Dear Prospective Student,
hank you for taking time to consider making The DAVE School the start of your career in animation. On this web site, you will find a lot of detailed information about the school and its two programs. You should read it carefully. But before you do, I would like to explain a little bit about the school and why it exists.
Prior to its opening, I was an Animator and Visual Effects Supervisor at Foundation Imaging, one of the top Hollywood visual effects houses at the time. There, I also handled artist recruitment. In 1999, I personally hired over 120 animators to work on an all computer animated version of Starship Troopers. For each artist I was able to hire, I would screen dozens of unacceptable demo reels. Even the worst of them showed a great deal of effort, but a terrible lack of direction, coupled with an unrefined skill set. Even the demo reels I got from animation school graduates usually failed to demonstrate any of the qualifications most facilities need. I tried, but I could not find a school that consistently produces qualified entry level animators with practical skills in the creation of visual effects.
So I started one that does.
The DAVE School offers complete immersion in the art and science of computer animation. In my experience as an animator, producer, and recruiter, I have a unique appreciation for what it takes to succeed in this field. Working with industry colleagues from several LA based effects houses, I created lessons and exercises based on actual work assignments, designed to give you a powerful command of the current tools used in effects production. In addition, the program will strengthen your aesthetic senses and artistic development.
Although this is a relatively new field, the learning curve is getting very steep. The days of self-taught animators breaking into the business without any formal training are nearly over. Most animation jobs start at about $800 a week and go up from there. Way up! For this reason, employers expect you to perform with skill and confidence on day one, and on-the-job training is extremely rare. Practical training is now more important than ever.
Our alumni community continues to achieve more than I thought possible when we started the school 14 years ago. In 2013 the Academy nominated 5 films to compete for best visual effects Oscar award. All 5 films have DAVE School Alumni in the credits. In 2014, we have 4 out of 5 nominees and you would have a hard time finding an effects heavy TV show that doesn’t have a DAVE grad on the crew.
This year, we have taken our unique approach to visual effects training and applied it to the gaming industry. We have a new Gaming Dean and new instructors recruited right out of the industry. As I did 14 years ago, they are incorporating their experience into our cutting edge Gaming Production Program.
We are very excited about both of our programs and we invite you to join us! To schedule an admissions interview or school tour, please call our office at (407) 224-DAVE. If you want to talk about the school with me, just ask for Jeff.
Co-Founder & Executive Director