Marion Strunck

Marion Strunck is ajunior animator currently working at Framestore. In January 2015 she graduated from The Animation Workshop with my Bachelorfilm “Parrot Away”


She did 3 years in university in Denmark. 1 year 2D animation and 2 years doing 3Danimation. Her university focused more on cartoon animation. During that time she discovered she preferred more realism which she made sure to add in her work. After University she applied for many different companies until she got an interview with Framestore. She got a job as junior animator and worked on the birds in Paddington bear. From then til now she has worked on different films such as Jungle Book and Fantastic beast.

She would first be briefed on the character she would be animating and shown storyboards. The blocking stage would already be done in high quality. She works with a large team that are stationed in different places and are from all around the world. She would get feed back from several supervisors

She works with large companies like Warner bros and Marvel studios so there would be alot of security involved in preventing any leaks.

Visual effects take alot of time during the process and polishing the shots. She has found she would spend about 3 months in one shot. Even though the end result is beautiful you still need alot of patience. When going into the industry it is important to know what you would like to do.

When making a reel it should reflect what you like to do, as this would give the employer an idea of your skills and what you enjoy. It is good if you can adjust your real depending on the job you or film you are applying to work for so that it relates.

In the effects position it can be a little challenging because by the time it gets to the effects team the story board and plot has already been decided so there is not alot of freedom to do any changes that you might think would benefit.

If you find an artist you admire and like their work it is good to follow up on them with social media etc. It may be good to learn how they got to there position and if it could help you.

In animation, imagination is the limit. If you have a good idea and you execute that idea people will start talking about it. This can really help getting into the industry if you put your work out there. If you have a certain style that you are really good at and is unique to you, a company may hire you for your style.

The jump from University and working in the industry was a huge difference. She felt that there was a big learning curve and she had to step up and almost force herself to learn more to keep up with the company.

When going for an interview Marion was asked if she thought companies looked for a certain aspect in you. She advised that when going for an interview it is important to know about the company and the what they have worked on. If  you can, bring it up in the interview it shows that you are passionate about that company you want to apply for.

BYOA Bring your own animation – in london it is a network meet up where you can bring your animations and show others your work.

Laura Livingstone

Today we had a skype call from Laura Livingstone all the way from San Franciso. Laura is a Los Angeles based VFX Producer and currently works at Zoic Studios overseeing VFX for Banshee (HBO/Cinemax), Arrow (CW Network/Warner Bros), The Bridge (FX), White Collar (Fox) and Flash (CW Network/Warner Bros).

Laura made the transition from physical production to post and VFX in 2009 when she took a post with Industrial, Light and Magic to work on Iron Man 2. Since then Laura has worked on a host of projects from game cinematics, commercials, TV shows to feature films such as Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Flight, Jack and Jill, That’s My Boy, Looper, Underworld Awakening, A Good Day to Die Hard.

Laura is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and a founding member of The Irish VFX & Animation Summit.

She is the Senior producer at Zerply. Even after 15 years of working in the industry she is still constantly learning.


Image Link [Accessed 3 Nov.2016]

Starting out 

Laura did a course  for 4 years doing Communications TV and Film. It was practical and had hands on experience at film making. After that she got an intern in DAT job working in documentaries and film work. She was able to travel all around Europe and gain experience. She felt that she was missing out on film and production. She had been working on about 10 different projects and after 2 years they did not go anywhere. She moved out to San Francisco and realised that post production was the best way to go even though she had no experience, so she started working all over again and became an intern. She got a job doing post production for Iron man 2 where she met Greg. She felt that she benefited being in the animation department and was able to see the different aspects and learnt on the job. She felt that being an intern she was able to be in the same room with all these award winning talented people and was able to see how they worked.

Laura spoke about the pipeline and how communication is past through the company when working on a programme or film. Alot of what she does is problem solving and making sure all the artists are happy and communications are going well. They are very limited with time and it is very important to be fully aware of any issues as soon as possible to correct the problem. “Producers do not like surprises”.

For project management she uses NIM Studio management which is a new program.



  • Industry awareness – Know what everyone is doing and what they are up to. What programs are they using.
  • When applying for job have a knowledge about the company and look up what they do so that you could mention it in interviews.
  • In terms of resume try to get any experiences or mentoring.
  • Networking. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and surround yourself with other people in the industry.
  • Know your stuff and be familiar with current trends.
  • Do not be afraid of rejection.

Carlos Huante

In our lecture today we got a Skype call from Carlos Huante all the way from Los Angeles. He is a character designer for film and animation and has been working in the industry for the last 30 years. He has worked with many famous directors such as Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg and Tim Burton. He brings character ideas to life with his drawings in both digital features and live action.


Image link

Studios he has worked for include Disney, Dreamworks, Warner Brother and Industrial light & Magic. He has worked on television shows, games and Makeup and EFX aswell as so many well known movies such as:

  • Prometheus
  • Men and Black Movies
  • The Mummy movies
  • War of the worlds
  • Mighty Joe Young
  • Signs
  • Planet of the Apes
  • Van Helsing
  • Shrek
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • X-men
  • Batman Forever
  • The Grinch
  • Alien 4
  • Jumanji

During Carlos school years he didn’t really have a plan of what to do for his future careers. He did not go to further education because he did not have the money. He found he was very art competitive with himself. When he left high school he joined an art college but he found that they were not that good and he looked for more of a challenge. He started Life drawing and met someone that got him a job as a running. He did layout for a short time but he found he was not good at it. He then got a job in Ruby Spears working on the Chipmunks and designed the characters. At the age of 20 he got a job working on the likes of ghost busters and never looked back, he knew that it was exactly what he wanted to do.

He found that he was able to progress in his career by networking, meeting people through other people. This was how he got his first full time gigs when he was only starting out.


Carlos talked about his process in creating a character. He would get the script a week before he starts. He likes to get a really good description of the character before he starts to draw. There is a completely different approach depending on the character he is designing, like are the CGI or are they make up? There must be some sort of structure for you to be creative in. He must bare in mind the time scale he has to create the character (which is not alot of time).

Researching Gerard Dunleavy

Update: Skype call never happened because Gerard was unwell. Hopefully he will arrange another time, would be interesting to hear what he has to say.

In our next Lecture we will be getting a Skype call from Gerard Dunleavy, a professional Concept artist and Matte Painter. We will have the opportunity to ask him questions on his projects and his experiences. So before we have the talk we need to know a little bit about him and prepare questions.


So the first thing I wanted to know was what exactly is Matte Painting???

“A digital matte artist, or digital matte painter (DMP), is today’s modern form of a traditional matte painter in the entertainment industry. He or she digitally paints photo-realistic interior and exterior environments that could not have been otherwise created or visited.” wikipedia Reference 

Video below gives breakdowns on Matte Painting I could not find Gerard Dunleavy’s showreel to see his breakdowns which would have been interesting.

I had seen some of his art work on his website and thought they looked modelled. Turns out he digitally painted them! These are insanely good.



He has worked on alot of well known movies such as Thor and Godzilla. He has also worked on adverts like SKY and Honda and Virgin Atlantic. He is a extremely talented artist. In the Skype call I think I would like to know his back story and how he got into doing concept art. What sort of inspirations he had with other artists when he was younger and how long exactly has he been doing digital art. I may ask him if he has ever done traditional Matte painting ( painting on glass) and what he thinks of the difference. Other questions could be if he prefers working in a movie environment or adverts.

Greg Maguire

In our lecture today Greg gave us a talk about his experiences throughout the years in the industry and the projects he has worked on.

After high school Greg studied Foundation Art in Rupert Stanley College then went on to do BA Hons Design in the University of Ulster. After uni he did placement in DBA (David Barker) Television where he did their invoices and created front covers for them. He also got into doing poster boarding. After working on some commercials and poster boarding he decided he wanted to do more.

After making his first showreel he applied for a job in Don Bluth in Dublin where he worked for four years. He worked on the likes of Tron and Thumbalina.  He then went to work in Colossal Pictures in San Francisco. He was then head hunted to work  in Walt Disney Feature Animation in Los Angeles as a Technical adviser and worked Dinosaurs (2000)

He worked on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, working on the dementors and their floating robes. They did alot of underwater experiments with cloth floating, then have the recording go back and forth. The brief for their robes was that it was also searching for the victim aswell as the creature.

Lucasfilm Animation– Skywalker Ranch- Singapore

He made his own company called Zoogloo and created animations like Happy feet, Where the Wild Things Are and Thundercats. He worked here for two years but found handling finances difficult. After two years he went back to ILM Industrial Light and Magic and worked on Avatar.

He has now started another company here in Belfast

Naill Carlin – Double Jump

Today we had a talk from Naill Carlin who is the owner of Double Jump. Double Jump is based in Belfast and is a Motion Graphics company. They take client jobs and work using the likes of:

  • 3D Animation
  • Visual Effects
  • Video Production
  • Motion Graphics

Below is the showreel for Double Jump:

Naill Carlin talks  about how we are the lucky generation because we have so many things that the last generation did not, such as the internet and software. The likes of cameras, design and 3D software, computers and other equipment is not hard to come by now. This can make it difficult for people to stand out as everyone has the same equipment. What we have to think about is that anything is possible and that we must keep trying to think of something different and what has never been done before, be original.

Learn the Hard ship – take the time to learn skills. You need someone that you look up to and compare you work with. Try and get to their high level of work.

Practice everyday! Ask for critique from other people and be comfortable with showing your work, then you can move forward. Criticism is good, if you cant hack it it isn’t the job for you.


Employers will need their stuff by a certain time. Deadlines are serious in the industry, if you can not make the deadline you will let them down. This would go against your reputation and you will lose clients. Time management is very important to follow in every project, especially when working in teams to make sure everyone is up to date. In a business time is money.

Always ask WHY not HOW 

If you ask how something is done you will only see how that particular thing was done. IF you ask why you will actually learn the reason behind it and better understand it, then you can add you own print to it.

Don’t be the best 

If you are the best or more skilled in the project or company you will find yourself not learning more things. You need to be able to constantly learn more and sometimes you need to go to different places and learn new skills from different people. Put yourself in intelligent places to learn.