musker

John Musker began his career at Disney in 1977. His first assignment was as an assistant animator on a short called The Small One (1978). His feature film debut came when he worked as an animator on Pete’s Dragon (1977). He was promoted to supervising animator by 1981, when he worked on The Fox and the Hound (1981).

Soon after, he began collaborating with Ron Clements, another Disney animator, and the two provided additional story material for The Black Cauldron (1985). In 1986, along with other collaborators, they wrote and directed The Great Mouse Detective (1986), based on a short Clements had made earlier.

Clements and Musker next co-directed The Little Mermaid (1989), based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson. The award-winning movie was a huge hit for Disney, and the team next wrote, directed and produced Aladdin (1992), another enormous success for the studio that went on to become one of the most popular animated films of all time. It was nominated for many awards, including several Oscars® and even won a couple, for Best Music and Best Song.

Their next project was Hercules (1997), which they directed, wrote and produced, and although it wasn’t as big a hit as their previous films, they won an Annie award together for “Best Individual Achievement: Directing in a Feature Production.”

Panelist Matt Jones

Matt Jones has worked in the animation industry for 14 years, initially in commercials in London & lately on feature animated productions.

He’s currently a senior Story Artist on Aardman/Sony’s ‘Arthur Christmas’. While working on BiboFilms’ ‘A Monster In Paris’ in the South of France he managed to contact his drawing hero Ronald Searle & subsequently met the master.


Manny Hernandez_thumbPanelist Manny Hernandez

My name is Emmanuel Hernandez, but most people call me Manny. I was born on September 2, 1985 . I have been drawing my whole life.  I recently came upon and discovered the great Ronald Searle at the Comic Con and his work blew me away. I bought every book they had. I applied and was accepted into the California institute of the arts where I am currently studying and am honored to be a part of this discussion.





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