Sound Design for Animation at Burbank High

Burbank High School | Funded Fall 2016

During the 2016-17 school year, artist-in-residence, Dave Christenson, worked with both Music Theory students and Animation students at Burbank High to facilitate originally scored animated films. While the Animation students worked on completing their animatics, Mr. Christenson worked with Music Theory students on the basics of composing for projects and entertainment. A viewing session where all of the animatics was then presented, and composers and animators were paired to create a variety of music approaches to fit each animation storyline and emotional beat.

The most successful part of the process was in the artist groups learning to communicate, with the visual artists relaying their visions, and the musical artists being adaptable in their approaches to making the music fit with both the animation and the animator’s expectations. This collaborative project allowed students to expand their abilities and create original scores for original animations. Shared Animation teacher, Jonelle Pickett, “Students were excited when they would hear progress, and it encouraged them to work harder and make each project a complete and high level animated short. Both the visual and musical artists came to understand the process of music for entertainment and can use this experience for their resumes and in career choices.”

“The composer was really good. We talked about our music ideas, and he did exactly what I wanted, and better than I expected. It created the mood for my animation and made the storytelling more clear so that my viewers can enjoy it better. I really like the style of the music, and it helped make my comedic points in my story. I learned that I need to know my exact timing so that the composer can set it directly to my animation and hit the markers. It was much better than the choice of music I found, and it fit the animation.” -Narek, Burbank High Animation Student

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