I met Camille Eden (Manager, Recruitment), at Siggraph 2017 where she was a participant in a panel representing,  The Walt Disney Animation Studios and Disney Television Animation: Careers at Disney Animation panel with, Matt Roberts (Artistic Recruiter), and Brooke Keesling (Director, Talent Development) who shared some of the different creative roles that help make animated films and television shows. The discussion was moderated by Disney animator Darrin Butters, who worked on Moana  and Frozen Fever, and offered a behind-the-scenes look at this amazing art form. The panel began with a short screening showcasing Disney Studios’ most popular films and television animation and ended with an audience Q&A.

The panelists talked about the different approaches of each studio; what it’s like working within a vertical studio where everything is done in-house; the development process in the studio pipeline; the collaborative, fast-paced, and fun working environment; how art and technology are combined; how everyone working at Disney contributes to the process; the importance of staying true to the vision of the entire organization; why they want applicants with a strong sense of appeal, aesthetics, and storytelling; their training program and internship opportunities; what they look for in an applicant’s portfolio; the best entry-level positions for recent college grads; and the importance of peer support and honest feedback.

Here are 15 important things to know if you’re interested in pursuing a career in Animation at Walt Disney Studios:

    • Disney Television Animation is a fast-paced environment and usually has about 12 series in various stages of production at any given time. They are creator-driven shows. New people who want to be creators come and pitch ideas. If approved, they make pilots and DTVA decides which ones will be green lit to a new series. They also have heritage properties that take ideas from existing property in the Disney legacy.
    • At Disney Television Animation, the show creators are at the helm and bring their vision to the table, but they aren’t necessarily the directors of their own shows. Because there are so many shows going on at any given time, the show creator oversees all of that, but there will be different directors.
    • Walt Disney Animation Studios is more director driven. They make one film a year. They’re currently working on their 55th film, They also have a shorts program and special projects. Their content is home grown and their writers are part of the studio. You have to be at director status to pitch a film.
    • Walt Disney Animation Studios has three important standards, which are to tell compelling stories, create believable worlds, and appealing characters. Everything begins and ends with story.
    • The filmmaking process is divided between 14 departments in three big areas: development, element production, and shot production. They are a vertical studio meaning everything is done in-house. It’s a very collaborative environment and their departments work together constantly throughout the process.
    • At Disney Animation, art and technology are combined and work together. The studio has technology specialists who work for the entire pipeline.
    • Walt Disney Animation Studios has a team of visual development artists, whereas Disney Television Animation looks for very specific roles such as the art director, background designer, background painter and color stylist.
    • Story artists at Walt Disney Animation Studio work very roughly and gesturally because they’re doing a lot of iterations of a lot of the same shots and scenes over and over as the film develops. In TV Animation, the story and revisions are tighter.
    • Disney doesn’t tend to hire a lot of writers for TV animation because most of their shows are storyboard-driven and the storyboard artists are doing the writing.
    • wondercon-disney-animation-panel-image-3

      Working at Disney Animation is fun, fast-paced, and the artists get along really well and feed each other’s creative juices. You get to work with your peers and learn from each other. Everyone is there to make the best possible film.

    • If you’re applying for an entry-level position, your portfolio should reveal your ability to tell a story such as a student film, graphic novel or comic you’ve created. The studio is looking for strong draftsmanship, an ability to do a variety of styles, and that you are observing from life and not just drawing from other designs.
    • A storyboard revisionist, who cleans up the storyboard drawings of a seasoned storyboard artist, is a good entry level job. If Disney Television Animation likes your storytelling ability, they’ll send you a storyboard test to consider your potential.
    • Walt Disney Animation Studios has a film development training program for story artists which happens twice a year. The disciplines vary depending on the studios’ needs. It’s a 3-month to 1-year-long paid mentorship where you’re paired with a resident Disney artist. (Go to DTVATALENT@DISNEY.COM and DISNEYANIMATION.COM/CAREERS for more information)
    • At a big studio like Disney, you tend to get hired for one specific thing. It’s good to have one specialty, like a major that focuses on story, but then also have a minor that focuses, for example, on character design. Versatility in both worlds makes you more marketable to the industry in general.
    • It’s a cool time to be trying to get into the animation industry because you have the resources of the world at your fingertips today. Surround yourself with a strong group of artists who you respect that aren’t necessarily just going to tell you what you want to hear and are going to challenge you and give you honest feedback.

Moderator DARRIN BUTTERS: Let’s start by introducing ourselves.

BROOKE KEESLING: I’m the Director of Animation Talent Development for Disney Television Animation. TV is a really fast-paced environment where we have usually about 12 series in various stages of production at any given time. Our main thing is creator-driven shows. Gravity Falls was created by Alex Hirsch. He is the creator of that show. He’s the person who brings the vision to the table. We’ve got Penn Zero and Star vs. the Forces of Evil. That’s Daron Nefcy’s show. She brings the vision to the table for that show. We’ve got a few shows coming up including Future-Worm! and Pickle and Peanutwill be coming out soon. They’re really funny. Our main thing is our creator-driven shows, but then we also have heritage properties, which means we can take ideas from any existing property in the Disney legacy, like the Mickey shorts. Paul Rudish is the person that’s at the helm of the Mickey shorts. He’s had a long career in animation. He took what everyone loves about Mickey and thought about how to freshen it up while staying true to who his character is. We have a very fast schedule. We’re always making more than one episode at any given time. We also are making pilots. So, we have new people who want to be creators of our next properties and they come and they pitch ideas to us. And then, we make pilots and we decide which one of those pilots we want to green light to a new series. That’s Disney TV Animation.

CAMILLE EDEN: I manage recruitment at Walt Disney Animation Studios. One of the ways that we’re different from Television Animation is that we make one film a year, and on top of that, we have a shorts program. Last year’s short, Feast, actually won the Academy Award. We have special projects as well at the studios. All of that combined is some of the work that we do at Walt Disney Animation. Our content is home grown. It’s all original in the studio. Our writers are part of the studio at Walt Disney.

Image via Disney Channel

MATT ROBERTS: I handle all the front end artistic roles like animation, visual development, story and modeling. We are more director driven, with the exception of our shorts program. If you’re pitching a film in our studio, you have to be at director status. No matter who our director is or what the film is, we try to hold any film we make to three very important standards, which is to tell compelling stories, create believable worlds, and also create appealing characters. These are three truths that you should hopefully find in any film, whether it’s a short, special projects, or a feature that comes from us.

Can we talk about the differences in the creative roles of the studio?

ROBERTS: With Walt Disney Animation Studios, our filmmaking process is divvied up between 14 departments which are in three big areas: development, element production, and shot production. I’ll start with development. We’re a vertical studio which is an obscure way of saying everything is done in-house for us. That’s from story all the way through lighting and editorial in the back. We’re a very collaborative environment. We’re not really a linear pipeline where one department does something, then throws the work over the fence for the next department to take care of it. We try to work in more of a circular fashion where everyone is upfront problem solving together to make sure that we’re going to have a really clean, smooth pipeline and that everyone is in it together. As far as creative roles within development, everything really begins with story. Story is really being driven by the director, the head of story, and the screenwriter. But, in the story room, it’s the three of them working with entire story staff, which is all our artists working together to problem solve and create the worlds, flesh out the characters, and make sure we have a really entertaining film. Also, we have a career path that I don’t think a lot of people know of, but we’ve got a development team which usually has a background in writing. They work with the director up front, too, to help him spell out the worlds and flesh out the story before they’re green lit and go into production.

Image via Disney

On top of story in the front end, we also have visual development which are the artists that are doing all the pretty arts that you see in the ‘art of’ books whenever a film comes out. They’re like dual ends. They get to do the really fun, exploratory stuff up front, which is helping the director visualize ideas. But then, they also have a real technical aspect to their job where they have to do really technical paintings or drawing turnarounds to spell out what the assets need to look like further on in the CG production.

EDEN: Next up is asset production. That’s where a lot of the characters and environments are created. So, we’ll have modeling and rigging. It’s a collaborative environment. These departments work together constantly throughout the process and they team up. At some studios, you might have it where you handle an asset and then you hand it on to the next group. At Walt Disney Animation Studios, our departments work closely together throughout the entire film. And then, once they’re worked through asset production, then they go into actual shot production where things come in like effects and lighting, where you take the scene and you light it. It goes all the way through stereo. All of that happens in the back end. Again, that collaboration can go from the front end of the pipeline to the back and the back to the front, but our teams are constantly working together. Another area which is unique to Disney Animation Studios is that the art and technology are combined. We work constantly with our technology department and we also have technology specialists within each discipline sometimes who work for the entire pipeline.

Image via Disney

We also have editorial which works through and then there’s production management. Production management is from beginning to end. They really carry the film through and help move those shots along through the process. So again, you’ll see all the crossover, front and back. We really have to work together. As the saying goes, it takes a village. We really believe that everyone in the studio is a filmmaker because everyone is part of that process all throughout.

ROBERTS: Everyone gets notes on our films as we go through the various screenings and iterations.

BUTTERS: That’s fun because you get to tell the director and the producer what you thought of the movie in the stage that it’s in. You can say, “I don’t understand why this character would be motivated to do this,” and you get to send that right to the top of the chain. And they listen. They read every single note. It’s amazing. One thing I would also like to point out is that you don’t do the story and then move onto the animation. Story is working the entire movie.

ROBERTS: John Lasseter likes to use this old phrase where we say that none of our films are ever completed. They’re just released. If you put the power into our artists’ hands, they would just keep reworking it to try to make things more and more perfect. But it just gets to a point where you have to release it to the public and hopefully they will enjoy it.

Image via Disney

KEESLING: Creative roles for Disney Television Animation are a little bit different. As a recruiter for our studio, I’ll have lot of people sometimes applying to me saying, “Oh, I want to do Vis-Dev, which is short for visual development. That’s a title that works more for you guys. You have a team of Vis-Dev artists. For television, Vis-Dev is broken down into all of the little parts. Visual development would be the art director, background designer, background painter, and color stylist. There’s someone called a color stylist on every show. They pick all of the colors of everything that the background painter doesn’t paint. And then, we also have storyboard artists and storyboard revisionists. I like to tell younger people, students, that if they’re interested in story that doing storyboard revisions is a good entry level job into Disney Television Animation. So, all of those roles are the ones that work for us. It’s designers and storyboard people. Then, at the helm, is the show creator and they’re the ones that bring the vision to the table. The show creators aren’t necessarily the directors of their own shows, and that can be kind of confusing to people. There are so many shows going on at any given time. We’ve got one that they’re still pitching the boards and it’s still on the thumbnails. And then, we’ve got another one where the story is more fleshed out. So, the show creator oversees all of that, whereas there will be different directors. Each crew might have two or three directors that work on all the different episodes coming down. It’s really fast paced, but it’s a lot of fun and there’s a lot of layering that happens on each crew. Hopefully, that’s clear for you. There are a lot of similarities with how we work and then there are subtle differences.

Image via Disney

ROBERTS: Even stylistically when she’s talking about story, for the story artists at our studio, we want you to work very roughly, very gesturally, because you’re doing a lot of iterations of a lot of same shots and scenes over and over as the film develops. So, we need you to work quickly but still with that really strong sense of appeal, whereas in TV Animation, your story and revisions are a lot tighter.

KEESLING: Quick and dirty. They’re super loose at first. They’re little thumbnails on little post-its sometimes. And then, as they become happier with the story, then they’ll get it into a tighter place. What we are going towards is kind of a real tight final animatic which will then go to the animation department. One question that I often get is about writers. We don’t tend to hire a ton of writers for TV animation because most of our shows are storyboard-driven, which means that the storyboard artists are also doing the writing. We have some shows that are script-driven, but the bulk of them are storyboard-driven.

What’s it like to work at Disney Animation? KEESLING: It’s super fast paced but it’s really fun. It’s a great place to work. The artists always get along really well. We’re always feeding each other’s creative juices. It’s fast paced because there are so many episodes that need to be made, and the schedules for episodes aren’t that long. So, on that level, if you like the faster-paced environment, it’s definitely a place where you would thrive. It’s super fun, very team oriented.

Image via Disney

As the head of recruiting there, if I know that one person is going on hiatus from one show, like if we’ve got a storyboard artist that’s going off from Wander, I’ll say, “Hey, Gravity Falls, do you guys need a storyboard artist right now?” We try to keep our talent as much as possible and we’re very successful with that. We’re super supportive and we all feel that we’re honored to be a part of the Disney Studio, the Disney environment. We’ve got a legacy to hold up. We need to stay true to the vision of the entire organization and we do our best to uphold that and have fun with it. That’s part of the deal of working for Disney. Plus we get to go to Disneyland, which we like. So, there are many benefits to working at Disney. It’s a really fun, family-oriented, wonderful company.

EDEN: One of the parts of our culture is the legacy. We are currently on our 55thfilm, Zootopia, which we plan to release in Spring of next year. I’m really excited about that. We keep saying collaboration but it is true. It is a highly collaborative environment. It’s just part of the key. One special thing that is amazing about the studio is that you do get to work with your peers and we learn from each other. We share. It’s a constant in everything that we do. It is fun to work at Disney.

ROBERTS: What I really like about our studio is that there is very little ego. Everyone is there to make the best possible film that they can. We’re very, very proud of the success of Frozen and Big Hero 6, but we basically celebrate for a week, and then it’s like we have to make Zootopia as good as possible. So, it’s like jumping back into the pipe to make sure that we are doing everything we can to work together to give audiences a really great film.

Image via Disney

More and more, it’s art and technology working together. It’s like both sides are inspiring each other these days, where technology says, “What can we do to really make our art shine in the CG realm?” At the same time, our artists are becoming more and more comfortable coming to our engineers saying, “This is an idea we have. Is there any way we can build a tool to make this easier for upcoming films?” With every film, we’re trying not to repeat ourselves. We really want to give audiences a different experience. We really want to push the art form and our filmmaking with each horse out of the gate. We’re doing everything we can to keep you entertained. We appreciate you coming out to see our film.

BUTTERS: And just the fact that they’re restructuring our building right now. We have new construction and it’s all geared toward making us more collaborative, making it easier for us to be collaborative, and that’s exciting. Wherever you guys work, talk them into getting you a cereal bar. There are dispensers of cereal and you can walk down with a bowl and fill it up. They have a refrigerator with every type of milk you can think of. That’s all frosting on the cake.

ROBERTS: We have bagel Fridays where they have bagels out for everybody Friday morning. We have fresh fruits. big-hero-6-poster-baymax-hi-res

KEESLING: We have John Lasseter’s hand-chosen chef at our commissary. It’s for real.

ROBERTS: Our cereal is name brand. We’re General Mills all the way.

BUTTERS: Let’s open this up to the audience for Q&A. How do you work with other departments such as marketing or product merchandising?

EDEN: Marketing is part of Walt Disney Animation Studios. As Matt said, we’re a vertical studio so we have our own marketing department and our own finance department. They’re all at the studio with us. They work with a larger company, but again they’re part of that pipeline through the process. They’re there from the beginning all the way through and beyond when the film is released.

ROBERTS: We also have a pretty newer role that’s like an ambassador to our other divisions. When we have consumer products and stuff coming out for our films or tie-ins to the theme parks, we have someone who works as a representative from our studio who goes to those divisions to oversee the quality of the merchandise that’s going to be tied to a film or any kind of theme that’s going to be representing it. We want to make sure we have consistent artistic quality representing our films.

Are you planning on bringing any of the series that are on TV right now into a feature-length film?

ROBERTS: Unfortunately, we don’t know. Where our creative culture is right now, our directors pitch original ideas within our studio. I think we’re very admirable in what each studio is doing.

KEESLING: The opposite is happening more right now. There are some things that I can’t talk about, but some things that they did before us that now they might be taking a step.

Image via Disney


ROBERTS: The funny thing is, with the Mickey shorts, we did the Get a Horseshort at the same time Paul Ruddish was doing the Mickey shorts for them. It wasn’t supposed to be a tie-in. It was just a coincidence. And then, as each film was getting done, I think the creators were getting together and saying, “Oh, what are you doing?” and there was this mutual admiration between the directors that thought it was so cool that you guys are taking Mickey in this way.

What are some entry-level story positions that a recent college graduate could apply for? What would you recommend for somebody who wants to get into story development and eventually tell stories with the Disney family?
KEESLING: For Television Animation, one thing that I look for in portfolios is I like to see people’s student films. If you go to a school that doesn’t make you make a film, then make yourself make a film, because we like to see your ability to tell a story. I also look at graphic novels and comics, so that’s something that I look for in portfolios. An entry-level job would be a storyboard revisionist, which is a person that cleans up the storyboard drawings that a seasoned storyboard artist would have drawn. Applying for revisionist positions is a good way to go. We will send out tests. If we’re looking for a storyboard artist on a show or a storyboard revisionist, we can send out a storyboard test to you. You have to get your portfolio approved first because we don’t want to send out a test willy nilly to hundreds of people. But if they see a glimmer of what they’re looking for in their show, we’ll send you a test, and then you send it back, and you might be the person who gets the job.

Image via Disney


ROBERTS: For our studio, we actually have a film development training program for story artists. We don’t like to throw recent grads onto a film straightaway because it’s very stressful on someone who’s never worked on a film before. Our trainee program happens twice a year. The disciplines vary because we try to anticipate what needs we’re going to have down the line so we’re actually hoping to set you up for a job. It’s from 3 months to a 1-year-long paid mentorship where you’re actually paired with a resident Disney artist who’s going to mentor you and show you the ropes and try to nurture your skills through that time to try to get you ready to work on a film. It’s supposed to be for grad students. It’s designed for artists who are 0-3 years out of university, so that is actually the framework. We want you to be more on the junior side because we want to see the potential in you and we want to try to grow that into how our studio makes films.

How often does a position for a concept artist come up for television animation?

KEESLING: It’s hard to say how often. We’re not on any strict schedule of seasons. Live action is like pilot season. We’re year round. We’re green lighting things as they become fresh and ready to green light. So, I can’t say how often. Like I said earlier, we don’t use a concept artist. We don’t look for a Vis-Dev artist. We look for the very specific roles. So, I look for background painters. I look for character designs. We love to see really strong draftsmanship and we like to see that you can do a variety of styles because our shows all look different from each other.

Image via Disney


The way my school’s program is set up, I have to make a choice between TV, film, art and writing, but I want to do it all. Which way should I go?

KEESLING: You’ve got your whole life ahead of you. Don’t let the downward pressure of the man, being your school, make you decide today. Don’t let them freak you out. Pick one and try it, and if that isn’t the exact thing, just realize you don’t have to learn everything you need to know in school. You’re going to learn so much once you get out and you’re working. So, pick the thing that seems the closest to what you think you want to do. And if you change your mind, you can change your mind. It’s a free country.

ROBERTS: When you get hired to a bigger studio like us or TV Animation, you tend to be getting hired for one specific thing. It’s not like you’re going to float everywhere, but having said that, I think it’s good to have one specialty, like have a major, but then maybe have a minor. So if story is what you want to do, like really put a lot of focus on story. But if you’re also interested in character design or something, I’d still say to develop those chops too, because if you have that versatility in both worlds, or even more worlds than that, I think you’re making yourself more marketable to the industry in general.

KEESLING: Try to get an internship while you’re in school, because when you’re a student and you’re working in a studio, you’ll start to see, “Oh, I thought I wanted to do this, but really I want to do that.”

Image via Disney

ROBERTS: Also, when you are applying, you do want your portfolio to be as specific as possible, because if you have too many different disciplines all in one submission, it’s going to confuse, unless you’re awesome in all of them.

EDEN: When you start to go for internships, or once you graduate, know the culture of the place that you’re applying to. Make sure that your portfolio is reflective of that. If you’re going for television or feature animation or commercial, make sure that your portfolio reflects that.

KEESLING: I would say get your presence known. Post to your Tumblr constantly. I am constantly looking on Tumblr what people are posting. Get your stuff out there. Making student films, for television, that helps us. (To Matt) I don’t know if you guys look at it that much. That’s something that I look at a lot.

ROBERTS: We totally do. I think it’s a really cool time to be trying to get into the animation industry because you have the resources of the world at your fingertips today. It’s not just that you have a multitude of studios out there, but there’s always ‘art of’ books coming out. So many industry professionals have their own Tumblrs or blogs or Instagrams. You can reach out and connect with artists. And if they feel comfortable and have the permission from the studios to do so, they can actually give you feedback on your work. You have so many benchmarks out there to make connections and get advice. I’d also say, whether you’re still in school or meeting people online, really surround yourself with a strong group of artists who you respect that aren’t necessarily just going to tell you what you want to hear and that are going to challenge you and give you honest feedback. If you’re just at home working by yourself, you’re kind of working in a vacuum. You could be making all the same mistakes over and over again. When you are with people that are going to challenge and support you, you have someone to bounce ideas off of and you’re going to grow. I was a decent artist when I was in community college. The second I went to Cal State Fullerton and I was in that artistic community, I felt all of my skills just bumped up like they didn’t before because I’m in a community that is here to make me succeed.

Image via Disney Animation Studios


EDEN: It goes back to what we were saying earlier about a collaborative environment. Even though you’ve got seasoned people at our studio, they still will bounce ideas around. You think you’re done, but then you go in and you share it with a group, and they might tear it apart and put it back together until you find that character or that piece of art. So, it’s not just for students. It’s all throughout your career.

KEESLING: One other thing I’d say is be nice to each other in school, because if you stay in animation, you’re going to be working together for years and years and years. I don’t really love the word ‘networking’ because it sounds like making fake friends that you’re going to use for various things. But start building your genuine network. Help each other on your projects and join organizations. Women in Animation is one. They do mixers every month and you can start meeting people. Go to WonderCon and all these things like volunteering at the Amy Awards. There are different ways of starting to meet the people that you’re going to be working with. BUTTERS: Here’s a huge tip in life, too. Be honest. Seek people who are honest to tell you whether this is terrible, or this is great, or this needs work on. Don’t give false support so that somebody is focusing their efforts on something that is a waste of their time. Sam Harris has a great mini-book called Lying and it’s all about this thing about not keeping people from reality. If you see somebody and they ask your opinion on a piece of work, tell them what you honestly think about it and what they honestly need to work on. Don’t show your mom. She’s going to love you no matter what.

Image via Disney

What portion of our portfolio should be life drawing, especially for people applying for positions in visual development, background, or story?

ROBERTS: For us, I always say do two or three pages at the back. You don’t need to put that much, but we do want to see your fundamentals. If you’re a painter, we’d also like to see some of your paintings and studies on top of your actual more creative animation-driven work. Animal drawing is good. For those interested in story, it’s also good to see your observational sketches. But we do want to know that you are observing from life and it’s not just drawing from other designs. We want some kind of truth and authenticity behind anything that you build. Research and going out there and studying the world and people is really an important part of that.

EDEN: I just need to see enough to know that you understand volume and shape and proportion. We don’t need a ton. I can see that in a portfolio that has no life drawing if the character designs are really strong, but it doesn’t hurt to have some in there. It just doesn’t need to be a large assemblage.

I’m an animation student and I’m wondering what you look for in an intern?

KEESLING: For us, we look at the portfolios. We really like to read the cover letters and hear about the passion that you have. Knowing that you know what our studio does is important. Sometimes you can tell that someone has just applied to every internship under the sun and they send you kind of a form letter that they’ve sent to every studio. We’re definitely not looking for that, but for strength in your portfolio. Sometimes if people send me a link to their Tumblr and they haven’t updated it in a long time, I’m like, “Are they drawing a lot?” If I have to pick between two people and I see someone always adding stuff to theirs… I know you’re in school and you have a lot to do but… If it’s Behance (online portfolio site) or Artimated, it doesn’t really matter. I was just using Tumblr as kind of a catch-all. That’s the one I seem to be seeing the most lately. It’s seeing that you are so engaged and that you eat, sleep, live, and breathe drawing and animation. And comics in your personal work, too. Not just things that you think are going to get you the job. We want to see your vision because you might be the next show creator for us.

ROBERTS: If you want to apply for a job, it’s better to have a separate Tumblr that’s your portfolio, rather than submitting your personal Tumblr. I want to see your art, but I don’t think I should be knowing this part about what’s happening in your life. Just have something separate from that. For us, we actually have artistic internships every summer that’s meant for people who are still in school and will be going back to school again in the fall. We tend to just do writing internships. We look for what we look like in a pro, but more at a student level. We still want you to have a really strong sense of appeal and aesthetic and storytelling in anything you do, but we’re looking more for potential. We know that an internship isn’t going to immediately lead to a job. We just want to see if this person can benefit from learning under our artists for eight weeks. It’s the same scale, but just do your best and show us your absolute strongest work.

I have friends who use Toon Boom animation software to do artwork and storyboard. If I’m interested in a storyboard job, do I need to have those specific skills when I try to apply?

KEESLING: For us, you don’t. If we like your storytelling ability, like if we sent you a storyboard test and we thought this person nailed it and is cracking us up, you could come in the studio and we could teach you about it. The ability to tell a story really well and clear and have all the elements that need to be in that working is more important. The technology part can come later.

ROBERTS: It’s more important to master the fundamentals and the concept of appeal and then work on the tools from there. I think it will make you more marketable if you know certain programs. For us, we have proprietary plug-ins, but most of our software is off the shelf. If you’re visual on the story, you’re usually just using photoshop in our studio. In something like for visual development, we just support the artist’s process. So, there are some people who still use more traditional media and then they can scan all the artwork later. But, it’s about your work first and tools second, because tools are always going to change. Software is not going to stay the same over the course of even five to ten years now.

KEESLING: Storytelling is ages old.



What We’ve Heard. The Los Angeles County CTE community may not be ready for experimental project based learning in visual effects (VFX), but may be prepared for informational milestones, that could start with leadership in CTE talking with industry leaders about the way-ahead.  Problems that need to be agreed upon may include articulation strategies with 4-year undergraduate programs in the bourgeoning VFX boom, and creating opportunities such as externships, guest lectures, etc. for leadership and faculty.

The first step is to create an “ask” for Fox Innovation Lab who has expressed interesting in next steps to creating a think tank to study the problems that can be solved in their philanthropic initiatives.  Below are video sessions from SIGGRAPH 2017  that could be a first step in providing informational exposure to an organization who is trying bring more inclusivity to their community that currently does not have any initiative for programs such as LAHITECH.

The Outcomes

The videos below provide evidence that there are efforts to curate best practices for education to a workforce, the problem is that they’re not be taken advantaged by leadership in Career Technical Education. Led by Dan Watanabe, we plan on introducing him via tour/meet up with Fox Innovation Lab for the purposes of asking them to consider a pilot project that includes an incubator/accelerator for selected students from the 3,600 in the Digital Media/ICT Pathways programs who may be interested in  (VFX) careers, joining the VFX ISTE Union, and joining us in Vancouver for SIGGRAPH 2018

#VR Graffiti in South Lobby! #SIGGRAPH2017 #GhostPaint @epic_games

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