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Edward Madojemu hs

Edward Madojemu

2021 Graduate, BMA in 2D Animation

Caleb Ellison Dysart hs

Caleb Ellison-Dysart

2021 Graduate, BMA in 2D Animation

Vivian Chan hs

Vivian Chan

2021 Graduate, BFA in Illustration

Maria Lantin hs

Dr. Maria Lantin

Director of ECU’s Basically Good Media Lab2021 Graduate, BMA in 2D Animation

Emily Carr University of Art + Design is creating a pathway for students to enter the entertainment industry prepared.

Established in 1925, Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECU) has a long and storied history of preparing students for exciting careers in the entertainment and gaming industries. The public post-secondary school in Vancouver has been ranked as the top university for art and design in Canada, and boasts impressive alumni with a long list of successes tied to their names, from awards to film festival screenings to innovative startups.

ECU campus

Preparing students for exciting careers in entertainment

ECU offers a wide range of programs in the fields of visual arts, design, and media arts — the latter of which includes film and screen arts, 2D and experimental animation, and 3D computer animation. An ECU education gives students the skills and confidence for conceptual risk-taking in one of the world’s fastest-growing art forms and prepares them for a variety of exciting career options.

Studying at ECU is a great way for budding creatives to discover where they want to go in the industry. All students begin with ECU’s unique first-year Foundation program — an introductory program that provides core skills across a range of academic and studio classes. Following the Foundation year, students select majors and minors from a variety of areas toward their Bachelor of Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts, or Bachelor of Media Arts degree.

The power of visual storytelling

ECU’s Film and Screen Arts Major gives aspiring filmmakers and videographers the tools to become visual storytellers, exploring a variety of media using contemporary digital media and historic analogue and mechanical processes and practices. Students create a film as a graduation project and many have gone on to show these films at festivals including the 2021 Ottawa International Animation Festival, the 2021 Vancouver Short Film Fest, and TIFF’s line-up of Top Ten Student Shorts in 2015, and to win Leo Awards for their innovation and creative excellence. Alumni who are further in their careers have shown their films at even larger festivals like Cannes and Sundance film festivals.

2D + Experimental Animation and 3D Computer Animation Majors, meanwhile, allow students to develop the conceptual and practical skills needed to create dynamic animated stories.

Bringing art to life with animation

  Edward Madojemu, who graduated in 2021 with a BMA in 2D Animation, created a next-level interactive graphic novel in virtual reality (VR) during his studies, which was featured at the Vancouver International Film Festival. Madojemu describes his immersive storytelling as a way of blending the principles of 2D and bringing them into 3D space. “I got a lot of guidance from the Basically Good Media Lab (BGML),” he says. “Because ECU is a smaller school, you really get to know the teachers and faculty personally and they’re able to create environments where you can thrive.”

Caleb Ellison-Dysart, a third-year 3D Computer Animation student at ECU, is a multidisciplinary artist who’s driven by a sense of purpose, including sharing his Nîhithaw roots and Indigenous stories. From 3D work to illustration, ECU has given Ellison-Dysart the space to stretch his wings. “ECU gives you the option to explore whatever you want,” he says.

Ellison-Dysart also embraced the opportunity to do paid work on a project with industry partners. “We got to be on an actual set with a virtual production, which was amazing,” he says.

The importance of interdisciplinarity

Vivian Chan, a 2021 BFA Illustration graduate of ECU, worked on an exciting VR project at ECU where she illustrated 3D characters, highlighting the interdisciplinarity of the school’s programs.

“ECU gave me the tools to start experimenting,” she says. “The [BGML] research lab pushed me forward to get industry experience, which I really appreciate, and ECU’s teachers are very passionate about teaching and about pushing forward their students’ studies.”

The school’s talented, enthusiastic faculty is a big part of what makes ECU such a gem. Dr. Maria Lantin, Director of ECU’s BGML and a new media and sound art professor, says it all comes back to valuing the arts and understanding the context of media and art in the world. “When I think of entertainment, I think of the role of joy in everyday life,” she says. “Most people have this idea of escapism, but I think it’s about teaching our students to tell good stories to maintain the joy in the everyday.”

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