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The Creative Minds Behind Megamind

Title: The Creative Minds Behind Megamind
Sponsored by The Creative Talent Network
Length: 45 min

Moderated by: Frank Gladstone has been working as a professional animator, producer, director, writer and teacher for nearly 35 years. From 1973 to 1989, he managed his own Emmy award-winning studio, Persistence of Vision, producing commercials and educational films, and has since held management positions for Disney, Warner Brothers and DreamWorks, among others. Some of his feature film credits include the DreamWorks productions of THE ROAD TO ELDORADO, SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON, SINBAD: LEGEND OF THE SEVEN SEAS, and SHARK TALE. Prior to his tenure at DreamWorks, Mr. Gladstone was a producer at Warner Bros. Feature Animation and manager of training at Walt Disney Feature Animation, where he was instrumental at recruiting and setting up training programs for Disney’s Orlando and Paris studios. While there, he worked with the production teams on RESCUERS DOWN UNDER, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, ALADDIN, THE LION KING, POCAHONTAS and MULAN. Additionally, Mr. Gladstone has been actively involved in bringing independent animated projects such as MILLENNIUM ACTRESS and GHOST IN THE SHELL II: INNOCENCE to North American audiences. Frank’s most recent credit is IDT Entertainment’s feature, EVERYONE’S HERO.

Frank is currently the CEO of his own company, Gladstone Film, Inc., producing and directing animated projects, consulting on animation processes, filmmaking skills and story structure at major studios worldwide. Additionally, Frank continues to teach about animation, film history, production techniques and cinematic fundamentals at secondary schools, colleges and professional guilds across North America, in Europe, Asia and the Caribbean.

Philippe Denis is based at PDI/DreamWorks in Redwood City and most recently served as visual effects supervisor on DWA’s November 2010 release “Megamind”. Prior to this, he acted as the remote visual effects supervisor on DWA feature films “Shrek the Third” and “Over the Hedge.”
Philippe first served as a lighter for the studio’s first CG animated feature, “Antz.”  He then moved on to light on the Academy Award®-winning animated feature “Shrek.”  Additionally, he has served as a lead lighter for the blockbuster sequel “Shrek 2,” and as a CG supervisor on 2005’s “Madagascar.”
Apart from feature animation, Philippe has worked on special effects for such live-action movies as: “Forces of Nature,” “Evolution” and “Minority Report.”
Before joining PDI/DreamWorks, Philippe worked as Technical Director at LBO in Brussels, Belgium.  He holds a technical diploma (BTS) in Mechanical Engineering from Lycee Louis Armand, Nogent sur Marne, France.  Philippe is a native of France.  He was born in Toulon and raised in St. Benoit Des Ondes, France.

David James just wrapped on the November 2010 DreamWorks Animation feature release, “Megamind.” David also has served as production designer on the animated comedy “Flushed Away.” He established his DreamWorks career as a sequence design artist on “The Road to El Dorado” and as a layout artist on “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.”  Following those animated features, James worked as an art director on the animated adventure “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas.” He has worked in contributing to the look of many DreamWorks Animation features, including “Over the Hedge.”
Prior to joining DreamWorks, James served as an art supervisor for Sony Pictures’ Children’s Television Animation.
In addition to his work at DreamWorks, James has taught a perspective drawing class—as well as a class of his own design, called visual development—at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.

Damon Riesberg (Coming Soon)

Jason Schleifer has juggled multiple responsibilities since joining DWA in 2003.   In addition to leading a team of sixty character animators on “Megamind”, Schleifer has also collaborated with the character rigging department in testing and providing feedback for new rigs, which can be seen in the hit film “Madagascar,” “The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper,” “Over the Hedge” and “Shrek the Third.”  He also served as supervising animator on “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.”
Prior to his career at PDI/DreamWorks, Schleifer had extensive involvement at Weta Digital beginning as a creature technical director and later promoted to an animation lead while making the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. In his free time, Schleifer has developed training DVDs for creating animation rigs, as well as being a co-author and co-presenter in a SIGGRAPH 2002 course on character rigging.
Schleifer has a B.A. in High Honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He also received an Honorary Doctorate of Animation from the Digital Media Arts College in Boca Raton, Florida.

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