Gnomon Event: Kubo and the Two Strings VFX Oscar Nominees

Join Gnomon on Tuesday, February 7th, at 12:00 pm PST, for a conversation with three of LAIKA’s Kubo and the Two Strings VFX Oscar Nominees, ahead of the VES Awards in Los Angeles. The panel will bring together VFX Supervisor Steve Emerson, Animation Supervisor Brad Schiff, and Director of Rapid Prototype Brian McLean, and the discussion will be moderated by Emmy-winning character animator and Gnomon Instructor, Laura Barbera. Bring your own lunch, or stop by the food truck on campus, and enjoy an inspiring lunch-hour with LAIKA.

Whether you’re a student or professional artist working in animation, be sure to RSVP to attend for free at the Gnomon Stage; seating is on a first-come-first-served basis, so be sure to arrive in good time to secure your place in line. Alternatively, follow along on Livestream and ask questions during the live event using #gnomon on Twitter.


Founded in 2005, LAIKA has grown to occupy a unique and distinctive place in American cinema by continuously expanding the boundaries of the 120-year-old technique of stop-motion animation. The studio’s first feature film was 2009’s Oscar-nominated Coraline, followed by the Oscar- and BAFTA-nominated ParaNorman in 2012. The Boxtrolls hit theaters in 2014, garnering the studio its third straight Oscar nomination. The fourth film, Kubo and the Two Strings, was released in the summer of 2016.


12:00 pm – 1:00 pm: A Conversation with Kubo and the Two Strings VFX Oscar Nominees

Guest Speakers

Steve Emerson – Visual Effects Supervisor

Steve’s diverse background in visual effects has enhanced his contributions to all four of LAIKA’s feature films to date: Coraline (2009), ParaNorman (2012), The Boxtrolls (2014), and now Kubo and the Two Strings. Prior to joining LAIKA in 2008, Steve worked in VFX for nearly two decades as an artist and technical director. He’s contributed to several feature films and TV series including The Matrix Reloaded, Transformers, 300, The Dark Knight, and Universal Television’s cult favorite Sliders.

Brad Schiff – Animation Supervisor

Most recently Animation Supervisor on LAIKA’s award-winning The Boxtrolls and ParaNorman, Brad was previously an Animator on three other Academy Award-nominated animated features: Corpse Bride, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and LAIKA’s Coraline. Brad cut his teeth on a number of popular TV series including MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch, The PJs, and Gary & Mike – for which he won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation.

Brian McLean – Director of Rapid Prototyping

As Director of Rapid Prototyping at LAIKA, Brian unites the complex technological elements of 3D printing with traditional animation in the studio. In 2005, while working as a classically trained sculptor and model-maker in San Francisco, he was exposed to 3D printing. Shortly thereafter, he initiated the introduction of 3D printing on LAIKA’s inaugural feature film Coraline (2009). Brian was honored with an Annie Award for Special Achievement in Animation for his work on Coraline.

About the author

Sierra is the Editor of ArtStation Magazine.