Monday, May 21, 2007

New Job!

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 Some of the animators post some personal tests on

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(

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!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

I've been working

As the title states, I've been working as a character animator in Kansas. Yes, I said Kansas! I've been working on a children's dvd at DXD studios. It's been an interesting job and I've learned quite a bit from it. It's a place that requires a fast turn-over rate so I've been able to produce a LOT of animation in a short amount of time. I started working there on February 12th, one month after attending the Animation Mentor graduation. Within two and a half months, one other animator and I had produced between 12-15 minutes of animation on 9 characters which included talking cars, people, a fire extinguisher and fire alarm. It has gotten better recently since the company has finished working on some of the other major projects, which was preventing more people from being able to animate on this one. Now instead of having to animate every character each scene I touch, they've divided them up between the animators so we can go in and focus on one, which means less work on a single shot.

I'm happy to say that there are a lot of great people working there making it a fun environment to be in. It's also cool to be working with guys coming out of different animation schools: AAU, Ringling, VFS, Art Institute, Full Sail, and of course myself being from Animation Mentor. That means some interesting conversations about animation!