a Singing Penguin
State alumna Victoria Livingstone helped give life to our cover
bird, the star chanteuse in this year's Academy Award-winning feature
film "Happy Feet."
Livingston served as lead animator for Gloria. "I was responsible
for how she looks, how she moves, and most importantly, how she sings,"
Livingstone says. She was part of a team that studied more than 80,000
photographs taken on research trips to Antarctica. The images helped
the artists develop processes for rendering realistic looking feathers
-- the smallest penguin in the film had 6 million -- as well as the
feathers' appropriate reactions to light and moisture. The film took
almost four years of work on the part of more than 1,000 cast and crew
"A lot of people don't sit through the credits, so they don't see
the whole army of people working on these things," Livingstone
says. "There's somebody who's focusing on the skin, somebody who's
focusing on the skeleton. Somebody who's focusing on hair. It's all
taken for granted. People think there's an animate button or a make-real
button. The true artistry is not really well known."
Livingstone is one of many SF State graduates who have gone on to successful
careers in film. Alumni of the Cinema Department include Academy Award
winners Steven Zaillian (Best Screenplay, "Schindler's List,"
1994), Christopher Boyes (Best Sound Effects Editing, "Pearl Harbor,"
2002; "Titanic," 1998; Best Sound Mixing, "The Lord of
the Rings: The Return of the King," 2004), Steve Okazaki (Best
Documentary, "Days of Waiting," 1991) and Gloria Borders (Best
Sound Effects Editing, "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," 1991).
Alumnus Shawn Murphy (Best Sound, "Jurassic Park," 1994) was
the scoring mixer for "Happy Feet."
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