A great turnout for Disney!
We had a very special guest tonight, a SCAD animation alumni – Zach Parrish. Once a SCAD RA, he is now the Head of Animation at the Walt Disney Animation Studios in southern California.
Since graduating in 2007, Parrish has worked on various movies such as “The Hulk” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks.” He got his foot in the door with Disney after he worked on “Alice in Wonderland,” and was hired on for “Tangled.”
“It was a Disney movie,” Parrish beamed. “I got to animate ‘Prince Charming,’ for lack of a better term.” Disney gave Parrish a lot of wiggle room for the film. “They let me prove myself.” Showing the clip where Flynn and Maximus face off at the dam, Parrish recalled working on the scene.
“I didn’t have a layout. They gave it to me and said I had to make him fight the guards, fight the horse, and the horse had to knock the pan out of his hand.”
Parrish also had a hand in animating Rapunzel herself.
“A Disney princess. A Disney princess crying,” Parrish said, noting the importance of Rapunzel’s expression during Flynn’s ‘death.’ “Not every day you get to do that stuff.” With so much room for mistake in the close-up of Rapunzel’s tears, restraint was key. “Get the expression right. Get the right expression, and really, that’ll carry it through.”
After “Tangled,” Parrish was hired on for “Wreck-It-Ralph.”
“Wreck-It-Ralph was incredibly complicated,” Parrish laughed. “It had 188 original characters.” And, as an animator, it was his job to help bring them all to life. Especially Ralph. “We wanted to separate him. He’s given up on it – given up on his code.”
Playing a slideshow, Parrish showed some early concept designs for Ralph. A happy amount of 2D art could be seen, still key in the early stages even for a 3D movie. Everything from Venellope Von Sweet to the ship Ralph crashed in Sugar Rush had an original 2D counterpart.
“Flex your animation muscles as much as you can,” Parrish said. And there’s no excuse not to at Disney. “You get an idea, you get to try it out.”
That’s how Wreck-It-Ralph’s short, “Paperman,” came about. Jeff Turley, visual developer at Disney and “Paperman” creator, proposed a short clip called “Pet” he made in Maya to Disney. And while “Pet” itself wasn’t expanded upon, Turley’s coworkers agreed that the style of his clip had great potential. “That 2D/3D hybrid approach led to Paperman.”
Disney Internships were also a topic of conversation, particularly a new one called the “Apprentice Program.” It’s an internship with a three month “trainee” period, with a 3-6 month internship available immediately following trainee completion.
“You can apply anywhere from one to three years after graduation,” Turley explained. “Though we have been known to make some exceptions.”
Why wait? Apply now!