Brad Burrow, Real Media
I have a degree in marketing, but I was a full time musician for many years. This helped develop my creative side.
Kyle Clark, Reel FX
I have an undergraduate degree in Architecture from Texas A&M and a Masters in Film, Video, and Computer Animation from The University of Southern California.
Gary Gibich, RenderJump
My background is film and television. I graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in film production. In fact, I was in the UT film school at the same time as Robert Rodriguez so I got to see his genius before the rest of the world. My limited animation experience has been with Lightwave and 3ds Max.
Kathy Rocchio, Slap Happy Cartoons
I took Fine Arts in school which did not help me to become an animation producer, aside from solidify my desire to work in a creative environment. A love of animation and a desire to work in a creative field led me to seek production work in the early 90’s with one of Vancouver’s up and coming studios. I worked my way up through production banking 13 years with that company when I left in 2007.
One of my partners – Josh Mepham did the Classical Animation program at VFS, Greg Sullivan finished the Classical Animation program at Sheridan, and Vito Viscomi attended the Broadcast Arts program at Ryerson.
Eric Lee, Steelhouse
I was mostly self-taught. I have a very motivated, DIY personality when it comes to art. Much of my education came from purchasing books on animation (and animation software) and just going through it. Nowadays, tutorial videos are all over YouTube, and places like DigitalTutors.com offer video training at very affordable prices.
I was also fortunate to land several great internships during high school and college. One had me working on a direct-to-video children's 3D animated feature, and another had me helping out on a AAA video game title. My formal education was a Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Design for Video. My education continues everyday as I tackle projects which challenge my knowledge and abilities.
Sean Hall, CRASH&SUES
I went to LMU in Los Angeles as a film student, and eventually changed to animation. I finished my degree at Ai of Minnesota. Having a film background helped a lot in being able to learn project management and to think about projects visually. I learned a lot about editing, and I think having an eye for that is important. I took a lot of art and drawing classes. My focus was traditional, hand-drawn animation, but I also learned 3D and worked in that quite a bit. I'd say a well rounded education is better than something overly focused. Learn to be a whole person.
Chris Robadue, Wave Garden Arts
My background is in Fine Art with a BFA in Film Production. Being classically trained in film making, drawing, print making and painting has only added to the regard I hold for animators and all artists. Though perhaps its more the stories I read as a child and the wonderful films I’ve seen that most inspired me to want to do what it is I am doing today!
For more tangible advice from top animation industry professionals, check out the other topics in our Interview Series here.