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 Animation
Joseph Lopina
Joseph Lopina

Assistant Dean, Faculty: Animation (2005)


A.A.S., in Electronic Engineering Technology; B.F.A., in Film, Syracuse University; M.A., in Educational Media, Appalachian State University. Has taught film and animation courses at the North Carolina School of the Arts since 1999. Associate of the CDI (Center for Design Innovation). Member of the International Association of Animators (ASIFA), Puppeteers of America, and the Puppetry Guild of the Carolinas.

Stephen Baker
Stephen Baker

Faculty: Animation (2013)


BA in Industrial Design, Purdue University; BFA in Computer Animation, Ringling School of Art and Design

Stephen Baker is an award-winning animator and animation director who has been bringing characters and stories to life for over sixteen years now. After three months of incessant nagging during that fateful summer of 1977, his mother finally broke down and took him to see STAR WARS… and the rest was history. With dreams of designing whole new worlds for film, he packed his Toyota Celica to the gills and headed west. After three months (there it is again!) of banging on doors and sleeping on floors, he somehow ended up in the Northeast instead and proceeded to design the next best thing for six years – toys!

Not willing to allow this small detour to set things back too far, he headed south to Florida and Ringling School of Art and Design. He drove back out to California two summers in a row for internships and was very happy when his first job out of (second) school agreed to fly him out and ship his beloved Celica this time. His first project was animating the character of Joe on MIGHTY JOE YOUNG, and it was his extreme pleasure to meet and actually work with one of his boyhood idols; Ray Harryhausen! Joe was nominated for the 1998 Academy Award for Visual Effects and it was disappointing when it didn’t win. Working on other Academy Award-nominated and -winning films such as STUART LITTLE, HOLLOW MAN, HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE, STAR TREK, HUGO, and SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTMAN over the years has eased that early disappointment somewhat though.

He has worked on several Visual Effects Society award winning films, games, and television shows as well including MEN IN BLACK II, STUART LITTLE II, HALF-LIFE 2, HALO 3, PUSHING DAISIES – Pilot Episode, EAGLE EYE, VALKYRIE, STAR TREK, TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN, G-FORCE, TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON, TERRA NOVA, and HUGO.

Stephen once vowed to NEVER make the cross-country death drive again, but finally relented and agreed to do it “just once more” for the opportunity to work with the UNCSA School of Filmmaking.