History of Industry Giants

Industry Giants is the premiere Texas animation, game development, and computer graphics event produced by non-profit organization, A Bunch of Short Guys. Beginning in 2002, the conference features leading industry talent in film and broadcast animation, concept artists for games and film, producing and directing, game development, visual effects, storyboard and pre-visualization, post-production, and digital asset creation for games, film and broadcast.

The first event was Ed Hooks’ Acting for Animators Workshop in 2002, featuring the veteran actor, teacher, and author of “Acting for Animators”. In 2003, the first Industry Giants event was presented which showcased local industry talent as well as national/international studio artists. Since then, the Industry Giants events have continued to feature the best creative minds working regionally, nationally and internationally.

In 2005, the first Industry Giants Masterclass was held. This Masterclass presented the veteran Pixar animator Bobby Beck, president and CEO of AnimationMentor.com. Bobby inspired a full house of regional industry professionals, students, and educators. In the following years, Masterclass sessions have featured our friend Ed Hooks in a reprise performance (2006) as well as Digital Domain technical director Jens Zalzala and Sony Pictures Animation animation director David Schaub (2007).

A Bunch of Short Guys held its first Industry Insights event in May 2005. A parallel series showcasing a single evening with award-winning and iconic industry figures, Industry Insights offers an additional forum for industry talent. Andrew Gordon of Pixar Animation Studios was our first presenter in this series thanks to the support of DNA Productions. In March, 2006, Industry Insights featured Ray Harryhausen ;the Oscar-winning veteran stop-motion animator, who wowed audiences with his work in classic fantasy and science fiction films from the 1940s through the 1980s. Harryhausen spoke about his life’s work at the Angelika Film Center in Dallas. Primary sponsor and collaborator, Janimation, Inc., helped make this one of our most memorable events. RayHarryhousen

Beginning in 2002, Industry Giants events have been held at the Spring Creek Campus of Collin College in Plano, TX. The Applied Graphic Design Technology department of the Fine Arts division at Collin has been an important collaborator over this time period. In 2010 Industry Giants is moving to SMU's Hughes-Trigg Student Center to be centrally located to Dallas. Looking forward, we hope to make Industry Giants one of the largest events of it kind in the southern United States.


Special thanks need to be given to those individuals who have worked so hard over the years to make it happen:

  • Tom Ottinger, from the beginning, has been the backbone of Industry Giants.  He has organized and reserved the meeting rooms and theaters, managed the speakers travel and lodgings, and been overall Industry Giants Coordinator.  Tom was responsible for negotiating with and managing most of the speakers through the years.
  • J. Schuh is the energy and face often associated with Industry Giants.  His bigger than life personality has energized attendance, attracted volunteers and given ABOSG industry recognition.  J has been a driving force behind much of the sponsorship of Industry Giants, without which Industry Giants would not be here today.
  • J. Marshall Pittman is the man "behind the curtains".  Marshall manages the team of AV volunteers to make the production of the show as seamlessly as possible.  His experience running local groups such as AAUGA and SIGGraph chapters has given him the knowledge to make events of this size run smoothly.
  • And lastly, In 2003 it was the idea and determination of Vince Sidwell to bring Ed Hooks to Dallas that started Industry Giants.