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Tools of the Trade of a Successful Animator Yesterday Today and Beyond

Title: Tools of the Trade of a Successful Animator Yesterday, Today and Beyond
Sponsored by Pixar Animation
Length: 45min
Filmed in November 2010

Description: Find out the skill set and the tools of the trade yesterday, today and beyond of a successful animator with these 3 animators from Pixar in discussion led by Legendary Disney Animator Andreas Deja.

Moderator Andreas Deja Supervising Animator Walt Disney Animation Andreas Deja was born 1957 in Gdańsk, Poland. Deja moved with his family to Dinslaken, Germany in 1958. After graduating from Theodor-Heuss Gymnasium (secondary school), he studied graphic design at the Folkwang-Schule in Essen, Germany. A lifelong fan of Disney animated films, Deja was hired by the studio in 1980 after he had corresponded with Eric Larson.[1] The first film on which he worked was The Black Cauldron, during which time he shared a cubicle with the film director Tim Burton.
During his rookie days at Disney, Deja sought mentorship and practical advice from seven of the then-living Nine Old Men (who were already retired before his tenure). On an interview with Clay Katis on the Animation Podcast, Deja stated that if the podcast needed anything on the Nine Old Men, to refer to him because of the vast amount of information he has collected over the years. He later revealed that one of his ambitions is to publish one book for each of the Nine Old Men.
Deja is best known as the supervising animator of some of the most memorable Disney villains: Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, Jafar in Aladdin and Scar from The Lion King. He also animated Roger Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, King Triton from The Little Mermaid, the title character from Hercules, Lilo from Lilo & Stitch, and Queen Narissa from Enchanted. In addition, he is the current resident specialist for the animation of Mickey Mouse.
In 2006, at the 35th Annie Awards, Deja was awarded the Winsor McCay Award for outstanding contribution to the art of animation.

Carlos Baena was born in the Canary Islands (Spain) but he grew up in Madrid. Growing up he was into films, cartoons, skateboarding, comics, and drawing. In 1994 he moved to the US to study art. He went to School and graduated in 1998. He ended up staying in the US and was lucky enough to work at great companies such as Will Vinton Studios (now Laika), Click3X, Wildbrain and ILM/Lucasfilms.

He also met some really great friends along the way. He got hired at Pixar Animation Studios in June 2002, a place that will humble anybody artistically and that has taught me so much in the last 5 years. He loves pretty much anything that has to do with Films and Art. He feels extremely lucky to be doing what he’s doing and has fun at what he does. From here, he wants to thank his family and friends and all those people that helped him along the way.

Aaron Hartline was born in Hammond, Indiana – a small steel mill town outside of Chicago. From early on, he loved movies and drawing. While at Columbia College of Chicago, Aaron realized he could use animation to combine the two things he loved most as a child. During his first semester, life threw him an amazing curve ball; his girlfriend was pregnant. Upon hearing the news, he stepped it into high gear to make his dream a reality and took as many animation classes as he could for those nine months.

Aaron’s first gig as an animator was at Game Refuge where he animated pixel people getting eaten by Godzilla-sized monsters destroying cities in the video game Rampage: World Tour. One day Aaron and his coworkers went to see Toy Story during a lunch break. Blown away, he knew what he wanted to do: get a job at Pixar.

Aaron went to night school while working his day job so he could learn SoftImage, high-end animation software. At the end of the semester, his teacher offered Aaron a job at his company, Big Idea, as a Modeler / Concept Artist for VeggieTales and 3,2,1 Penguins! Every night after working 9 to 5 at Big Idea, Aaron would spend 5 pm to 2 am creating his own short films to submit to Siggraph. After three years of trying to get the attention of a major studio, he finally got noticed by Blue Sky Studios, who hired him as a character rigger for Ice Age.

After hours, Aaron animated his facial rigs to show in the animation dailies. The director took notice and after a year of rigging, Aaron got an entry-level animation position. He worked on  Robots, Horton Hears a Who and the IceAge films where he was character lead on Scrat. Aaron worked his way from rigger to animation supervisor.

During the production of Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Aaron got the call he had been dreaming of for 13 years; an interview at Pixar. Years of perseverance paid off and so far, he has worked on Up and Toy Story 3 – bringing his dream right back where it started with Buzz and Woody. Presently Aaron, is working on Cars 2 which makes his 4 year old son very happy.

Michal Makarewicz joined Pixar Animation Studios in 2003, where he has been an animator on such features as The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, WALL-E and most recently the Disney-Pixar feature, Up. He was awarded an Annie in 2008 for Outstanding Character Animation in a Feature Production by ASIFA Hollywood for his work in Ratatouille.

In addition to his work at Pixar, Michal has been teaching animation since 2005. He has contributed lectures, as well as taught classes for the online school, Animation Mentor. He taught classes at his alma mater, Academy of Art University, as well as the California College For Arts. He is also a contributing animator to Spline Doctors, a blog/podcast dedicated to animation education.

Victor Navone – Coming Soon

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