Studio Testimonials

Michael Attardi

Dream Balloon Animation, Director/ ProducerDream Balloon Animation studios highly endorses has been working with the D.A.V.E. school since 2007. Although the D.A.V.E. school considered a higher education facility, their commitment of excellence in the professional sector is unmatched at their level. With an award-winning animation staff and instructors, the D.A.V.E school is surpassing their local and national competition in the field of CGI-animation special effects. I have personally had the privileged to work with over a two dozen D.A.V.E. school graduates, who were well trained and schooled in the field of animation and special effects. At Dream Balloon Animation, we look for the next D.A.V.E. school graduate who understands and can operate the ever-changing technology that has pushed this medium in the heart of Hollywood. Right after our successful animation short project, several D.A.V.E. school graduates went to work for James Cameron on Avatar. What more can I say about a school that has surpassed everyone’s expectations.

Aaron Punga

Electronic Arts, Tiburon, Sr. Character AnimatorI’ve been going through and adding all of the turn and stop animations to our project and I just wanted to compliment the quality of the work you guys have done. The attention to detail on the fingers and ball is fantastic, and I wanted you and your team to know that it is really appreciated. Tagging up all of these anims has given me a lot of time to really focus on the detailed action going on in the hands and I am continually impressed, animation after animation with how precise they are.

Tom Bremer

Visual Cue Studios, OwnerWorking with the recent DAVE grads on MSNBC’s “Why Planes Crash” has been a great experience. The quality of their work and overall preparedness was really amazing.

Graduate Testimonials

Dean Lewandowski

Dean Lewandowski

Weta Digital”I was creating much better work one month into attending the Dave School than I had in the 5 years at University. Thanks to the DAVE School and to the help and guidance of William Vaughan, one month after graduation I was hired as an artist on Avatar. Six months later, I was promoted to a lead artist and was on the production for over 3 years. Since then, I have worked on two dozen movies and recently returned from a two and a half year stint in New Zealand working at WETA. None of that would have been possible if not for the DAVE School. I owe everything to the school.”Richard Aponte

Richard Aponte

Nuke Compositor at DIVE”I think that the Dave School is one of the top VFX programs not only in the country but the world. The biggest advantage that separates Dave School from its competitors is that you learn what is pretty close to a real Visual Effects studio pipeline. Everything, from art direction, supervision, training, dailies, rendering, deadlines, files structuring, networking, feels a lot like what a graduate is going to find out there in any VFX house. So a graduate can pretty much hit the ground running with little training and adapt to a new pipeline, every studio has a different pipeline but in essence they all share similar elements.”Amy Chen

Amy Chen

Animator at Gamesim”I am so happy that I made the decision to go to Dave school. During my time there, I was able to learn everything from modeling, texturing, animation, rigging, to lighting, compositing and rendering. Most importantly, they taught us how to problem solve and adapt quickly to any 3D software. They packed a lot of information into my brain in one year, and after I graduated, I got a job as an animator for a game company. Right away, I was able to work on a triple A titled game. I’ve been working there for a year now and I love it. I now have EA sports NBA Live and Madden under my belt.”Sean Fitzsimmons

Sean Fitzsimmons

Animation/Mocap at Monolith Productions”When I first made the decision to attend the DAVE School, I was worried that it would be too difficult to find my place in this industry. I bit the bullet however and jumped in with both feet. I didn\u2019t know how realistic these goals were, but they were what I wanted. After I graduated, a guest speaker came to the next class, and I was able to sit in on the lecture. He was an animator from Monolith Productions, a game company I had always admired. His animations and lecture were inspiring and I decided that I wanted to pursue animation as my focus. I was able to keep in contact with him and 2 years after I graduated, he offered me a job at Monolith. I started my career as was excited to find out the weather averaged out to around 6o degrees year round. A year later, I had a brand new car, and my top 3 goals were complete. I don\u2019t think I could have completed them as fast I did without the Jeff, the Instructors, their expertise, and the connections they all had in the industry. I\u2019ve been at Monolith 4 years, and can honestly say that going to the DAVE school was the best decision I ever made.”Víctor Rivera

Víctor Rivera

Going back now to June 2012, when I became a student of The Dave School, I didn`t realise I was gonna end up having the opportunities I`m having now because of my work. I find myself now working in the film industry, as a 3D generalist, with two big titles already in my curriculum: “The Expendables 3” and “The legend of Hercules” I must thank so much to everyone in the school that taught me everything I know nowadays, from every teacher to every single TA, because that’s the reason why I’m here. The year at the school has been, without a doubt, the most intense and enriching experience, and it had it’s result: my first job right after graduation.

Tom Bremer

After leaving the school in 2004, I went on to multiple industry jobs working on everything from commercials and TV shows to video games and film. And now, after only a short time in the industry, I got into one of the biggest VFX houses in L.A., Zoic Studios, and I have won my first Prime Time Emmy Award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Series for work I’ve done on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation! So, I just wanted to say thanks for creating the school and giving me a chance (and skills) to get into the biz!Shawn Ewashko

Shawn Ewashko

I am very excited to begin working on Steven Spielberg’s “Terra Nova” I wanted to take a minute to thank you again as well as Steve Warner and the DAVE School instructors and staff. I cant believe that it was only a short year ago that I had begun classes at the DAVE School. I would have never imagined I would be where I am now. I cant thank you and the DAVE School enough for the continued support guidance.Rustin Devendorf

Rustin Devendorf

We just had the release of Transformers 3, the first project several DAVE School grads and myself had the privilage of working on at Digital Domain Media Group. Everyone here is really cool and fun to work with. Thanks to everything I learned at DAVE School I was able to pick up their custom software quickly and hit the production floor running. The stereoscopic experience I got working on the award winning Solo Adventures class project helped a great deal. I also wanted to thank you again for everything you did to help make this job happen for me. You’ll be seeing a shiney new Transformer for your shelf soon.Marcos de Barros

Marcos de Barros

PixomondoI consider myself very lucky! Lucky because I made the best choice of my life, which was to go to DAVE SCHOOL. After one year there, I’ve learned everything that I should know to become a professional in the movie industry. Besides that, I made wonderful friends and now some of them are my fella professionals. I graduated in December 2010 and thanks to Dave School, I had a job in February 2011 as a CG Modeler at Pixomondo VFX House, in Santa Monica,CA. My very first movie I worked on was The Green Lantern, and at the time I didn’t realize that was just the beginning of a great career. Right after Green lantern, I worked on Journey 2: Mystery Island, and the fact that I had all my skills up and running, more movies where about to come. In July 2011 I’ve started working on HUGO, by Martin Scorcese. I couldn’t believe that I was selected to work on this movie. My life changed so much and I owe everything to DAVE SCHOOL. They gave me more then a dream. They gave me an amazing reality. Today I’m still working at Pixomondo, and I’m working on Spider Man! I feel that my company really trusts my skills as an artist,and all that, I’ve learned in one year, at the DAVE SCHOOL!!!!Brian Mullen

Brian Mullen

3D Artist at Stargate StudiosThanks for all your help getting into Stereo D when I got out of school. Landing that first vfx job was scary but it actually ended up happening pretty quickly! When my time working on Avengers started to come to a close, I applied for a job at Stargate Studios as a 3D Artist and I got the job! Just started this week and I’m working with some of the best artists in the industry! From what I’ve gathered so far, I’m working with at least 4 VES Award winners and at least 1 Emmy award nominee! I’m working on a couple of tv pilots, including one epic fantasy show. They brought me in to this studio because they thought I could help out in a variety of ways and I have DAVE School to thank for giving me the opportunity to develop a wide array of skills. When I decided to go back to school, I had no idea that a year later I would have had my work featured in a magazine ad and would have been part of a team that was nominated for a Visual Effects Society Award. Crazy year! Thanks so much for everything and I’ll keep you posted on my future endeavors!

Student Testimonials

Tanner C. Bartlett

“Being a part of a production is the most fun I’ve had at the DAVE School. At the beginning of the block you’re thrown right into the frying pan, and it’s all systems go from there. The environment our instructor Matt Killian created for “Creature Comforts: The Lost Episode” is fun, creative, and collaborative. He is very passionate about what he does and he wants our film to be the best it can possibly be and is willing to let us pitch in our own ideas for the film. Having the ability to pitch an idea with the opportunity for it to be used in the film is really satisfying. Every aspect of the pipeline is enjoyable and we’re always challenged to push our work to the next level. Working with a team can be a challenge, but when you come up with something awesome together it is very rewarding. Having experience working in a real production pipeline will definitely be a great asset to have when it comes time to find a job in the industry. Really and truly, I couldn’t be happier with my experience in Block 4.”

Jacob S. Coy

“Block 3 is where I really started to see all of the great things I learned at the Digital animation and Visual Effects School start to come together. I found it inspiring to learn about all of the VFX artist that were pioneers for our industry, those who paved the way for all of the beautiful things we get to do today. The course itself really pushed me as an artist and helped me to focus on the subtleties that really make for a great final shot and for that I am grateful for the experience.”

Maria Dorta

“With each new project we are push to the max. As the weeks go by you realize that you are increasing your abilities to attack every assignment, they motivate you to challenge yourself and to give your best.”

Matt Graham

“My experience at the DAVE School has been nothing short of outstanding. From the attentive and informative instructors and staff, to the interesting and challenging projects. The curriculum is intense and students dive head first into many daunting projects. However, I feel that the fast pace and constantly increasing difficulty helps to quickly and effectively cultivate a skill set that can meet industry standards. The DAVE School has definitely surpassed my expectations, and I feel that I will be well prepared to enter this competitive industry.”

Jason Goldwine

“I came to The DAVE School with no prior 3D experience and after only three months of study, I can already tell that the School is teaching me the skills I need to achieve my goals. The faculty expects students to work at a professional level from day one. Through this approach, we not only become better artists, we are also being prepared for the real world challenges that come with our new careers.”Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson

“Daniel Smith is one of the best instructors I’ve ever had. He will teach you more about VFX production in 3 months than any college could in a year. His course gave me both the skills and confidence I need to pursue professional-level work in the entertainment industry.”Sandra Ross

Sandra Ross

“The DAVE School has a rigorous work schedule that aptly prepares you for the industry you’re about to embark upon. Showing how communication, strong work ethics and the ability to adapt to change are key to being successful in an industry where problem solving is vital. These fundamentals are shown through the leadership of our instructors each day, and it has been a pleasure to have learned from such talented artists in our industry.”Alex Rideout

Alex Rideout

“I have learned so many immensely useful things in block 3; many of which were concepts or ideas that I have been interested in for quite a while. Not only have I gained a wealth of knowledge, but the content is presented in a very entertaining and intelligent way that both makes sense and is fun to learn. The fact that new information is given more as broad concepts instead of specific details allows us to build more of a way of thinking and problem solving than a simple follow these steps to make shit happen approach. The class is fun and engaging and I feel like I will leave well prepared to take the next step beyond school.”Eric Ho

Eric Ho

“I’m really enjoying Block 3 because we get to explore the concepts and utilities of how visual effect movies are made. The curriculum is very smartly implemented as each week progresses with more and more material that builds off the previous weeks. Block 3 is also just fun to be in because of the open discussions about movies, games, and entertainment in general. Which is what brought many of us to this school in the first place. Dan’s passion for these subjects shows in his teaching and we, as students, are better because of it.”Davy Maxwell

Davy Maxwell

Davy: “Hi my name’s Davy Maxwell and I’m addicted to block 3.”
Group: “Hi Davy”
Davy: “I’ve been an addict for 6 weeks now. I try not to enjoy it so much, but I can’t help it. Every class is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. I wish I could stop, but there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to. First there was Nuke, a program that made me think I was drowning in visual brilliance, in the iridescent glory of color and light. I never knew light could go so far. Then there was PFtrack, the most simple but fun way to spend my weeknights. Then came Mocha, and oh my god, were my eyes opened to the wander of recreation. I will never again believe what I see on screen. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m addicted to Block 3 and I like it. No, I love it.

Featured Staff Member

Tom Bremer - Instructor DAVE 401

Tom Bremer

Tom Bremer started his artistic career more than 10 years ago as a hobby, and quickly realized his potential. After moving to Los Angeles in 2007, he has worked with many studios including Rhythm and Hues, Disney, Motion Theory, and