With an estimated $150 million budget and Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins starring, Thor is pretty much the definition of a summer blockbuster. So when Illustration alumnus David Breaux (CCAD 1994) sent us the classnote, “Last year I completed animation work on three films–Iron Man 2, Tron Legacy, and Real Steel. And I’m currently finishing up work on Thor feature film,” we had a few follow up questions.
Q.) What scared you most while you were at CCAD?
A.) Oversleeping for class. Seriously!
Q.) How long after graduation did it take you to find work in your field? What did you do to get it?
A.) It took me a while, but I left Columbus after graduation and moved back home (that may have hurt me a bit). But I did have some freelance gigs along the way.
Q.) Was there a smooth path from where you started in your field to where you are now? What helped you most along the way?
A.) Smooth? No Way. I ended up working as a sculptor for a bit, then illustrating for a textbook company, then moved into games, then commercials, then finally film. And I am still bouncing around between films, commercials, and game work. It’s all animation, but they’re somewhat different beasts.
Q.) Do you have a single piece of advice for today’s CCAD students?
A.) If you’re a commercial artist—network, network, network. Be a content creator, not just a soldier in the trenches. All the commercial artists I know out here are pitching their ideas—be it films, comic books, tv shows, etc. Everyone wants to be the creator/owner.
Q.) Do you remember a single point in your career that made you sit back and say, “This is why I do what I do.”
A.) It was amazing to see my name up on the big screen in a film, amongst the hundreds of other artists and technicians. But more often than not, I’ll be driving to or from the studio and it’ll hit me. I actually made it. It’s not easy, but somehow I made it and I’m actually here doing it.
Q.) Why was it great to be a student at CCAD in the ‘90s?
A.) CCAD seemed to be at a turning point. It was changing from what it was and beginning its expansion into the future. The Disney Internships were great to try out for. I never got accepted, but it was still fun to shoot for it.
Q.) Finish the sentence. The best class at CCAD was…
A.) Easily Mark Hazlerig’s 3D Illustration classes
Q.) My fondest CCAD memory is…
A.) A moment Mr. Hazlerig chewed me out for slacking (along with the rest of the class) then told me he thought I could do anything I put my mind to.
Breaux is the senior character animator for and owner of Silicon Riot. He has contributed his animation talents to films Speed Racer; Outlander; Night at the Museum; Garfield and Garfield 2; The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe; and Elektra as well as to a slew of video games, music videos, and commercials. Learn more on his website. Or visit his official IMDB profile.
Thor opens Friday, May 6, at theaters nationwide.
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