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From Trainee to Journeyman

Representatives from WDAS and Disneytoon Studios share their experiences beginning as trainee or apprentice artists to journeyman.

Brad Raymond: Multiple Annie Award nominee and winner Brad Raymond hails from Denver, Colorado and attended art school at the prestigious Joe Kubert School of Cartoon Art, where he studied animation production under famed Disney animator Milt Neil.

Raymond began what has become a prolific animation career, with Don Bluth Productions, as a top storyboard and visual development artist on such features as
A TROLL IN CENTRAL PARK and THUMBELINA.

But Raymond then went on to split his time between animation and semi-professional athletics. He worked for Walt Disney Television Animation on the popular series ALADDIN before being recruited by Turner Animation as a story artist on the feature production CATS DON’T DANCE. It was during this time, that multi-talented Raymond was also recruited to play tight end for the California Bandits, going on to win the Semi-Pro Championship.

However, after having realized his athletic ambitions, Raymond pursued those still unrealized. Having always dreamed of making Disney his creative home, Raymond was invited back to the studio as a director on numerous films including POCAHONTAS II for which he was nominated for an Annie and THE LION KING 1 ½ for which he won the coveted Annie Award for Best Home Entertainment Production.

Drawing from his two decades in animation and his passion for classic Disney storytelling, Raymond landed the opportunity to direct the John Lasseter executive-produced TINKER BELL. An unprecedented global phenomenon, TINKER BELL went on to be one of the top selling animated DVDs of 2008 and spawned the enormously successful Disney Fairies franchise.
Most recently, he returned to the magic of Pixie Dust and directed the third film in the Disney fairies franchise, TINKER BELL AND THE GREAT FAIRY RESCUE. This film went on to be the top selling animated direct to video film of the year.
Raymond recently wrapped production on PIXIE HOLLOW GAMES, the fourth film in the Disney Fairies franchise, world premiering on Disney Channel, November 19th, 2011.

Raymond lives in Los Angeles with his wife.

Helen Kalafatic: New York native Helen Kalafatic earned a B.S. in marketing and international business at Washington D.C.’s American University, before returning to Manhattan in search of a creative career. A deep desire to pursue her passion for the arts brought her to study fashion at Parsons School of Design. However, it was an internship at Sunbow Entertainment that ultimately put her on the road to becoming a film producer.

It wasn’t long before the major studios took notice of Helen’s depth of talent. Universal invited her to Los Angeles to be the production manager on their direct to video feature, Hercules & Xena: The Battle for Mt. Olympus.

Helen then segued to Sony where she was production supervisor on the series, Jumanji, and associate producer on Fox’s Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot before eventually guiding the production of the Emmy® winning HBO series, Harold and the Purple Crayon.

Helen’s rising star in the animation community brought her to Nickelodeon where she line produced the multi-Emmy® nominated SpongeBob SquarePants along with managing the creation of three SpongeBob television specials.

Having paved an impressive path of animation production on the west coast, Helen returned to Manhattan to start up an animation studio for Scholastic where she produced Maya and Miguel, the popular bilingual series for PBS Kids.

But it was a call from the legendary Henry Selick asking her to join him at Laika in Portland, Oregon to produce Moongirl, Selick’s award winning CG short, that took her career to the next level.

After delivering some of the past decade’s most innovative and successful animated children’s content, her arrival at Disney as the producer on one of their top film franchises, Disney fairies, is no surprise. Helen produced TINKER BELL AND THE GREAT FAIRY RESCUE, directed by Bradley Raymond and executive produced by John Lasseter.

Kalafatic recently wrapped production on PIXIE HOLLOW GAMES, the fourth film in the Disney Fairies franchise, world premiering on Disney Channel, November 19th, 2011.

Helen currently lives in Los Angeles with Crouton, her beloved Yorkshire terrier.

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