Written by: Jocelyn A. Gonzalez

Interview by: Jocelyn A. Gonzalez

Video by: Jasmine Veridiano

"You've got to make stuff. You've got to animate. Make stories. Find ways to create."

Founded by Brian Austin, The Animation Project, otherwise known as TAP, is the first of its kind — a “therapeutic workforce development program” innovating the television and film industry through their work.

This non-profit organization is dedicated to serving New York City youth, by providing them the space and tools to prosper in the competitive animation landscape. TAP specifically targets underserved and misrepresented communities, giving young people the opportunity to creatively express themselves. By combining the expertise of an animator and a therapist, the organization has become an outlet for many throughout the city.

Next Jeneration sat down with executives and students to get their take on the program and its impact. Students showcased their personalized scene projects where they incorporated their learnings of shading, lighting, rendering and compositing in animation.

When asked to describe TAP, Creative Director Dan Shefelman had this to say: “Therapy is basically in creating stories, by digging into their own stories in order to create fictional stories, they discover things about their experiences, [and] about empathy. At the same time they’re developing skills that are very marketable in today’s workforce — digital animation, storytelling, 3D animation design.”

TAP studio aims to bring out the talent of adolescents in the most diverse way possible, while providing a holistic experience. Comparatively to that of a teaching hospital, seasoned animators mentor future animators. The organization has developed relationships with local industry leaders to provide interns with the opportunity to attend Q&A events — such as Netflix’s screening of Klaus with Director Sergio Pablos — and tour major animation studios.

After completion of the program students have gone on to work in animation studios, have been accepted into design school and have even been hired by TAP studio itself. At The Animation Project, "every one of them is a success story, whether they go to the top and end up being a professional animator or not, they’ve learned something different from this experience," expressed Dan.

“Tap has helped me mature professionally and personally…It is a home away from home. Somewhere you can come to learn and forget about the outside world, and get stuck in this place to animate.” — Manny, sixth-year student
“TAP is a program that brings people together to learn new skills that could be applied in the real world. It’s providing me an amazing space to work alongside peers that have the same goals.” — Ming, first-year student

For more information on The Animation Project, visit https://www.theanimationproject.org/. Be sure to check out their social media platforms: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube!

Happy Halloween! On October 31st of every year, everyone gets to wear their most creative costumes, go trick or treating, and watch scary movies- that’s tradition for this spooky holiday.

Unfortunately, some of our favorite classic Halloween movies cursed people in real life! Don’t believe me? We’ve put together a list of movies that haunted the cast members, even after the cameras stop rolling. Check it out below.

Rosemary's Baby (1968) –

Rosemary's Baby producer, William Castle, was hospitalized with kidney stones and, after experiencing hallucinations during his near-death experience, the producer alleged he seen film's lead character “approaching him with a knife.” The following year, Polanski's wife, Sharon Tate, was killed in the “Manson Family Murders.”

The Exorcist (1973)-

Actress Linda Blair, who played the little girl possessed by the devil, fractured her lower back. The set in which the movie was filmed on caught fire for no apparent reason. One of the actor's child was involved in a terrible road accident, and another actor lost his life to influenza shortly after filming ended.

The Omen (1976)-

The lead actor Gregory Peck and writer David Seltzer were on planes that were struck by lightning. Another incident was a zookeeper on set to tame baboons was mauled to death by a lion just one day after completing their work. And lastly, after the filming was completed, it was said that “special effects director John Richardson and his assistant, Liz Moore, were involved in a serious car accident. Moore was decapitated in an incident that echoed one of The Omen's most disturbing scenes.”

Poltergeist (1982)

Child star Oliver Robbins was said to have claimed that he nearly died after being "choked by the arms of the evil puppet" who was featured in 1982 film Poltergeist. Unfortunately, at the young age of 12- a few years after the film was released, young actor Heather O'Rourke died from cardiac arrest and septic shock caused by a misdiagnosed intestinal stenosis.

The Amityville Horror (1979)-

How creepy? Ryan Reynolds, the star of the 2005 remake, claimed to have woken up at 3:15am – otherwise known as "the witching hour" – every morning without rhyme or reason. It was also said that someone died in the lake, the first day of filming.

Are you creeped out yet? Be sure to have a fun and most importantly safe Halloween! Keep these scary facts in mind as you’re binge watching your favorite spooky movies.

Updated: Oct 3, 2019

The new ‘Joker’ movie is set to be released on Friday, October 4th, and apparently- it’s no joke.

Although the movie hasn’t been released yet, according to reports it arguably “the most controversial film of the year.” The film, “offers a grounded portrayal of the titular Joker (Joaquin Phoenix) as a loner who feels mistreated by society and escalates to acts of violence against the wealthy and becomes a hero of sorts to the working class.”

You may want to take precaution before you allow your children to see this one. The movie is Rated R and that’s for good reason. The movie sparked some concerns for one specific theater and that theater is sending out warning messages. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema released a statement, “Parental warning (this is not a joke),” begins the message. “Joker is Rated R and for good reason. There’s lots of very, very rough language, brutal violence, and overall bad vibes.”

The statement continues, “It’s a gritty, dark, and realistic Taxi Driver-esque depiction of one man’s descent into madness. It’s not for kids, and they won’t like it, anyway.”

The movie is expected to be so intense, the theater announced it will be adding additional security on the opening weekend. The movie is reminiscent of real world violence, and it would spark more violence.

Let’s hope not! Check out the trailer above. Will you be going to see it this Friday?