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Daemen College opens Center for Excellence in Animation

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WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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Hollywood producers could easily ask a new college animation center in Buffalo for production assistance.  WBFO'S Eileen Buckley says Daemen College unveiled a brand new, state-of-the-art Center for Excellence in Animation.

"And today I'm teaching animation -- intro to animation," said Ken Doyle, Daemen teacher.  Doyle was working with students in the new center located in the Tri-Main Center in Buffalo.

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Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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Inside an animation classroom at Tri-Main where Daemen students are studying animation.

"If students want to come together, after they graduate, and set up their own studios, even if it means starting in the garage or the bedroom, there is no reason why Buffalo can't have a vibrant animation industry," said Doyle.

The center was one of funding promises from Governor Andrew Cuomo's 'Billion to Buffalo' project.

Students are receiving cutting edge training in visual effects and editing. The school is also collaborating with Empire Visual Effects gives students an edge in the industry and pipeline to jobs. 

"Those jobs can be anywhere. They don't need to be centered in those big places anymore. It used to be Hollywood and New York City -- and that was it, but there's plenty of places in between and luckily we are in the cusp of it all," said Tim Clark, Buffalo Niagara Film Commissioner noting there are many more opportunities in the industry with more movies and video games being produced. 

"It's pretty spread, but it's not too difficult to find a job," said Joel Congi, freshman at Daemen majoring in animation. "Aside from say movies and television it is very, very applicable in the workplace. It's not like any other art." 

Daemen College President Gary Olson, members of Daemen and local and state leaders attended a Friday ribbon cutting for the new center.  It was funded by a $4.5 million dollar Buffalo Billion grant. "The region stands to gain form this unique collaborative effort that will fill a niche in a cutting-edge business and lead to job opportunities that are available right now," said Olson.

Olson was joined by Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins, State Assemblymen Robin Schimminger, Ray Walter and Timothy Kennedy and State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer. http://youtu.be/00eSLXTZQgA

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Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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Joel Congi, freshman at Daemen, shows how he is learning animation.

The nearly $2-million center features an 85-seat theater, screen room and cutting edge studios with 3-D projection capabilities, surround sound and color editing suites.