Cartoon Network has invited college undergraduates from across the country to create an original 15-second animation short based on the world of “O.K. KO! Let’s Be Heroes” at the studio’s inaugural “Animation Jam,” in Burbank, California.
Designed to give young rising stars experience working as a full-time artist, Cartoon Network Studios will provide students and interns with production tools and a crew of animation mentors including Ian Jones-Quartey, creator of “O.K. KO!,” to help guide them in developing their shorts.
The “Animation Jam” follows Cartoon Network’s “Game Jam” in Portland, Oregon earlier this year, where 200 independent game developers created their own games based on the cast of heroes in the “Lakewood Plaza Turbo” universe.
“Building on our ‘Game Jam’s’ creative energy, we are expanding into new forums for storytelling with the launch of the first animation jam,’” said Rob Sorcher, chief content officer for Cartoon Network. “We want to give students an opportunity to experience the world-building process that is unique to O.K. KO!”
Jones-Quartey’s original short, “Lakewood Plaza Turbo” was generated from Cartoon Network Studio’s Shorts Program and follows champion-in-training KO and his convenience store buddy heroes as they battle evil Lord Boxman. The mobile game O.K. KO! later launched along with animated shorts on Cartoon Network’s digital platforms, with each short coming from different animation studios offering their own unique perspectives.
The eight contributing collegiate teams include students and interns selected by their respective schools from the following universities: University of Southern California; School of Visual Arts; California State University, Fullerton; Laguna College of Art and Design; California Institute of the Arts; San Jose State University; Maryland Institute College of Art, Rhode Island School of Design; Savannah College of Art and Design; and Exceptional Minds, the first American computer animation studio and non-profit digital arts school for young adults on the autism spectrum.
The program will run from July 9-11.