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Animation Mentor – An Animation Career Snapshot

Title: An Animation Career Snapshot
Sponsored by Animation Mentor
CTNX09: Filmed Nov 2009; Posted May 2010
Length 45 min[hdplay id=10 ]
Join Animation Mentor and guests at CTN-X for a conversation about “An Animation Career Snapshot”. Panel Description: Just as the animation industry is constantly evolving, so does your career in animation!

AnimationMentor.com has gathered top animators in all areas of the field; from Animation Directors & Supervisors to Jr. Animators, to discuss the differences in their day-to-day jobs.  Listen as they discuss and demonstrate the challenges that they each face in their respective positions and how they approached those challenges on 2008/2009’s biggest animation projects!  The panel discussion will also allow attendees to hear each panelist discuss and debate the pros and cons of their positions.  At the end of the discussion, the panelists will move to a more intimate setting to carry on the conversation and answer questions from the audience.

tchonin_thumbModerator Tenny Chonin Director of Artist and Professional Development at Walt Disney Animation Studios, Tenny Chonin combined her teaching and artistic experience to develop programs designed to enrich the creative lives of the Disney artists.

Tenny led the department that conceived and produced all training and enrichment activities for the feature animation division.
Her group provided cross-training, new software training, daily art classes, workshops, seminars, production-specific events,
mentoring and much more. Tenny had the pleasure of working closely with Disney’s studio artists and trainees, apprentices and new hires.  No wonder she proclaims that she had “the best job at Disney Animation.”

Tenny is currently consulting on projects that further the education of animators in film and television.

Motivated by her deep and continuing respect for the artists, Tenny has also created the first online art gallery exclusively representing non-Disney art by Disney artists. SUSPENDED ANIMATION GALLERY


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ericgoldberg_thumbPanelist Eric Goldberg Walt Disney Animation Studios Eric is an animator and film director who is currently the supervising animator of the character “Louis” for Disney’s upcoming 2D feature The Princess and the Frog.

Creator of Aladdin’s Genie, he was the supervising animator of Phil in Hercules and co-director of Pocahontas.

Goldberg is also the author of the book Character Animation Crash Course! and a lecturer for Animation Mentor.


klehtomaki_thumbPanelist Kira Lehtomaki Walt Disney Animation Studios
Kira graduated from AnimationMentor.com in winter 2007.

After graduating, she took an apprenticeship at Rhythm & Hues where she animated scenes on Alvin & the Chipmunks.

Shortly after, she became an animation trainee at Walt Disney Animation Studios where she was mentored for six months and was hired to animate on Bolt.

Kira is currently working on Rapunzel.

ssecton_thumbPanelist Sean Sexton DreamWorks Animation SKGSean worked as a storyboard artist on Steve Oedekerk’s Thumbtanic and a character layout artist on the hit show Futurama.Currently an animator at DreamWorks, he has worked on such films as Sinbad, SharkTale, Flushed Away, Over the Hedge, and Jerry Seinfeld’s Bee Movie. After wrapping animation on DreamWorks’ first Stereoscopic 3D film Monsters Vs. Aliens, Sean is now working on How to Train Your Dragon. He is also a full-time mentor at Animation Mentor.



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cwilliams_thumbPanelist Chris WilliamsSony Pictures Imageworks Chris is an animation supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks where he has worked on a variety of projects encompassing visual effects and character animation.

He is currently a lead animator on Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. Since joining Imageworks in 2001, Williams has held various positions on both Imageworks and Sony Pictures Animation productions. His credits include Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Spider-Man 1, 2 and 3, and Open Season. Chris is also a mentor at Animation Mentor.



Founded in 2005 AnimationMentor.com is the only animation school built by professional animators specifically for people who want to become animators. The program teaches students the skills needed to succeed as a professional animator in the studio environment. By graduation, every student has worked in a production-style environment where mentors, who are working studio animators, stand in for directors, and assignments stand in for film or game shots. Students learn how to accept guidance and criticism, to meet deadlines and to budget and schedule their time to succeed in the working world. At the end of the 18-month program, students leave with a professional demo reel they can use as their résumé to land jobs. Upon graduation, Animation Mentor coaches graduates and connects them to job opportunities with major recruiters, video game companies, and film studios.

Animation Mentor delivers a much more personal and interactive learning experience than other online education programs by pairing students up with professional animators and giving them access to highly interactive communication tools. Some primary features are:

•    Focus on character animation
•    Online mentor/apprentice teaching model
•    High level of interactivity with mentors and other students
•    Networking opportunities through the online community
•    Innovative use of production-style tools and technology
•    Web 2.0 proprietary tools such as eCritiques®, and live Question & Answer sessions
•    Personal support
•    Caring environment Founders: Bobby Beck, CEO/President/cofounder; Shawn Kelly, cofounder; Carlos Baena, cofounder Mission: To provide the most personal and fulfilling learning experience on the planet!

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