Shane Richard Acker (born 1971 in Wheaton, Illinois) is an American filmmaker known for directing 9, which is based on his 2005 Academy Award-nominated short film, of the same title. He is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles.
As a child Acker was hyperactive, so his parents encouraged him to draw. Acker originally set a goal of becoming an architect; he earned a bachelor's degree in architecture from the University of Florida in 1994 as well as a master's degree from the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture.
Upon graduating in 1999, he decided to become a film-maker and went to study at UCLA's Animation Workshop. There he created The Hangnail, The Astounding Talent of Mr. Grenade, and 9, and earned in 2004 a master's degree in animation. His original short titled 9 took him four and a half years to complete and was released in 2005.
Acker wrote, directed, and co-animated the award-winning animated short film 9, which won a student award and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film and was shown at SIGGRAPH Electronic Theater. Tim Burton (Beetlejuice, Batman and The Nightmare Before Christmas) saw Acker's short film and, with the help of Timur Bekmambetov (director of Wanted) from Focus Features, made the feature film with Attitude Studios in Luxembourg and Starz Animation in Toronto.
He is also a visiting professor at Loyola Marymount University.
Acker is currently "Artist in Residence" at Gnomon School of Visual Effects, a provider of online tutorials for visual effects artists. He has been working at Gnomon on a short film Plus Minus, co-directed by Aristomenis Tsirbas and due for release in late 2011.
In June 2011, Acker was chosen to direct a new live-action adaptation of the children's book and TV series, Thomas & Friends. He will be working from a script by Chris Viscardi, Will McRobb and Josh Klausner. Weta Digital will create the film's visual effects, with design by Weta Workshop Design Dept.
As of 2011, Acker formed Benthos Studio, an animation production company with partners Greg Little, Jack Mitchell and Brown Bag Films.
In 2012, Shane Acker confirmed that he planned to work with Valve to create his next animated feature film, Deep. Like 9, the film will be in a post-apocalyptic world, although it has no relation to 9 and is set in a different universe, where World War III has forced humans underground. Deep will be another darker animated film, as Shane Acker has expressed his interest in creating more PG-13 animated films.
Shane Acker has cited The Brothers Quay, Don Hertzfeldt, Jan Švankmajer, and brothers Wolfgang and Christoph Lauenstein as inspirations.
|2000||The Hangnail||Yes||Yes||Yes||Short film|
|2003||The Astounding Talent of Mr. Grenade||Yes||Yes||Yes||Short film|
|The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King||Yes||Animator|
|2009||9||Yes||Yes||Directorial debut |
|2010||A Jake and a Tom||Yes||Short film|
|2012||Journey 2: The Mysterious Island||Yes||Previsualization Artist|
|Total Recall||Yes||Previsualization Artist|
|2013||Oz the Great and Powerful||Yes||Previsualization Artist|
|47 Ronin||Yes||Previsualization Supervisor|
|TBA||Beasts of Burden||Yes|
|Plus Minus||Yes||Short film|
|2005||Guild Wars||Yes||Cutscene animator|
Awards and Nominations
|1999||MicroCineFest Audience Choice Award||Best Short||The Hangnail||Won|
|2005||Annecy International Animated Film Festival||Graduation Films (Junior Jury Award)||9||Won|
|Graduation Films (Special Distinction)||Won|
|BendFilm Festival Jury Prize||Best Animated Short||Won|
|Student Academy Award||Animation||Won|
|2006||Academy Award||Best Animated Short Film||Nominated|