By Chris Casey | University Communications
DENVER (April 17, 2014)—Jeremy Kuehn has known since fifth grade that he wanted to be a film animator.
The CU Denver student this summer will take a huge step toward that goal. Kuehn learned Wednesday that he is one of only nine students worldwide selected for a prestigious and highly selective internship with PIXAR, maker of such acclaimed and award-winning films as "Toy Story," "Monsters, Inc.," "Finding Nemo," "The Incredibles" and "Cars."
"I'm very excited," Kuehn said, taking a break from a class in the Digital Animation Center, part of College of Arts & Media.
Kuehn is a junior studying 3D graphics and animation. He said DAC's state-of-the-art animation computer software and faculty played a major role in the internship. Kuehn is the third DAC student to be placed in the PIXAR internship program, including Jeff Gipson and Zach Repasky.
"This is an absolutely amazing program," Kuehn said of DAC. "Students here appreciate how we replicate a studio environment. It prepares you for the outside world—actual (film) studios. At PIXAR, they want to know you're able to work on a team in a studio environment."
Howard Cook, assistant professor and director of DAC, said PIXAR selects its summer undergraduate interns from a pool of thousands of applicants. "It's a coveted internship," Cook said. "This is quite an honor for Jeremy and a great acknowledgment of our program."
Kuehn, who works for CU Denver's new club ultimate Frisbee team, begins his 10-week paid scholarship at the PIXAR studios near Oakland on June 12. He looks forward to returning to CU Denver to continue his collaboration with classmates.
"I look forward to being able to take what I learn this summer and pass it on to other people in the program here," he said. "Also, I want to thank Paul Conner (instructor of visual arts) for playing a huge part in my internship search."
This year, seniors at DAC are transforming the popular children’s book “I Need My Monster” into a computer animated film short. Students and faculty in the program have done everything from forming a partnership with the publisher of the book to writing an adapted screenplay, to now animating the story. The film will be finished by the first week in May. As part of this process, students directly interact with industry leaders and have the opportunity to work on real projects. Since 2010, DAC student projects have won 23 awards at a variety of national and international film festivals.
For more information on the University of Colorado Denver’s Digital Animation Center, please click here.
(Photo inset: Jeremy Kuehn photographed in DAC's motion-capture technology sessions).