The Gnomon Workshop

‘Weeds’: The Making of an Animated Short Film

‘Weeds’: The Making of an Animated Short Film


Wednesday, November 8th, 2017, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm



Join Kevin Hudson and Bradford Simonsen at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects for a behind-the-scenes look at how ‘Weeds’, the first animated short film completed within the Filmmakers Co-op at Disney Feature Animation, was made by a group of 40 artists from over 40 countries. ‘Weeds’ is the story of a dandelion struggling to journey from dry, barren ground to greener, grassier land. After watching his neighbors (also weeds!) wilt and die, the dandelion faces a tough decision: act now, or suffer and die? Created primarily using Maya, Houdini, Hyperion and Nuke, Kevin and Bradford will be joined on the stage by various artists from the project to walk through the stages of development, from concept through layout to animation and visual effects.



“As an artist, I wanted desperately to say something about having empathy for people who, by no fault of their own, were stuck in bad situations,” Kevin Hudson explains. “My own relatives emigrated from Ireland and other countries in Europe in search of the ‘American Dream’; of a Better Life. I hoped that if we, as artists, could make people feel empathy for something as little as a dandelion, then perhaps we could make them feel a little more compassion for their fellow human beings?”


Learn direct from the filmmakers at what promises to be an entertaining, relatable, and inspiring event about how the film was made over a year and a half by artists in their spare time. Be sure to RSVP and join us at the Gnomon Stage on Wednesday, November 8th, 2017, from 7:30 pm, or watch live on Gnomon’s Livestream channel or our Facebook page.




7:30 pm – 9:00 pm: Making an Animated Short Film
9:00 pm – 9:30 pm: Audience Questions


Gnomon School offers a Character and Creature Animation Track with the full-time Certificate in Digital Productionprogram that trains students to capture believable and appealing performances in their characters and creatures through the application of fundamental animation concepts, software techniques, and acting skills.

Guest Speakers

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Kevin Hudson
Writer and Director, ‘Weeds’ Short Film

Kevin Hudson is a filmmaker and digital artist working as an artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Before joining Disney to work on Big Hero 6, Zootopia, and Moana, he worked in visual effects on titles including Stuart Little, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, The Polar Express, and more. Before leaping into the world of digital VFX, he worked in traditional special FX on the likes of Edward Scissorhands and Predator 2. Kevin teaches Character Modeling and Sculpting classes at Gnomon School of Visual Effects.

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Bradford Simonsen
Producer, ‘Weeds’ Short Film

Bradford Simonsen is an American filmmaker best known for his work as an Associate Producer at Walt Disney Animation Studios, where his credits include the Academy Award-winning Big Hero 6 and Zootopia. Prior to joining Disney, Bradford worked as a Digital Producer at Digital Domain on films such as Jack the Giant Slayer and Real Steel, and spent nine years beforehand at Sony Pictures Imageworks as a Production Manager on projects including Alice in Wonderland, Beowulf, Open Season, and The Polar Express.