Squash and Stretch is a new series of animation events hosted by Gnomon.

To be a successful animator or storyteller, it helps if you can think like the characters that you want to bring to life. This free workshop, designed for beginner to advanced artists, will help you learn how to think beyond the canvas, discover the magic of storytelling, and practice your own character performance techniques to improve the way that you approach your work.

Francis Glebas, Storyboard Artist at Walt Disney Productions, known for his story work on The Lion King, will discuss the art and allure of storytelling to inspire beginners and professionals alike. Francis is a highly respected public speaker and instructor on the topics of visual storytelling and story structure; his fascinating talk will precede a series of essential exercises used by animators led by Laura Barbera, an Emmy Award-winning character animator with over 20 years of industry experience in character animation and direction. The workshop will talk through how acting and improv exercises relate to the work of an animator, teach you what to look out for in movement and character performance, and reference how real-world projects benefit from this key training.

With combined credits including Rio 2, Pocahontas, Aladdin, and The Polar Express, the expert line-up will reveal how to think like professional storytellers and animators (and have serious amounts of fun doing so!), and help you build confidence in your work – whatever level you are currently at or aspiring to.

The event will be streamed live on Gnomon’s Livestream channel for those unable to make it to Hollywood. For those attending in Hollywood, there will be a special 30-minute hands-on workshop to close the night out. While participation in the final group improv exercises will not be mandatory, it will be a perfect opportunity to improve your team-building and networking skills with like-minded creatives. Be sure to RSVP and join us for an exciting evening at the Gnomon green-screen stage!


7:00 pm – 8:00 pm: The Magic of Storytelling by Francis Glebas (on Livestream)
8:00 pm – 9:30 pm: Lessons in Improv and Acting Techniques for Animators and Storytellers (on Livestream)
9:30 pm – 10:00 pm: Audience Participation: Further Techniques for Artists (not available on Livestream)

Guest Speakers

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Laura BarberaCG Animation Director

Laura is an Emmy-winning character animator with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience spanning character animation, live performance, previz, and animation direction. Having worked in a variety of animation roles for some of the industry?s most famed studios, Laura has animated ? and continues to animate ? everything from the lead boy in The Polar Express to the World of Warcraft Orc in the Mountain Dew commercial. Laura teaches the Character Animation, Previsualization and Animatics, and History and Principles of Animation classes at Gnomon School of VFX ? learn more at gnomon.edu/browse-courses. Learn more about her work at laurabarbera.com.

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Francis GlebasStoryboard Artist, Walt Disney Productions

Francis is a world-renowned storyteller, director, and storyboard artist for many of Disney's beloved classics. He has over 20 years of experience in animation, having contributed to some of the most legendary animated films in history. He has worked on dozens of award-winning student films, features, and television shows. An author of multiple books about visual development, Francis is not only an artist and instructor, but a respected public speaker on creativity, visual storytelling, story structure, and directing. Francis teaches Storyboarding at Gnomon School of VFX ? learn more at gnomon.edu/browse-courses. Discover some of his work and projects at francisglebas.weebly.com.

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