Fast & Furious, Rio, Ice Age: Continental Drift, Epic, Rio 2, The Peanuts Movie, Rescue Me, Lost, Fringe
Who can you help, and how?
I would like to help people interested in a visual effects/feature animated effects career. I have been involved in hiring processes, I teach, and I work in the field. Having experience with students and preparing them for the industry is something I take pride in.
Can you tell us about yourself and your background?
I was born in Philadelphia, raised in Israel. My mom is an artist, and guided me towards an artistic direction. My dad is more of a technical guy, a former IBM employee, made sure I always had a computer or game console to play with. I have a degree in fine arts, and have been working as an effects technical director for 7 years. I am currently staff at Blue Sky Studios, and have been here for the past 4 years. As an effects technical director I am responsible for both the artistic and technical development and animation of a film's effects. I presented work at Siggraph, and was nominated for the 2013 Annie awards.
How did you get to where you are now?
I was interested in art from a young age. I grew up in the 80's with some of the best comic books and cartoons a kid could ask for. My first experience with animation was when I was around 7, when my parents bought me the Etch n' Sketch Animator. From that point on, I knew I wanted to make more of these. I attended art school in NYC, and while I was a student I interned at a number of studios in the city. But the real driver that got me to where I am today was dedication. I was focused, I studied a lot, and self taught myself in addition to school. By the time I graduated, I got hired to work on a new season for a TV show that I interned on during my junior year.
Some of the projects I have worked on:
"Rio" 1 & 2, "Epic", "Ice Age 4", "Fast & Furious", "Lost", "Fringe", "Rescue Me"... to name a few. I am currently working on "Peanuts". Where do you draw inspiration from? I currently live in NYC, and this city is a huge inspiration for me. I live by "Museum Mile", and spend a lot of time wandering around the city's museums. I also love the street art here. I went to art school, so many of my friends are artist's of different disciplines. I draw a lot of inspiration from them. But I also draw plenty of inspiration from my co-workers and the studio. Being surrounded by such talented people really drives me.
Tell us something odd about yourself?
I always drink my tea and coffee out of the exact same cup at home, even though we have plenty to choose from. And yes, I wash it every time.