BA, Animation and Digital Arts '16
How has the School of Cinematic Arts changed your view of your discipline animation? Coming to USC I always liked animation, but it never really excited me that much. I didn’t think I had enough of a fine arts background for it. But once I started to explore different techniques after I got here, I really saw the amazing potential working in animation can give you. I came into the school strictly wanting to be a visual effects artist working on live action features. While I still do a large amount of visual effects related work, I now also create a pretty serious amount of animated content. Especially when it comes to my short films. That’s largely due to the fact that I got tired of the minutia, logistics, and costs of shooting live action that can really get in the way of making high quality, good looking comedy. Animation just allows a filmmaker to create fantastically beautiful imagery, with top notch production value, and because I’m here at USC all of the software costs are covered in my debt, I mean tuition.
What advice do you have for prospective students looking at applying to your program? If you can manage to get in, not coming to the USC School of Cinematic Arts would probably one of the biggest mistakes you could make. Not just because of the professors you'll get to work with, but more so just the amazingly talented students you get to meet and interact with from every corner of USC.
How has the School of Cinematic Arts prepared you so far for a career in animation? I have no idea how well prepared I am, but I think that’s mostly due to the fact that I don't know what my discipline is. I guess it’s some sort of animated comedy writer/director/actor. What I can say is that the work that I have done at USC has already gotten more exposure than most people dream of getting even on their thesis films, so hopefully that kind of exposure will help me find somebody who is willing to pay me.
What have been the biggest challenges for you at USC? Figuring out what I want to do with my life, and how to get there. I think I'm on the right track, and I think that's due to working very closely with professors and communicating what I am looking to get out of the program. This school will disappoint you if you come here thinking that everything will be just the way you want it to be without having to ask anyone for help, or coordinate with faculty and staff to make your experience your own.
What in your past has given you inspiration or a unique point of view that you bring to USC? I was raised on a steady diet of comedy for as long as I can remember. I would watch shows like the Comedy Central Half Hour and Saturday Night Live, and seeing theses amazing comics always made me wish that I was up on that stage telling my own jokes. I was always considered the “funny guy” growing up. Only once I came to USC did I start to believe that it could actually be a career. Fusing my love of comedy and visually stunning imagery is what I think gives me a unique voice. Also probably the fact that I'm not good with women helps, being funny is all I've got.