A Morning With Walt Disney Animation Studios

Posted September 22, 2023

On Sept. 22, representatives from Walt Disney Animation Studios visited Georgia Tech to describe career opportunities available with the animation filmmaking division. The event was hosted by the School of Literature, Media, and Communication in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts and Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology (IPaT).

Nicole Méndez Dial, associate manager for school relations, and Erika Becerra, senior recruiter, both from Walt Disney Animation Studios, delivered career information about Disney in a panel format with four Georgia Tech faculty members who have expertise in animation and filmmaking. Joining Dial and Becerra were:

  • John Thornton, senior academic professional and director of film and media production, Ivan Allen College.
  • Brian Magerko, professor and director of graduate studies in digital media, Ivan Allen College.
  • Maribeth Coleman, Regents' Researcher and director of research, IPaT.
  • Jay Bolter, professor and director of computational media, Ivan Allen College.

Opening remarks and introductions were delivered by Kelly Ritter, chair of the School of Literature, Media, and Communication. Clint Zeagler, co-director of strategic partnerships with IPaT, ended the event with information and closing remarks.

The discussion started with interdisciplinary collaboration and the future of work in animation and film. It ended with detailed information about animation careers with Walt Disney Animation Studios, including computer graphics, animation, visual effects, storytelling, production, and technology. Disney also stressed the importance of attending SIGGRAPH, the international Association for Computing Machinery's special interest group on computer graphics and interactive techniques, which holds a major conference each year. Dial said that Disney’s animation studios interact with the research community through global collaborations. Their publications can be found here: disneyanimation.com/publications.

Located in California, Walt Disney produced its first animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, in 1937. The studio is marking 100 years of animation filmmaking since its inception in 1923.

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Panel discussion

Pictured left to right: Clint Zeagler, Jay Bolter, Nicole Dial, Kelly Ritter, Erika Becerra, Brian Magerko, John Thornton, Maribeth Coleman

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Walter Rich