A masterclass with Craig Caton

Giornate degli Autori teams up with the New York Film Academy to devote a day-long event to one of the school's best-known teachers, Craig Caton, visual effects artist and 3D animator, who has worked with many Hollywood greats, from Steven Spielberg to Tim Burton. In a first-time visit to the Venice Film Festival, Caton will arrive on September 4 and hold a morning workshop for the young jurors from 28 Times Cinema, followed by an afternoon masterclass, at 4:30, in the gardens of the Villa degli Autori. The latter is open to all festivalgoers on the Lido and will see Caton explain the basics of the motion capture technique used to bring film characters and videogames to life. He'll also demonstrate facial recognition in real time on volunteers in the audience.

In the credits for unforgettable films of the caliber of E.T.GhostbustersJurassic Park and Batman Returns there never fails to appear the name of an artist who moves the monsters and creates scenarios unimaginable without special effects. A pioneer in the use of Mayaź software (now universal for SFX), Caton has worked his magic for the likes of James Cameron (Titanic), Ron Howard (Apollo 13) and Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters). Still active in the Hollywood studios today, Caton is the Chair of the 3D Animation and Visual Effects at the Los Angeles location of the New York Film Academy.

"Inside the huge Hollywood machine," says Giorgio Gosetti, "there are skills that give form to ideas that would otherwise be impossible to portray on screen. We wanted to highlight this aspect of filmmaking to reveal the authorship that goes beyond the script, and the place where inspiration and technique meet, the result being those film classics we all adore. Inviting Craig Caton means creating a space for film education, in the form of an entertaining, dynamic class on spaceships, dinosaurs and imaginary creatures turned real, with Caton as our guide."

Professor Caton will be bringing three short films with him, the pick of the crop of films made by stdents at the New York Film Academy over the last year. The masterclass will be followed by screenings of Scout by Alex Cvetkov (Slovenia, Italy), 8 by Gabriele Fabbro (United States, Italy), and Two Weeks in Laredo by Adrianne Lundy (United States).

With its three locations stateside (New York, Los Angeles and Miami), two campuses in Europe (Florence and Paris) and others in Australia and China, the New York Film Academy attracts students from all over the world, and now, with these three shorts, offers the Lido an example of the world's best cinema being written, acted and directed by the filmmakers of the future.

Save the date with Craig Caton and the New York Film Academy: September 4, in the gardens of the Villa degli Autori, at 4:30 pm.