New group CatToonz looks to support student animators


Allie Goulding/Daily Senior Staffer

Communication seniors Yadid Licht and Dasha Dorin are the co-founders of CatToonz. Licht and Dorin said they created the group to provide an avenue for students interested in animation to get involved in animation projects.

Allie Goulding, Photo Editor

When Communication senior Yadid Licht first came to Northwestern, he said he knew right away he wanted to work on animation production.

Because only a few Radio, Television and Film classes teach about the topic, Licht said he learned the most about animation from student production groups.

As a result, Licht and fellow Communication senior Dasha Gorin co-founded CatToonz — a group that aims to support students interested in animation production.

Licht said he formed the group because he was concerned that incoming freshmen may never receive adequate animation experience.

“If there is a student that has a script and an idea for a show, short or little film, but has no knowledge of animation, this person could come to our group,” Licht said. “We would guide that person through the entire process of taking the idea for an animated piece and bringing it into a reality.”

Gorin said CatToonz plans to apply for Associated Student Government recognition as a student organization so it can receive funding to give grants for animated projects.

Because Licht and Gorin will graduate next year, Gorin said they hope to recruit loyal members with a “young and very motivated” executive board to lead the group.

Communication junior Koyote Meiners-Rios said she worked with the two co-founders as an assistant animator for Licht’s web series, “YUP.” She said the project made her realize her passion for animation.

“It would be really cool to have this community of people that are all interested in animation, because there aren’t many places (on campus) that specifically encourage animation,” Meiners-Rios said.

Licht pitched “YUP” to NU Channel 1 — an existing student production group — last year and received a grant to begin production on the pilot episode of the series. Gorin also worked on “YUP” as the production coordinator. During the production process, Gorin said she and Licht discussed the lack of support for RTVF students interested in animation.

Since current student production organizations are geared more toward “live action” productions, Gorin said CatToonz will cater to a different audience.

In addition to providing grants for student animation projects, Licht and Gorin said they hope CatToonz will eventually host workshops to teach Adobe Photoshop and Adobe After Effects. Gorin said they hope the workshops reach students who are unable to take the few existing RTVF animation classes.

Licht said the group also aims to screen popular animated films and bring speakers from the animation field to talk about their careers.

“If we could help even one person, (and) have our board members take on different roles in the project they brought to us, and actually bring someone’s vision to life, that’s the main goal of mine,” Licht said.

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