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RIT grads work on ‘Rio’

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Think of Aaron Walsman ’07 (film and animation) when the villain bird in the top box-office hit Rio flashes his evil smile.

Isaac Holze ’10 (film and animation) gets credit for the beautiful background in the scene where the two macaws, Blu and Jewel, take a trolley ride and begin falling in love.

And Tom Hurlburt ’03 (film and animation) made sure the adventurous scenes, such as the macaws flying on a hang glider, were polished and natural.

Eight graduates of RIT worked on the 3-D computer animated film by Blue Sky Studios, which was released on April 15. Holze also worked on the short Scrat’s Continental Crack-Up, which is shown in theaters before Rio.

Hurlburt, the lead camera technical director, worked with animators on framing the scenes. He essentially did the work of a traditional movie camera man, only his job was done digitally.

This was the first movie Hurlburt has been involved with from start to finish. He started at Blue Sky in 2008, in time to finish Ice Age 3.

Others graduates from RIT’s film and animation department who worked on the movie include Adam Maid ’07, Christopher Moore ’02, Wesley Storhoff ’08, Christos Tzeremes ’09 and Laura McGowan ’10. Melissa Tierney and Ignacio Barrios, who are both working on their thesis projects, also worked on the film.