Eight New Animators Join Animation Mentor
His lengthy career has enabled him to contribute to a wide range of projects in different roles over the years. Zondag started his career at Nelvana Limited as animator on projects like Strawberry Shortcake Meets the Berrykins and The Care Bears Movie. He later joined Sullivan Bluth Studios and worked on projects like An American Tail, The Land Before Time, All Dogs Go To Heaven and Rock-A-Doodle. He also directed television commercials while working at Sullivan-Bluth. In 1993 he directed an animated adaptation of We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story alongside his brother for Executive Producer Steven Spielberg. Zondag joined Walt Disney Feature Animation during the early 90s as a storyboard artist on Pocahontas. In 2000 he and Eric Leighton directed Dinosaur as a part of the Disney Computer Graphics Unit for The Secret Lab. He then worked on projects like Home on the Range, Balto 3: Wings of Change, Valiant and Curious George. Zondag worked as storyboard artist on Ultimate Avengers 2, Flushed Away, The Golden Compass, Kung Fu Panda and King of the Elves. He recently worked on 3-D animated features like Meet the Robinsons and Bolt, he also made concept art and storyboards during the pre-production of Tangled.
He also worked on TV shows as Character Posing/Layout Artist Ewoks and Droids for Lucasfilm and as storyboard artist on The Land Before Time: The Series.
He is currently directing and in pre-production on his upcoming CG animated feature, The Monkey King.
Rich Fournier, Blue Sky Studios
Rich Fournier attended Animation Mentor and has worked in animation for over five years. He began his career in animation with Turbine, Inc., an online social gaming developer, where he animated for titles such as Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (2007) and Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach (2006) . Today he is a character animator at Blue Sky Studios where he is working on a new feature film titled Rio, due for release in 2011. Prior to Rio, he was a character animator on Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009).
Ron Pucherelli, PDI Dreamworks
Ron Pucherelli is a native New Yorker who started his career working as a graphic designer in television then soon realized he wanted to study animation full-time and enrolled in the Ringling School of Art and Design where he graduated in 2004. In 2005 he began his animation career in video games and worked at studios such as Electronic Arts (EA) and Sega. Titles include James Bond: From Russia with Love (EA), The Sims: Pets (EA), The Simpsons (EA), and Iron Man (Sega). During that timeframe he went on to further his animation skills and enrolled in Animation Mentor where he was able to complete his coursework while working full-time. In March 2008 he went onto become a full-time character animator at PDI DreamWorks. There, his feature film and TV projects have included Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa, Merry Madagascar (TV), and How to Train Your Dragon. Today he is currently working on MegaMind.
Serguei Kouchnerov, independent freelancer
Serguei Kouchnerov began his career in Kiev as an animator, story artist and animation director, where he worked with Kievnauchfilm. In 1992, he won the international competition organized by the Walt Disney animation studio and was hired as a character animator and design artist. While with Walt Disney Animation, he animated for several feature films, including The Lion King and Fantasia 2000. From there he joined Dreamworks Animation SKG as a supervising animator and storyboard artist, contributing to a string of major feature films, including The Prince of Egypt (supervising animator) , The Road to El Dorado (supervising animator) , Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (storyboard artist, supervising animator) , Shrek 2 , Madagascar , Bee Movie and Madagascar 2. He also served as a story artist for Chicken Run , a collaborative project between DreamWorks and Nick Park's Aardman studios. Kouchnerov has also directed several short films including The Hybrid Union, The Log , The Hopeless Wombat, and Nine and Half Minutes. For more information about Serguei Kouchnerov, visit http://www.kouchnerov.com/.