Brian McEntee Production Designer Art Director
Title: An Art Driven Approach
Description: An art-driven approach to the process of making an animated feature film. Production Designer—Art Director, Brian P. McEntee, offers a “how to” guide for taking your idea from concept to screen while keeping visual storytelling in the driver’s seat through every stage of the production process.
Although born in San Diego, Brian P. McEntee spent most of his youth in Sunnyvale California, where his father worked in aerospace. A strong student with broad aptitudes, McEntee’s parents were dismayed when he chose a career in art where he would “starve to death.” This apprehension died after he garnered Art Direction credits on such films as “The Brave Little Toaster” (1987 BLT Ventures), “Beauty and The Beast” (1991 Disney), “Cats Don’t Dance” (1997 Turner Feature Animation), and Production Designer credit on 20th Century Fox’s, “Ice Age.”
An alumnus of California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA, McEntee started his career at Disney in 1980, training under Eric Larsen, one of the “Nine Old Men.” While working his way up the creative ladder, McEntee spent time in a variety of different departments learning every aspect of animated feature filmmaking from his elders, in story development, visual development, and pre-production to layout, character animation, character design, effects animation, and clean-up. McEntee then joined Hyperion Pictures in 1987, where he received his first Art Direction credit for the critically acclaimed “Brave Little Toaster,” now an adopted Disney classic.
McEntee returned to Disney in 1989 to help develop and then become Art Director on “Beauty and The Beast,” the only animated film to ever be nominated for a “Best Picture” Oscar™ alongside its live-action competitors. In 1993, McEntee joined Turner Feature Animation as Art Director on “Cat’s Don’t Dance,” winner of the 1997 ASIFA Annie award for Best Picture. He then returned to Disney briefly help to develop a new animated feature before leaving the West Coast to work for 20th Century Fox at Blue Sky Studios in New York in 1999 on “Ice Age.”
As Production Designer on “Ice Age,” Blue Sky’s first feature film, McEntee’s invaluable experience bought a unique and consistent look to this pre-historic era CG picture. A specialist in color design, McEntee worked hard to move the film far beyond the shades of ice and snow, utilizing a rich full palette. His work helped the film to achieve both financial and critical acclaim as well as visually inform its many equally successful sequels.
McEntee has often been a guest lecturer on the topics of story development, visual development, the use of color in storytelling, Art Direction, and Production Design for animation programs in both California and New York and writes novels, short stories and essays under the pen name, Aurelio O’Brien.