I have recently been offered and accepted a staff position at Avalanche Studios! They're pretty famous for their Tak game titles but were purchased by Disney in 2005. So now they handle the Disney feature animation game titles, recently finishing "Meet the Robinsons". It has been an interesting process and taken some time to go through, and is still ongoing. I sent my reel about mid-April and heard back from them the next day. I then had a phone interview the following week, which was followed by an in-person interview the week after that. Then both Avalanche and I waited another week for Disney to go through all the paperwork so they could make me an offer. Don't get me wrong though, I didn't mind all this waiting or how long it took, all of it actually feeling quite fast, because it allowed me to ease into the whole issue of moving.
My start date is June 11th and I am excited to see what I will be starting on. They clued me in on the projects they were working on during the interview but I'm not sure what they're going to start me off with. From the animations that I've seen come out of their, they seem to have some great talent there. They even have some strong traditional artists. You can check out some of their digital paintings at avalanchesoftware.blogspot.com. Some of the animators post some personal tests on avamation.blogspot.com.
I am excited to be working along side another AM alumni, Brandon Beckstead! I've watched his work for quite some time now and it's always been inspiring. He's been offered positions at Dreamworks, Blue Sky, and Sony Pictures Animation! He's got some great work so you should check his stuff out sometime if you have a chance(brandonbeckstead.com).
The animation director said that the animators do personal tests and get together each week to critique each other. This alone tells me SO much about the company and really makes me feel good that I am going to be working there. It sounds like they all want to constantly improve and learn new things, so it really seems like it will be a great place to grow as an animator, and hopefully through talking to the other traditional artists, as more of a well-rounded artist too!
I would like to take the time to congratulate all the other AMer's that are landing jobs at some great studios as well! Some of the studios alumni are recently getting into include Dreamworks, Blue Sky and Rhythm and Hues! Congrats everyone and keep up the hard work!!