BCC Alum of the Month

Issue: # 7 March/2010
Upcoming Alumni Events 

BCC to Smith Ada Comstock Scholar reunion, April 16

An Evening with the O'Haras, a 50th Anniversary special event, April 27
Northern Berkshire Alumni After Hours Social, details soon!  May 11
BCC Alumni Day at Fenway, May 12
BCC's 50th Commencement, June 4
Party at the Peak, a benefit atop Mt. Greylock for the BCC Foundation Annual Fund, June 5
BCC Music and Arts Festival - a free fun community day with live music, food, art exhibits and crafters, June 19
 visit us at www.berkshirecc.edu,  orcall 413-236-2188 for more information
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Nominate an Alum
Each month throughout the 2009-2010 year, we will recognize a BCC alumnus. If you would like to nominate a fellow classmate, please contact Jennifer Kerwood, Director of Development and Alumni Relations at (413)236-2188 or jkerwood@berkshirecc.edu.  Include the alum's name, class year, and an interesting story or examples of exceptional achievement.

Stay in touch! 
Visit the Alumni Page to update your contact information and share your story, or read the latest edition of the BCC News.  All former BCC students and graduates are alumni to us!
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Celebrate with us! 
To stay on top of everything 50th,
 visit us at www.berkshirecc.edu, and click on the 50th logo for information on the latest happenings.

In celebration of Berkshire Community College's 50th year, we are proud to feature the BCC Alum of the Month!  Throughout the 2009-2010 academic year, we will spotlight outstanding alumni who have made exceptional contributions to their professions or communities.  Through distribution of this E-Newsletter, we seek to recognize alumni who are doing interesting things in the world, and to celebrate the rich diversity of BCC alumni over the past 50 years.

Kevin Andrus '02, Fine Arts
 Kevin Andrus
For Kevin Andrus, the abundance of art classes available at Berkshire Community College was just what he needed to hone his skills and prepare for further study at Ringling College of Art and Design.  At the time, there was a small graphic animation program at BCC, led by Simon Sherr from Kleiser Walczak.  Kevin thrived in the program and even earned an internship with the company before continuing onto Ringling.  After an internship at EA Tiburon, Kevin became an animator for DreamWorks Animation.
Working in graphic animation is a mix of individual creativity and technical skill.  In some projects, the story is very laid out when it comes to the animators, and the characters are very clear and focused.  At other times, the Directors are looking for more feedback and the artist can really help develop the characters.

It might take 3 to 4 years to make an animation film, from the very beginning of the idea to the release.  There are hundreds of artists that work in these films, and Kevin was one of 400 artists working on DreamWorks' newest film, "How to Train Your Dragon," which will be released on March 26th.  Kevin explains that the process among the artists is very collaborative. Depending on how complicated the scene is and how many characters are involved, an artist might complete 2 seconds of footage in a week's time. 

Kevin's favorite part of working on "How to Train Your Dragon?"  Working with Directors Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois.  "They are fantastic!"  He explains that it is also "very rewarding to work with an animation team that pushes each other to make each shot the best it can be within the time frame that you have."


Kevin explains that while every show is different, his craft is the same.  "I use the same principles to move a character, but one day it is dragons, and the next it might be zoo characters."  This is why Kevin puts so much emphasis on learning the art fundamentals.  He encourages anyone interested in a career in graphic animation to take as many art classes as possible.  "You need that solid foundation," he notes.

Hiccup (JAY BARUCHEL) befriends Toothless, an injured Night Fury - the rarest dragon of all - in DreamWorks Animation's "How to Train Your Dragon," releasing March 26, 2010.
How to Train Your Dragon (tm) & (c) 2010 DreamWorks Animation LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
While not everyone growing up in Pittsfield expects to make it in such an exciting industry, Kevin notes that the small classes in animation at BCC which incorporated the expertise of artists in the field enabled him to believe that he could work in film.  "The exposure to those mentors was critical to my beginning, and I've continued to learn from seasoned filmmakers."


Kevin credits Berkshire Community College with being an important stepping stone in his career.  "It was a launching point.  Without BCC, I wouldn't have gone this far." 


Berkshire Community College is an affirmative action/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, genetic information, maternity leave, and national origin in its education programs or employment.