Orlando, Fla. — The Digital Animation and Visual Effects (DAVE) School received 13 awards — the highest number of awards received by a single institution — at the 21st. Annual Crystal Reel Awards, celebrated on November 5-7 at the Hilton Orlando/Altamonte Springs.
Presented by the Florida Motion Picture & Television Association, Inc., and sponsored in part by the Governor’s Office of Film & Entertainment, Canon USA, Eastman Kodak and Hilton Hotel, the Crystal Reel Awards is an annual award ceremony that honors and highlights outstanding achievements in motion picture, television, audio recording and digital media productions created in Florida.
Contestants for the 21st. Crystal Reel Awards included DAVE School and Full Sail University, professional production companies and individuals. As part of the contest’s requirements, projects had to be produced in Florida within the past 12 months in order to qualify for the competition.
For Michael Keith, Director of Career Services for the DAVE School, the school’s achievement was remarkable, especially considering that it submitted only two projects to the CRA, which won a total of 13 awards. That makes DAVE School the institution that won the most awards.
The DAVE School’s winning projects were Those Darn Greys, in the category of Best Short Film/Video: Live Action, and Star Wars - The Solo Adventures, in the category of Best Short Film/Video: Animation. In addition, the films won awards in the following categories: Leading Actor, Narration, Director, Sound, Animation, Special Effects: CGI, Composer, and Production Design/Art Direction.
Michael was also one of the presenters for this year’s CRA. About his experience at the award ceremony, he stated, "I enjoyed the evening very much and the fact that our projects won the most awards of any entity there… well, that just made it even more special!” He also thanked the FMPTA for hosting the event. In addition to Michael, several DAVE School’s staff members, alumni and students were in attendance at the 21st. Annual Crystal Reel Awards, including the school’s founder, Jeffrey Scheetz.
For Steve Warner, Executive Director of the DAVE School, winning the awards at the CRA was an outstanding victory for the students. "I am extremely proud of them for the work they've done on these films," he says. "It shows that with hard work, amazing things can be accomplished in an incredibly short period of time. It also underscores the strength of our program and its ability to produce professional artists faster than any other animation or visual effects school out there," he added.
According to Steve, DAVE School’s goal has always been to prepare students for careers in the gaming and visual effects industry, and the school’s commitment to stay on the forefront of the entertainment industry's needs is evidenced by the extensive stereoscopic 3D training offered in its program. As he points out, "We are the leading stereoscopic 3D animation and visual effects school in the world and our students are highly sought after by the leading game and visual effects studios around the world."
Over the past 10 years, the DAVE School has enabled more than 825 students to enter the job market, and many are working in major film, television and game studios. "We have one of the best placement ratings in the industry, with nearly 75% of recent graduates landing great jobs in the industry," stated Mr. Warner. The school’s Alumni have worked all over the world at companies such as DreamWorks, Sony Imageworks, Digital Domain, Electronic Arts, Café Fx, Activision, Walt Disney Feature Animation, and on projects such as AVATAR, Battlestar Galactica, Beowulf, Caprica, C.S.I., Hawaii 5-O, Jackass 3D, Lost, Meet the Robinsons, No Ordinary Family, Southland, The Barnyard, The Guardian, The Expendables, 24, and V.
The DAVE School is 3D Modeling, Animation and Visual Effects School. Located on the back-lot of Universal Studios Florida in Sound Stage 25, it offers intensive career training in Computer Animation for Film, Television, Gaming, and more, preparing students for careers working in post-production on film and television shows and as artists working in the video game industry. The school has been in business for 10 years and is now an educational partner of EduK Group, a family of over 30 post-secondary institutions in the United States and Puerto Rico. Its programs are licensed by the Florida Department of Education and can be completed in less than one year.