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Hi gang,

I'm just curious whether anyone knows if the terms of a payment-deferred (until graduation) student loan are breached in the event that the student fails or is required to repeat any of his or her academic courses, thereby increasingthe amount of time in total he or she would spend in the university before graduating (and presumably beginning to repay the loan.)

Of course more money would have to be borrowed, but could the student in question in fact continue to defer payment until after graduation? Is there any limit on this extension?

Talk to your student-loans officer, or a student union rep--they should have those answers handy and can give you the straight dope right away.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

( and before anyone says it........yea, you can get a teaching job with a degree. But who wants to be taught by an animation instructor with a degree, but with little or no industry experience?? Yea, I thought so....)

Oh man, does that take me back in time....

I remember when SCAD had their "Computer Art" major and all the animation classes were electives.

I remember one class. Experimental Animation, I think it was called.... I got an assignment so ridiculous (no character animation... something about a chair with 3 legs in a corner or something like that... ) Everyone in the class knew it was a waste of time and animation paper... "To hell with the grade," I remember thinking, and I did something else (my "adventures of the cow" thing.)

He still gave me an A. I really didn't learn anything... All that really came of it was some practice with After Effects for me and inspiring John Cimino to make that awesome short with the old man and the dog.

Now, I don't know how much industry experience my professor had. I think he had made some independent short films or something....

So yeah, been there, done that Ken.

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Ringling vs SCAD

Hi all:

Can anyone give advise on which college has a better computer animation program - Ringling School of Art or Savannah College of Art & Design? Are there any schools that I missed with a better reputation? :)

I'm currently a student at scad so I can tell you what I know.

I will list the cons first because there are a lot of them, but don't weigh as heavily as the pros, and I'd rather leave you with a positive note.

SCAD bureaucracy - you really get the feeling here that the SCAD bureaucracy cares very little for their students, and just want your money... which is also why it's almost impossible to not get into SCAD. They'll take anyone who will give them the money.

crappy crappy crappy crappy cafeteria food - you are forced to buy an expensive meal plan if you live in the dorms, and most of the food is pretty crappy. They have a sub shop which has decent food until you get tired of it (limited selection), and the cafeteria (a buffet that's open at periods of 3 hours at a time) food is really only decent during breakfast. A new cafeteria opened up in the animation building a year or two ago, which has a bigger selection and better food (though not a buffet), but the animation building isn't near the dorms. You aren't allowed to have a microwave in your room, so I cook everything with a rice cooker :D

no campus - this might not be a problem for you, because it wasn't for me. Mostly because I'm a recluse and rarely leave my room anyways. But SCAD does not actually have a campus; it's only a collection of buildings dispersed amongst a very poor town. Which makes it dangerous to walk around at nights. There have been incidents and shootings, and they've sent people around to the dorms to preach to you about how to stay safe. The worst I've run into though is a guy offering me drugs, and then after my refusal, telling me his car broke down and he needed money. On any other college campus it's just another bum story, but because of the stories I'd heard about SCAD, I was a little unnerved. You'll take buses to get to and from classes, and they (in theory) come every 30 minutes, so it's a good idea to leave 30 minutes before your class starts.

no division between 2d and 3d - I really don't know where I stand in terms of 2d talent at SCAD, because I haven't had a 2d animation student in any of my classes. Everyone is 3d, and 2d and 3d all take the same classes. In fact, I was looking for specifically 2d classes to fill my elective, and there weren't many. Some special 2d classes are offered, but not every quarter.

Great faculty - most of my animation teachers have worked in the business for many years, and are very knowledgeable, and very eager to help.

Small classes - the classes are pretty small (about 15 or so students a class), so you get plenty of one on one attention from the professor, and get to know your classmates, what they're working on, and get critiques.

Great facilities - every software program you could possibly want, up to date. You can check out writing tablets at the animation building, they have shooting stations for traditional animation, an animo scanner, and a bunch of other stuff that I don't know about cause I don't use them.

I personally learned a lot at SCAD, and I'm glad I came here.

That's my two cents.

Can anyone shed some light on how the animation programs in any of the CSU schools are?

In particular CSU LA.

I'm having a tough time deciding on where I want to go, any info would be great. (I tried using the "search this thread" feature but it didn't seem to work)


How is that a long way from that? That whole post was in defense of not only traditional skills but having them come first.

The essence of your idea may be the same, but the essence of the work involved in carrying it out -specifically- can't be. The same project expressed through two different media is two different types of life to give the thing.

By "thinking it into being," I meant what I was trying to say in the context I wrote it in. On the computer you get to sort of will it into being. No middle ground. No effort involved. You use the cursor to go "I would like blue," and there blue appears.

@mindseyes40 . why did they deny u into the animation? any particular reason?

School Loans

Another point about school loans...


Even though you don't to begin paying, in most cases, until 6 months after you graduate...THE INTEREST BEGINS AS SOON AS YOU SIGN ON THE DOTTED all during school the loan accumulates interest.

I think government loans are a bit different...

I know this first hand on school loans from our kids.


Thank you DSB for the insight.
bobertmon, you sound like you are looking into animation schools or have been accepted by them, which ones are your top choices?

Thanks for the replies, but I haven't a loan officer or a student union rep -- I haven't a loan, nor have I been accepted to any institution. I was just asking because I was hoping there'd be some way to stretch out the period of my student loan to a longer period, so that I could take more of the art classes offered before I graduate...when I do go.

Thanks for the compliment...I love the beach! Besides the world is becoming my classroom.

My opinion (based on 32 years experience and being the head of a terrific program in Ireland) and FIVE straight years of nominated/selected for Who's Who Among American Teachers... is that drawing needs to be part of the core curriculum and not left to elective status.

I used to see good students, good people reduced to tears when they realized that their artistic skills were not there. I loved teaching at SCAD but I knew that my penchant for drawing would implode the I left. I just speak the truth.

ALL THE BEST SCHOOLS HAVE DRAWING AS AN INTREGAL PART OF THEIR PROGRAMS (not just the 2D and Layout classes but real drawing)

SCAD does not require a art portfolio - except to get scholarships.

They did require a portfolio to get into Gary Goldman's class...hmmm...why is that...I talk to Gary - he is doing amazing things - for this term - those students are very lucky.

This week, Glenn Vilppu will be teaching drawing at Ringling - as he has for the last few years.

Ringling even has an insrtuctor exchange with a school from the Northeast that specializes in drawing.

The Ringling program is smaller - but their ratio of folks working as animators at the highest levels is far, far, far greater.

LOOK at the work!!!

My sense of it is - that folks really, really need to look at programs and determine what they really NEED to get jobs. (I think I set a record for "reallys").

It's your money!

Unfortunately for me, I needed to be getting an MFA or MA or I wouldn't get any student loans, which I really needed. Sadly, the government doesn't pay for your second bachelors. I don't like private loans. SCAD did require a portfolio to get into the grad program. I will say that if CalArts had an MFA in Charatcer Animation I would have gone there regardless of how long the program took, how much it cost, etc. If it was anywhere near the level of their BFA Character program, I would have been there. Larry, I completely agree with you on the drawing thing, but couldn't go to CalArts. Experimental Animation is not for me. I tried that stuff.... it was fun for a little bit, but I like characters and stories. I did look at a lot of programs, trying to determine what I really needed for a job. Ringling was not an option.... and seemed to be more computer focused, which is why I'm surprised you advocate them so much. Admittedly, I didn't look into them much because they didn't have a grad program.

The only other school on your list that has a grad program was AAU... their course offerings seemed nice, but I simply couldn't find much in student work that REALLY impressed me. And honestly, their literature and web site seemed a little gimicky. Claiming 80% of their alums were working, when I had seen plenty of mediocre student and alum work on the web. Working? In what industry? I know of an AAU illustration/painting major who is decorating cakes at a bakery. Fun, maybe, but does that count? I now know that Ape went there... but one student could be the exception. Maybe I made the wrong decision to come to SCAD instead, but I still feel that I've learned a lot here. Maybe that just means I really sucked when I started SCAD. Or maybe things are different for me as a grad student... I've already taken a lot of drawing classes in undergrad. I do need to draw more and draw better; I think that will always be true. I'll admit it is hard to find time to draw when I'm working so hard on class work (and working for $$$). In that way, it would be nice to have more drawing classes, electives or required. I've done a lot of the upper level undergrad classes at SCAD and have enjoyed them. They were all electives in the 2D realm. I was one of the lucky ones who got to take Goldman's class, and I know he suggested a lot of the same things you have said, Larry. Require a portfolio, require more drawing earlier on.... But he also said he was impressed with all of us. I hear Troy Gustafson is trying to get his 2D Effects class to be a requirement. And I think 2D Character and Advanced 2D Character should be required, too.

I loved teaching at SCAD but I knew that my penchant for drawing would implode the I left.

I think that would be the perfect reason to stay. There are many students, like me, who agree with you. We still see things we love about this school, so we stay here. There are many professors who agree with you, too.
....maybe you should be the head of the program. (Looking over my shoulder to make sure no one is coming to kick me out of SCAD.)

So I guess you get out of SCAD what you try to get out of it. If you take those classes, you'll learn a lot. If you do extra life drawing, you'll get better. But isn't that true of any school? Just because you go to CalArts doesn't mean you'll necessarily come out a perfect animator. I've seen some not-so-great student work from CalArts. I'm sure there are students there that don't put in extra time and effort or aren't as skilled. I've seen a lot of great CalArts work, and I've seen a lot of great SCAD work, too. I've seen a lot of great Ringling work.

I can say from experience that any of these schools will be better than trying to go to a university, thinking you can teach yourself what you need. I spent six years combining majors like Film and Studio Art, taking random catch-all animation classes, and trying to learn from watching films, reading books, and scouring the internet for info on classical animation. I got a great liberal arts education, and am much better at writing and critical thinking than a lot of private school students. I don't regret my experiences, but after that, SCAD seems like a dream. I'm learning real animation from real animators! As I have said, I've gotten to almost pick my own curriculum as a grad student, and it has been great. Maybe I'd feel differently if I were an undergrad student. I don't know.

Larry, what graduate animation program would you recommend? Is there a good one?

Hi, I'm also new. And frustrated.

I have little interest in 3D animation-intensive schools. I realize this puts me in a rare and rather hopeless category.

The sort of animation I'm interested in is hand-drawn character animation. I love to draw, I love people, and animals and pretty much anything that's alive and moves. I love music, I love to tell stories and act and shake people's emotions and all that jazz. I'm ready to work hard, eat drink and sleep animation, and be challenged to the edge of my abilities.

I've looked and looked, and it seems the only place that has a program remotely close to what I wish for is CalArts. The tuition at this place is INSANE!! Unfortunately, I'm not filthy rich, nor pitifully poor, nor are my parents deceased or unemployed or gravely ill. Even if I made it in, even with a good portfolio, I don't know how I could ever afford that school without going bankrupt.

Are there ANY other schools in the world that offer intensive programs in hand-drawn character animation? Any at all? I am aware that SCAD and Ringling teach "traditional animation" the first one or two years... but I want something really gutsy. And from the student work which I've seen... and from what I can gather about their programs... it's not what I'm looking for.

Please... someone help me. There must be cheaper alternatives. :'(

If you are looking for good animation schools on the east coast, I would say that Ringling and SCAD are both pretty good. I'm a former SCAD graduate and I agree with what BossMonkey said about the college. I think one big difference between SCAD and Ringling is the size of the college. Ringling is pretty small with an actual campus (sarasota is pretty), while SCAD is many times larger and is scattered throughout the city of Savannah. The acceptance rate for Ringling is higher, the focused environment seems more ideal, and I've seen a lot of great films coming from that school.

On the other hand, I get the feeling that SCAD seems to be going for quantity, accepting lots of people and thus dilluting the quality of student work. The advantage of its size is that SCAD has a lot of resources to offer. It offers more scholarships, gets better equipment, hires qualified teachers, and attracts a lot of animation companies. There may be a bit of bureaucracy, though.

As for the computer animation program, the classes let you choose where your focus should be. The effort and planning you put into them is what you get out of it. I highly recommend the faculty, most of whom have worked in the industry. As BossMonkey said, although it is situated far away from the dorms, the Montgomery Hall animation lab is pretty nice (and big). I should know, I lived there. SCAD isn't perfect, but it taught me all I know about animation, I have no regrets for going there.

Animation Grad work

Great question? I don't think I have an answer.

I know some students are using Animation Mentor as a grad program. They put in their time at a school and are now ready to get serious.

What is more important...the sheepskin or the skills?

I know of only one teacher in the dept. at the school you mentioned who carried a sketchbook.

I could never be a chair there - half the department would have to go out the door. I had 6 chairs in 5 years at the school - my first chair was the best - the rest- oh comment.

Very few have any real professional experience in the industry.

My standards were too high!

Ringling vs SCAD

Thanks for your info - anyone have experience with Ringling as well?

Expression College

Has anyone ever heard of Expression College for Digital Arts?

I've been considering going to this college but still am not so sure about it. From what I've read about its accreditation, it seems to be accredited by the ACCSCT. Does anyone know anything about this school?

I've looked and looked, and it seems the only place that has a program remotely close to what I wish for is CalArts. The tuition at this place is INSANE!! Unfortunately, I'm not filthy rich, nor pitifully poor, nor are my parents deceased or unemployed or gravely ill. Even if I made it in, even with a good portfolio, I don't know how I could ever afford that school without going bankrupt.

Yeah man only 30 people a year are able to afford the tuition thats why it's such an exclusive school. The tuition is high. :rolleyes:

Here's another school to add if I may:

Redhouse College
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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You can also read the first 18 pages of my next book for free at this link: The Hap Hap Happy Happenstance of Fanny Punongtiti

I go to SCAD as well, although Ringling was my first choice (i didn't go because my art teacher took 4ever to give me my recomendation letter). Anyway, I dont know if SCAD's better or not. I've heard that Ringling isn't as good as it used to be. At the same time, SCAD accepts anyone and there's a TON of crap produced here (keeping in mind that I'm an extremly hard critic). We are visited all the time by studios like Activision, Midway, LucasArts etc. so thats a plus. I haven't taken any 3d animation classes yet, but I've heard some complaints about them from a few seniors. Stuff about the teachers not knowing very much about the software. Most of the 3d stuff I've seen here has been pretty bad, although there are a few good shorts now and then. The 2d teachers are great. AWN's Larry is the BEST animation teacher ever! People complain about him being too hard, but more often than not, those are the people producing crap. Larry wants you to be the best animator possible and will work with you to get you there. He's a tough grader, but thats a good thing. If you're planning to get into feature animation you want as tough a grader as possible. Montgomery hall is fantastic. 64k square feet of computers and animation discs. I've heard that SCAD has the best facility out of all the animation schools.

I suggest visiting both schools and then deciding which is right for you.

*disclaimer: I appologize in advance if I've offended anyone with my honest views of SCAD and the work thats produced here*

"Animation isn't about how well you draw, but how much to believe." -Glen Keane

The Sad State Of Schools


I can't believe what I am reading in regards to some of these schools who are ranked so high.

Most of them are just hardware/software ho's that must have paid for their ranking.

Where you look at a school ...check out these things (in this order):

The curriculum...with plenty of drawing classes through out the four years of core classes.

The faculty... folks with plenty of industry expereince and not just folks with masters degrees.

The industry ties...real industry ties with folks who have come out and worked at the highest levels.

The facility ...this is the least important of the requirements- though many folks are seduced by technology.

REMEMBER: A studio will teach you software...YOU have to be able to animate or show potential in the animation/ art area.


NBCC Miramichi
Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada

Really cheap tuition!

Since you asked about computer animation...

The last few times I've been to SIGGRAPH, there have always been several shorts from Ringling in the Electronic Theater and animation screening rooms. There have been some from SCAD, but significantly fewer.

But as I said it is referenced.
My question is after that long back story is; am I a lost cause or do I still have a shot at making it

Where did you get the idea that because it's referenced, it's not valid? Professional artists use reference materials all the time. If you're saying you can't draw from life - only from reference - then you have to work on that, because that's not good :) But reference in and of itself is not a problem.

Of course you still have a "shot". As long as you're working at it diligently, you have a shot. Not everyone progresses at the same pace, and art skills are difficult to obtain at best.

You may want to consider doing something like Ringling's illustration program coupled with something like Animation Mentor to give you a good drawing foundation as well as the animation skills you'll need.

Thanks a lot. That's the perfect thing for me right now, I'll most likely be attending.


I am a 12th grade student...and my finals are on Feb 2008.I am very much interested in studying Animation in India.Where can I apply to study a degree course in Animation and what are the requirements that I need to fulfill?Can anyone help me?

Heya anyone heard of IADT in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, or Ballyfermot college for animtaion?

They're the only 2 in Ireland, just wondering if they have any reputation whatsoever?

REMEMBER: A studio will teach you software...YOU have to be able to animate or show potential in the animation/ art area.

This isn't as true as it was 10 years ago. Software today is so accessible and affordable that most studios can be very selective about the candidates they consider. More often than not, you have to have the animation skill AND know the software that's in their production pipeline in order to be considered. And you're competing with plenty of other skilled animators with the same pedigree.

The exceptions are when the studio is using proprietary software (in which case you couldn't know it unless you worked there), and if you're a rock star animator with an awesome rep and maybe some major awards to your credit. In those cases a studio would train you, but otherwise you gotta have the skills going in, both technical and artistic.

Larry, if you visit Toronto, please visit us! Our industry evening will be May 29.
That's when we invite the companies in to see graduate work (and some second year and first year work, as well).

I find it hard to believe that drawing is really an elective. How can that be possible?

Meleponnie, Max the Mutt costs about $10,000 a year for international students. Perhaps that makes it affordable for you. What's the point of getting into debt if you aren't being taught what you need to succeed? You've got the BA. Why not go for real skills now?

These are great comments. I appreciate all! Keep them coming.

My only real secondhand info from talking to students is that SCAD has a stronger traditional weight, while Ringling's a bit bulkier in the CG pants. I've heard it's on the decline as well, but you never know when that could just be a bad couple years of students as compared to the past.

I actually had a chance to visit the RIngling campus in Sarasota, and it is nice. It gets pitched like it's a sprawling Flagler-style campus, but it's basically a (pretty) caged in block. New buildings were being idealized when I was there last year and I believe they're constructing them as we speak. The community seems to really be gung-ho on living with and supporting the student artist.

I have the same reasoning for leaving teaching too.

Its now time to contribute to the other side of my creative career again.

Is it really hard to do both? I hear all the time about animators working at a studio and teaching at a college... Is that harder than it sounds?

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Well, I've finally decided what I'll be doing in regards to school. I'll be attending the Dave School sometime soon and afterwards I'll be doing the 18 month program at Animation Mentor.

Yeah man only 30 people a year are able to afford the tuition thats why it's such an exclusive school. The tuition is high. :rolleyes:

I know.

My question was are there other places BESIDES Calarts that are - cheaper, and at the same time
- offer intensive hand-drawn character animation programs?

*sigh* :( I know you people out there. Not every person with talent and motivation is at Calarts. I don't believe that. So where are the rest of you who, because of money issues, couldn't go?

Oh Larry... ;)

That is exactly the perceived segregation I'm talking about. Getting wrapped up in the practice of specific mediums and overlooking the fundamentals of the finished work.

Computers expedite production and simplify process but they have not changed color theory, atmospheric perspective or the transition of warm and cool colors. Good guache BGs and good CGI BG’s have an understanding of the above elements in common so I don’t really see it as completely, "Two different types of life.”

It is the notion that computers create,as you put it "no middle ground" and “no effort involved" that allows people to skip grasping essential understandings, that ultimately results in them lifeless parroting other peoples work or making just plain out awful work.

I don't mean to be rude but I was just surprised by the difference between one post saying

“I'll second that. If you feel there's a place or need for traditional skills in your repertoire there's no replacement for them”

And the second one that seemed to point out the nessecity of learning traditional skills

I know.

My question was are there other places BESIDES Calarts that are - cheaper, and at the same time
- offer intensive hand-drawn character animation programs?

*sigh* :( I know you people out there. Not every person with talent and motivation is at Calarts. I don't believe that. So where are the rest of you who, because of money issues, couldn't go?

Did you get accepted to CalArts? Have you actually been granted the exclusive privilege to take on that financial burden and you're passing on it.

You can give animation mentor a try, with their traditional animation program almost no one has used yet. You can be a guinea pig for that for very cheap.

Maybe the mod can merge threads like these with the sticky "art school" thread.

No sense in having a sticky unless you're prepared to merge and lock-down. :)

Good luck Frosty.

the Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

I'd look really hard at places like this: Do a few cheap course. Get enough basic theory to start doing freelance from of your PC. Work cheap or free while doing a normal job. Get real experience and a reel with some things that have at least been on the net. Do your own pieces that show what you WANT to do.

I would also avoid costly private schools like leper colonies! I went to one, went into an ungodly amount of debt, and am now teaching myself animation in my spare time! All anyone can really teach you is a basic bag of tricks. You have to get good at them yourself. I could've damn near self-financed a feature for what I paid, and it's NOT WORTH IT!

If you get into a life drawing class that stresses gesture drawing, that will be very helpful. But all anyone wants to see is your reel. CalArts and Goeblins are exceptions and there are probably a few others, but for the most part, no one cares where you went to school. If you're good, you'll have to quit school before the end of your second year because you'll get hired by a studio. If you finish a four year course, it's almost a strike against you and makes you unemployable at regular jobs. It's a strange, cut-throat industry, and there are way more casualties than success stories.

These are opinions, but they're based on some hard experiences.

Has anyone heard of Digital Media Arts College (Boca Raton, FL) ?
I just found them, but my parents want to know about their accreditation.
And I would just like to know more about them.

Tessa Palfreyman
Student of: MSMS
You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"

Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.

--George Bernard Shaw

Larry?? that aimed at me?

Good luck Frosty.

the Ape

Thanks! :)

I know this sounds absurd, but what do you recommend to a person who wants a job at a company that doesn't actually outsource....maybe the company which animation is outsourced to?

Animation writer who loves...Animation!

A few Ideas


If you speak French and have a great portfolio you might try Goeblins in Paris. Not counting living expenses it is cheaper for three years than one quarter based on three classes at any of the others mentioned.

Do some research in Europe- the courses are cheaper- but you will want one thats industry based.

Soon, we will begin a one year online class that will be inexpensive and give you a good start...and has different levels built into it.
Drop me an email and I will place you on our list...



Hi my real name is Frank and I am currently seeking forums which I can be proactive in discussing animation, drawing, and all other topics related.

I am a newbie, willing to take criticisim no matter how harsh or simple they may be. I am attempting to attend DigiPen located in Redmond, WA for a BFA in Production Animation. The last item to take care of in the admission process, if in fact all other paperwork is in order, is my portfolio. At this time I am attending Bellevue Community College and for what might be my last quarter into Bellevue Community College I will be attending (Drawing I) so that I may learn the basics of perspective and observation.

DigiPen Institute of Technology
5001 150th Ave NE
Redmond, WA 98052
Phone: (425) 558-0299

If you have any tips, suggestions, or comments please let me know...all words of advice from the animation society will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advanced,

Krazed - N - dazeD[/B]
"Feed your Faith and your Doubt will starve."

SCAD Campuses

wow! reading everyone's posts has been tremendously helpful to me. i am also looking to go to school for animation. I'm just wondering which SCAD campus (Atlanta or Savannah) has Phil and Vippu as professors? Is there much difference between the types of classes on each campus? If anyone knows the answer to those questions, it would be very helpful.

Those nasty Academics


One aspect I ask folks to look at are the Gen Ed courses. Though most art schools just kind of gloss over them - students should think of taking them during the summer at their local Junior College (J.C.).

Now some folks will say, "Well, I have to work summers". My reply is "how much will you make...maybe if you are lucky....$6,000?" But here's the thing- why pay full price for academics when you can save a bundle in the long run by taking the Gen Ed courses at a local J.C. That 6,ooo will be gone mighty quickly on academics.

Save your money for those studio classes that art schools will not allow you to take outside.

Just some advice...


SCAD Student

Hey just wanted to say...

You get out what you put in. That's with ANY school.

I am a SCAD grad, last year actually, worked on "The Potter" team that Larry mentioned, and I have a character animation job with DreamWorks.

I just wanted to add my stat to the SCAD "list".


Was it your Potter work that interested them, or other material?

My Potter stuff is part of it. But also other work I did while at SCAD was on my reel. Plus, the success of the Potter gave the whole team a lot of exposure. That really helped with networking and resume building.