048: Mauricio Ferrazza (Miami Dade College)

Mauricio Ferrazza on Innovation City

“VR has been here for 20 years… I think that we are on the brink of the whole worldwide community understanding these technologies.” — Mauricio Ferrazza

Welcome to Innovation City—powered by Venture Cafe—where Tyler Kelley and Michael Johnson, Co-Founders of SLAM! Agency, interview innovators, creators, and disruptors to discover how business is changing in the modern world.

Created and produced by SLAM! Agency in cooperation with Venture Cafe St. Louis and Venture Cafe Miami, Innovation City gives you an inside look at how rapidly business and culture are changing thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion, heightened creativity, and a stronger and better-connected business community. Venture Cafe is the largest combined gathering of entrepreneurs and innovators anywhere in the world. Events are held every Thursday in St. Louis, Miami, and other leading innovation cities around the globe.

Today’s guest is Mauricio Ferrazza, Chairperson of Miami Animation & Gaming International Complex (MAGIC) at Miami Dade College. Mauricio has over 25 years of experience working in animation production for film and TV. After a 14 year career at Univision, he founded MIA ANIMATION and launched the MIA Animation Conference & Festival, and then became the inaugural Chairperson at MAGIC. Mauricio sits down with the Innovation City team to talk about building the animation industry in Miami, why animation is important to every single industry, and why he’s excited for our augmented reality future.

They discuss:

  • The two academic programs available at MAGIC: Animation & Game Art and Game Development & Design
  • Both programs are industry-focused, with a variety of industry partners: Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Walt Disney,
  • Telltale Games, Viacom, Discover Latin America, Univision, and Telemundo
  • Graduating more Latin American students and African-American students than any other program in the country
  • Taking any student at any level of educational readiness and teaching them skills that will earn them good money in just two years
  • Mauricio’s MFA is in Particle Dynamics; the study of physics in animation
  • Animation is difficult and tedious to produce, but it can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages, from age 3 to age 93
  • Hand-drawn films: 180 minutes x 24 drawings per second = thousands upon thousands of drawings
  • Working for Univision doing graphics for all kinds of shows
  • Now, healthcare, education, science, hospitality, logistics, real estate, and others need animation to at least some degree
  • Training in AR technologies, nurses can train in virtual examination rooms
  • Treating phobias through virtual reality
  • Trying to find ways to create jobs
  • Partnering with Nicklaus Children’s Hospital to help support their internal education department
  • The biggest challenges MAGIC faces: a lack of existing industry, the need to educate businesses and industries on why they should invest in animation
  • Healthcare, aviation, and logistics are big growth areas for animation
  • Creating crane operator training simulators for the Port of Miami
  • The wide variety of artistic and technical skills needed at different points in the production pipeline; not every animation job requires high artistic skill
  • The future of augmented reality: Microsoft’s Hololens, and Magic Leap’s AR goggles
  • Getting rid of desktop computers and browsing the internet while interacting in real life