Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Dave Fontana and Jim Keeshen Productions

As we discussed in the previous blog articles, "Love Me Tender" and "Jim Keeshen Productions," Academy of Entertainment and Technology professor Jim Keeshen used a number of AET professors and students to work on various projects for him, including his animated film, "The Day of the Dead." Let's examine Dave Fontana's role a bit further.

From 1991 to 1995,
Dave Fontana worked for Jim Keeshen Productions in West Los Angeles as a Story Development Artist and Animator. Here's some screenshots of his work as an artist:

Dave Fontana's Cows for Jim Keeshen Productions

As an animator for Jim Keeshen Productions, Dave Fontana worked on the following projects: Nickelodeon Halloween ID, A Brush with Rubens, and Snowboy. You can view his reel
HERE. Here's some screenshots I made of these projects taken from his animation reel:

Dave Fontana's Snowboy for Jim Keeshen Productions


Dave Fontana's Animation Reel Surfer Boy

Dave Fontana's Animation Reel A Brush with Rubens

Dave Fontana's Nickelodeon Halloween ID for Jim Keeshen Productions

Thanks to the Nickelodeon Halloween ID Fontana did in conjunction with Keeshen, he landed a job with Klasky Csupo in 1995. From 1995 to 1998, Fontana was the Storyboard Artist for a number of projects including The Wild Thornberrys. From 1998 to 2001, Fontana was the Director of two Nickelodeon series for Klasky Csupo, Rugrats and Rocket Power. Not missing a beat, Fontana eased into a teaching position at Santa Monica College in graphic design and storyboards in 2003. Since Keeshen also taught storyboards at SMC's Academy of Entertainment and Technology, it is safe to assume Keeshen used his position at AET to influence Fontana's hiring as he did with other professors who had worked for him previously.

What's very interesting is that Fontana begins his teaching position at SMC in 2003, the same year that Keeshen allegedly goes on
sabbatical with Klasky Csupo! Again, here's the summary of Jim Keeshen's Fall 2003 sabbatical taken from SMC's Sabbatical Applications webpage:

Jim Keeshen – Academy of Entertainment &Technology (Fall 2003):
This sabbatical will enable Prof. Keeshen to enter into a unique internship with the animation studio of Klasky Csupo. As part of this internship, Prof. Keeshen will work closely with CEO Terry Thorne and will be able to see first hand how a large animation studio works on the business as well as creative level. Prof. Keeshen expects that the outcome will create greater opportunities for students in SMC’s AET program to network and develop professional relationships with animation artists, directors and human resource personnel.

Notice that Keeshen was to work closely with CEO Terry Thorne. Thorne is listed on the
AET Advisory Board and Entertainment Industry Partners for the years 2002 to 2005, inclusive. So, if Thorne was already working in conjunction with SMC's Academy of Entertainment & Technology and Dave Fontana was a faculty member who had worked for Klasky Csupo for many years, then why did they not work together to provide "greater opportunities for students in SMC's AET program"? Was it that Keeshen's intent was to "network and develop professional relationships with animation artists, directors and human resource personnel" for his own purposes and benefit and not for the AET students? Was Fontana hired by Keeshen so that he could continue to use him to work on his "Day of the Dead" animated film which he would then try to sell to Klasky Csupo? Was Terry Thorne placed on the AET Advisory Board to help the students obtain jobs or to work with Dave Fontana and Jim Keeshen? Again, a picture speaks a thousand words, so here's a screenshot of Dave Fontana's work on Jim Keeshen's "Day of the Dead" (a.k.a., "Dia de Los Muertos").

Dave Fontana's Day of the Dead for Jim Keeshen Productions

If this is not the case, then why did Keeshen not file the mandated sabbatical report? Why is Santa Monica College denying us his sabbatical application, claiming it is confidential, when it was to conform to the missions and goals of SMC?
It's been two long years since SMC Professor Jim Keeshen returned from his alleged sabbatical with Klasky Csupo, yet the mandatory sabbatical report was never filed. How many "opportunities" did Keeshen produce for AET students with Klasky Csupo despite his sabbatical and Terry Thorne's seat on the AET advisory board as well as Dave Fontana's employment at SMC? Absolutely none!

According to the October 2005 Santa Monica College Academy of Entertainment & Technology Internships and Job Placements sheet, Klasky Csupo isn't even listed as providing any internships or hires. Nickelodeon lists one internship and Nickelodeon's "Hey Arnold" lists two internships with one internship which led to a hire. Yet, Jim Keeshen advanced his salary from $89,590 a year to $93,874 a year. As we stated before, it appears that AET was used as Jim Keeshen's digital playground and that his sabbatical was merely a semester long vacation paid by the taxpayer for him to continue using the school for his own projects.

-- Des Manttari,
Editor-in-Chief,
Phoenix Genesis

(c) 2005: Phoenix Genesis/MBS LP



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1 Comments:

At 11:59 AM, Anonymous ExplorerD said...

Very nice!

 

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