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DESIGN and DEVELOP your own 'CREATURE FEATURE’ in this intensive 3-Day MasterClass with industry veteran Derek Thompson. In this class, we will approach both Creature Design and Story Development through the thematic lens of Personal, Social, Moral, Political, & Environmental issues.


 The CREATURE FEATURE workshop includes both lecture and in-class assignments that involve Concept, Structure, and Scene work. Student work will be critiqued by the instructor and workshopped as a group. 

This course is rooted in VISUAL STORYTELLING, so students should be prepared to produce DRAWINGS and DESIGNS to help express their ideas. 

Students may be asked to break up into TEAMS for the coursework over the 3 days, so please be ready for collaboration and teamwork.

Join us September 14th - 16th in Rome, Italy for this “Creature Feature” Masterclass. Space is extremely limited. Register today and we’ll see you in Rome for the experience of a lifetime!


Derek Thompson received a BFA in Illustration from Otis/Parsons, and landed his first job for Dark Horse Comics while still attending college. He has worked professionally for over 25 years for a number of studios, including Rhythm & Hues, Lucasfilm, & Electronic Arts. He's been a Story Artist & Supervisor at Pixar Animation Studios for over 13 years.


Derek has worked in a variety of disciplines, including storyboarding, visual development and creature design. He has contributed to numerous film projects, including 'MEN IN BLACK’ and ‘THE MUMMY' films, ‘UNBREAKABLE’, ’13 GHOSTS’, ‘STAR WARS: Episode III', 'WALL-E', 'BRAVE', ‘JOHN CARTER' , ‘THE GOOD DINOSAUR’, "TOY STORY THAT TIME FORGOT”, and the upcoming ‘INCREDIBLES 2'...


  • CREATURE FEATURE: Introduction & Keynote Lecture

  • REFERENCE:  Discussion of Personal Inspirations & Core Thematics

  • DEVELOP CONCEPT & DESIGN: Sketching and Design work 

  • CREATURE CONCEPT PITCHES: Critique and Discussion

  • FILM STRUCTURE part 1: Lecture and Breakdown of ACT 1 the film ALIEN.  

  • FILM STRUCTURE part 2: Lecture and Breakdown of ACTs 2 & 3 of the film ALIEN.

  • DEVELOP STRUCTURE: Sketching and Design work from selected DAY ONE Creature Concepts


  • GREAT CREATURE SCENES: Lecture and Reference

  • SCENE PLANNING: Strategies and Approaches

  • SCENE: (ROUGH BREAKDOWNS) Sketching and Design 

  • CREATURE FEATURE: (SCENE PITCHES) Critique and Discussion

HOMEWORK requirement PRIOR to beginning the course:


Find and print out 3 IMAGES that represent something that scares you, unsettles you, or gives you the creeps. It’s IMPORTANT that these images aren’t general, but should relate to something SPECIFIC and PERSONAL that you’ve experienced in your life.  Please be prepared to discuss the specifics in class.


SEPTEMBER 14th - 16th 2018 •

MACRO 138 • VIA NIZZA 138, 00198 • ROME • ITALY


By purchasing your ticket to this event you will be entitled to the "bring a friend..." discount for one of our workshop of your choosing, even if you will be attending it without a friend.


Early bird: 300 euro before April 15th 

Discounted price: 349 euro before June 15th

Full price: 399 euro from June 16th onwards

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IDEA Academy reserves the right to cancel and/or modify courses/events' dates and time schedules at its own discretion and/or for reasons of force majeure). In such cases, the coordinator will return students' subscriptions completely. The coordinator is responsible for the collection of the amounts for the event and reimbursements management. IDEA Academy and the coordinator are not responsible nor will reimburse any cost concerning travel expenses, lost deposits or any other expenses occurred depending on participation to an event canceled by IDEA Academy for the reasons mentioned above. Participants assume responsibility for any added expenses they incur by subscribing to our events. By enrolling to IDEA Academy's courses, participants give their consent to the cancellation and refund policies mentioned above.

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