A former Walt Disney animator has been appointed head of the Griffith Film School.

Professor Craig Caldwell from the University of Arizona, USA was a specialist in artist development for the feature animation division of Walt Disney Film Studios.

He trained artists in Disney’s new production software for animated features including Tarzan, Mulan, Chicken Little, and Meet the Robinson’s.

Professor Marilyn McMeniman, Pro Vice Chancellor (Arts, Education and Law) said Professor Caldwell brought to the University a wealth of experience in feature film, 2D & 3D animation, digital design and the cinematic production process.

“We are excited by Professor Caldwell’s vision and look forward to his taking Queensland’s first dedicated film school to new heights.”

Professor Caldwell was a director of Media Arts at the University of Arizona where he established the university’s Visualization Lab and New Media Centres. He holds a Doctorate in Computer Graphics/Animation from Ohio State University and a Master’s of Fine Art from the University of Florida.

“It is fundamental to integrate the best creative insights from traditional animation and film for our graduates to tell interesting stories and present them in the new digital formats being pioneered today,” he said.

Professor Caldwell also has extensive experience of university administration. At the University of Arizona, he guided the creation of the $8 million Vivian and Jack Hanson Film Institute and implemented a successful internship-industry partnership.

The Griffith Film School will open in its new building at South Bank on March 13.

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