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New Mentors at Animation Mentor

Press Release from Animation Mentor

Emeryville, CA -- June 5, 2009 -- (Animation Mentor), the leading online character animation school created by animators for animators, today announces four new professional animators to their roster of mentors now totaling 77.

What makes Animation Mentor truly unique is that the 18-month online program is focused 100% on character animation and is designed and taught by some of the industry's top professional animators from top studios. T he mentors, who teach small groups of 10-14 students after work and on weekends, are employed at leading studios. The cutting-edge technology Animation Mentor leverages enables mentors to view and critique student work within an online campus forum, and host question and answer sessions that are archived for future reference. In addition to being able to learn directly from top professional animators, students can download lectures on demand by key industry experts on all aspects of production, and socialize in an online campus environment in the same way they would on Facebook.

"I am incredibly proud of the talent that these individuals bring to our team," said Bobby Beck, chief executive officer and cofounder of Animation Mentor. "The professional expertise and insights of our mentors is what makes our program so valuable and offers students the skills they need to start their career in animation. We couldn't do it without them!"

About the New Animation Mentors

Aaron Hartline is currently an animator at Pixar Animation Studios, where he worked on UP and TOY STORY 3. Prior to that he worked as a supervising animator at BlueSky Studios on ICE AGE, ROBOTS, IA2:MELTDOWN, and Dr. Seuss' HORTON HEARS A WHO. He was the lead character animator on Scrat the Squirrel from the ICE AGE films and Vlad the Vulture from HORTON HEARS A WHO. As a modeler/concept artist at Big Idea Productions he worked on VEGGIETALES and 3-2-1 PENGUINS. As an animator at Game Refuge Inc., he worked on the arcade game RAMPAGE WORLD TOUR. Aaron held a number of various different jobs before he became an animator, one of which was as an usher at the movie theater where his love for animation was born! To find out more about Aaron, you can go to his blog:

Jean-Denis Haas is an animator at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) where he has worked on STAR TREK, STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED, INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL, THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES, HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, TRANSFORMERS, ERAGON and PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST to name a few. He is currently working as a lead animator on an undisclosed project. To learn more about Jean-Denis, visit his website:

Paul Mendoza, born and raised in the Bay Area, is an animator at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville. He started his career there as a production assistant on A BUG'S LIFE, then moved up to work as a fix animator on TOY STORY 2, MONSTERS, INC., and FINDING NEMO. He animated on THE INCREDIBLES and JACK-JACK ATTACK and was the crowd animation lead on CARS. He also worked as an animator on RATATOUILLE and WALL-E. He most recently worked on UP.

Wayne Gilbert started in traditional animation and worked in Toronto, eventually teaching at Sheridan College. In 1996 he helped set up Disney Toronto and then transitioned to 3D at ILM where he worked on films such as STAR WARS EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES, ET re-release and THE MUMMY RETURNS. Since then he has worked as Senior Animation Director at EA Vancouver and is now working to secure development funding for an animated feature from a children's novel and screenplay that he has written. Wayne has also written a book titled SIMPLIFIED DRAWING FOR PLANNING ANIMATION. Additional credits include seven half hour TV specials, numerous 2D and 3D commercials, background illustration for TV and feature work and five personal short films -- two of them 3D including the award winning LET GO. Gilbert lectures on character animation around the world and has recently been asked to lecture at DreamWorks on Simplified Drawing and Animating Force. For more information about his book, go to:

Mentor Studios include: Pixar Animation Studios, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), PDI/Dreamworks, Blue Sky Studios, DreamWorks Feature Animation, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Sony Pictures Imageworks, LucasArts, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Rhythm and Hues Studios, Tippett Studios, Digital Domain, and Reel FX Creative Studios and more.

For a complete list of mentors, visit