Posted Monday, June 13, 2011 - 1:26 PM

Digital Arts Graduate Zach Hyer Winner of Gold Student Academy Award

Pratt graduate Zach Hyer (M.F.A.'10) received a Gold Medal at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 38th annual Student Academy Awards® ceremony for his M.F.A. thesis animation Correspondence, the concept of which was born during a Pratt Digital Arts storyboarding class. Hyer's animation, which tied for the Gold Medal, was one of 12 selected out of 523 entries from students representing 136 U.S. colleges and universities. Hyer celebrated the achievement during a week of industry-related activities and social events in Los Angeles, culminating with the awards ceremony on June 11 at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater. At the ceremony, Hyer thanked Pratt Institute in his acceptance speech. To view the full speech, click here: http://www.oscars.org/video/watch/38saa_animation_gold_hyer.html.
 
Correspondence is a 3-D animation that takes place during an undefined war and focuses on issues of power abuse and control. Using a minimal narrative, during which the main character risks his life for a frivolous cause, the film, according to Hyer, serves as a critique of power structures in general. The video can be viewed here:  http://www.pratt.edu/academics/art_design/art_grad/digital_arts_grad/digital_arts_gallery/.
 
"Zach is a wonderful example of an artist working with technology. In his thesis animation Correspondence, Zach utilizes his considerable technical abilities to comment on issues that are both timely and universal," said Peter Patchen, chair of the Digital Arts department at Pratt.
 
Correspondence has previously been featured at the Melbourne International Animation Festival, SIGGRAPH Space and Time Industry Animation competition, Metropolitan College Computer Animation Festival, Canadian Film Centre's SHORTSNONSTOP Festival, and the Crown Heights Film Festival. Hyer's thesis animation was also honored in 2010 as an Adobe Design Achievement semi-finalist in the animation category.
 
Correspondence tied for the Gold Medal with Dragonboy by Bernardo Warman and Shaofu Zhang of the Academy of Art University in California.
 
Hyer, who hails from Tannersville, N.Y., is currently freelancing as a digital artist in New York City.