﷯Tony Venezia - Bio
In 1969, while in high school, Venezia began creating independent films with his clay animated piece “Klei.” Venezia’s 3½-minute stop-motion animation film won several awards in competition including a best animation award in college level category. Venezia studied film in college, creating several award winning films while at Illinois State University. In 1978, he moved to Los Angeles when he was accepted to the Animation Workshop at UCLA to work on his master of fine arts degree. During his time at UCLA Venezia created more award winning films including one that won the honor of national finalist for the student Academy Awards in 1983.
In 1981 he formally began his career in special effects working at Mid Ocean Motion Pictures in Hollywood, a unique studio that created special effects for major TV commercials and show opens. It was here that Venezia started experimenting with a technique called slitscan. This is a process of painting with light directly on to film. Between 1981 and 1989 he completed three abstract films using this technique. In 1983 Venezia founded Electric Filmworks Inc., a special effects company that created film effects, graphics, theatrical movie opens, and trailer elements for all major feature film studios, television, and cable networks. In 2000 he came back to his Midwest roots to raise his children in an area that was more family friendly than Los Angeles. Since that time he worked four seasons on the Oprah Winfrey Show in their on-air graphics department and has created nearly all of the show graphics and elements for Total Living Network. In 2005 Venezia was hired by College of DuPage to create and manage their animation program. In 2008 the first students graduated from COD with a degree in animation. The program has been growing since. Graduates have been accepted by DePaul University, Illinois Institute of Art, California Institute of the Arts, and California College of the Arts.
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