IMG_2419.jpg

 

My name is James EdWard Kennedy JR. I am a recent graduate with a Bachelors of Fine Art in Animation from the California College of the Arts in Oakland, CA. I've had an ardent passion for the production of cinema and its ability to convey compelling narratives, since being mesmerized by a PBS documentary on Jim Henson's film The Dark Crystal at age seven. It was at that young age that I informed my parents that I wanted to be part of a team that brought peoples imagination to life; to which they replied: "that's admirable." That experience allowed me a glimpse into creative viewpoints other than mine, how to process my experiences into stories, and invited me into the production world I had no clue existed.


In May of 2011, I became the first guest student accepted in CalArts Inaugural Summer Session, where I met Gary Mairs
who instructed me on the roles of crafting films. I was invited back the following year to participate in an animation class
headed by Dan Hansen and Steve Brown. It was during this time that their guidance allotted me a more precise choice
on where my to specialize my focus within the animation industry.


In January of 2015 I made the investment in myself and my dreams of becoming a member of the animation community,
by moving from Chapel Hill NC to Oakland CA; to attend college at the California College of The Arts. During my first year,
I became involved with the Animation Resource Center (ARC). I integrated my experiences at CalArts into CCA's culture
by promoting community across the departments disciplines through organizing workshop events, and services that
helped to broaden the quality of the animation productions.


This role of being a point of contact amongst my peers was an exciting point in my life, which served as a bridge into
pitching a group project for my senior thesis. I was able to discuss my creative peregrinations with vested faculty
members, studio professionals, and the chairs of the department.


In the summer of 2016, I was one of six CCA students selected to participate in the inaugural three-week workshop
Pixar@CCA Story Intensive. This workshop allowed me direct access to leadership within the production pipeline at Pixar
that stretched into my senior year, while I worked one-on-one with Jim Capobianco on structuring my role as director. We
focused on how the director must make communication a priority, ways to actively inspiring crew members, providing/
receiving status updates on production tasks, and how to give/get notes.


Since then via my school work and personal projects, I have developed my training in real-world animation production. I've
directed a group of 29 students to complete my senior thesis film, The Sunken Forest. The first time a student has had the
opportunity to structure, teach, and lead a group project in the animation department. I also took advantage of
volunteering with the GLAS Animation Film Festival in building relationships with industry professionals and furthering my
involvement in the animation community.


These opportunities allowed for real-world application of my training in weekly scheduling, managing of calendars and
scheduling of meetings, creating agendas, budgeting, how to give/get notes, and outreach on a professional level. All of
which heightened my awareness of interacting across disciplines at all levels within an organized, team-based
environment.


I bring to the table a strong knowledge of database management software, as well as skills in Adobe Creative Suite,
Shotgun, Maya, Flix, Toon Boom, Apple, Microsoft Office and Google applications. I’m a great listener, and I’m a fast
learner. I am excited to have the opportunity to contribute my animation stewardship experience and enthusiasm to the
team.


“There’s nothing harder to do in animation than nothing. Movement is our medium.”
— Milt Kahl, "The Picasso" of Walt Disney's Nine Old Men