Film Studies Home


 University of Colorado, Boulder

The Fine Arts Animation Triad

The CU Film Studies animation section is centered around three classes that deal directly with the manipulation of the single frame. All of our courses flow from a fine arts practice rather than a theatrical practice, which is a focus that delineates the animator from the narrative filmmaker.

Mission Statement

Phantom Canyon
Stacey Steers’ latest film, Phantom Canyon, recently screened at MoMA. Meticulous handmade collages explore a woman's fantastical journey through memories.
Stacey Steers, adjunct faculty.

Our goal is to create an animation area at CU Film Studies by correlating the three courses that deal primarily with the manipulation of the single frame. All of the courses listed below position the learner in a framework that stems from a fine arts practice at its root rather than a theatrical practice. This focus delineates the animator from the narrative filmmaker.

Completing all of the courses in this triad would constitute a holistic set of production techniques in animation including animating materials under camera, working with film chemistry as the material itself, and creating digital images for eventual cinema presentation.

Students would have experiences that differ technically yet correlate conceptually between the courses. They would have the opportunity to use work created in one course as the starting material for a project in another. This process-oriented curriculum goes hand in hand with a process-oriented highly technical practice such as animation.

We offer students exposure to a wide range of animation techniques, from the most basic to the most state of the art, without falling into the trap of repeating mainstream aesthetics. All the tools used in these courses, ranging from the experimental to the orthodox, will be addressed with a sense of play and reinvention. The overall goal in each course is for the individual to find their unique expressive voice through the tools presented.


Film Studies would like to acknowledge the generous donations and continued support for the animation area by:

  • Randolph (Trey) Parker
  • Matthew Stone
  • Eric Stough
MompoStill from "Momposition", 16mm, 2000.
Chris Pearce, Animation Instructor
Explosion Web"Explode me", video installation, 2005, Visual Studies Workshop Gallery, Rochester, NY.
Chris Pearce, Animation Instructor

Photo Credit:
To:A still from Momposition, Chris Pearce’s 16mm film made in 2000.
Bottom: Explode Me, a video installation by Chris Pearce made in 2005 and shown at the Visual Studies Workshop Gallery in Rochester, N.Y.


Program Description

Animation Stand

Film Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder
Film Studies Program, ATLAS room 329, Film Studies, , Campus Box 316, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0316. ph 303.492.7574 fx 303.492.1362