As a young boy, Andrew Martin grew up watching “VeggieTales.” Who would have known the lessons taught by Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber would one day leave an impression both morally and occupationally on him.
Early on, he wondered how these movies were made and how the characters were brought to life. He did some research and taught himself the mechanics and functionality of computers. His studies at Huntington University as an animation and computer science major then gave him the technical skills and the means to succeed in the field.
Now, he works at DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. as a technical resource administrator, also known as a render wrangler. Animators send him their animations, and Martin, alongside the rest of the DreamWorks staff, brings those characters to the big screen through a system made up of thousands of computers.
“I love a good story so I decided to take my passions and apply them toward my career goals,” said Martin, a 2011 HU graduate. “So far, I’d say animation has been a good fit for me. I’ve been told I’m going to start working on DreamWorks Animation’s next film, ‘Madagascar 3.’ I think reality will set in once I go to a theater and see my name in the credits.”
Back in June, Martin found the position while browsing through different studio websites. He applied for the job, and then, all he could do was wait.
“I didn’t end up hearing anything until August when I learned my professor sent DreamWorks a recommendation on my behalf,” he said. “He had a contact who worked there and helped me get my foot in the door.”
Three weeks later, they asked him to pack his bags and move out to California. And had it not been for the networking with professors, preparation from the HU animation department and the opportunity to conduct his own independent study on render management, Martin does not think he would have landed the position at DreamWorks.
“My professors made sure I was on the right track,” he said. “My computer science classes taught me the specifics of computers and how to utilize those to their full capacity in the animation studio.”
During his first day of work, Martin realized the DreamWorks position is the dream job he always wanted.
“The fringe benefits are amazing, the animation process is a collaborative effort, people eat their lunch together and it’s a light-hearted environment,” he said. “I’m going to be spoiled by this.”
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