Alumnus creates the beasts in Hollywood

Illustration, David posing with friend behind movie prop motor cycle outside of a restaurant at night

David Breaux (left) standing with his Megaforce MK4 Motorcycle, part of his extensive movie prop collection

David Breaux (CCAD 1994) had a busy year on the Hollywood animation scene. Recently he has been working with international visual effects company Pixmondo, and worked on such well-known films and television shows as Terra Nova, Hunger Games, Tron: Legacy, and Iron Man 2.

The Illustration alumnus was a senior animator on the FOX television series Terra Nova, produced by Steven Spielberg, which won a Visual Effects Society (VES) award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Series.

“We averaged about two to three weeks per episode for our schedule,” Breaux said of his time developing the characters, which, in this case, included dinosaurs.

Breaux's work as a freelancer means he relies heavily on the success of a show. When Terra Nova was not picked up for a second season, it left Breaux and other designers temporarily out of work.

“If a show is cancelled it can have a huge impact,” Breaux said. “We [animators] can be out of work for three or five months because of the hole that was created in our schedule. In the animation business, companies cannot afford to float people for too long waiting for another show."

To fill the gaps, Breaux works on smaller projects, including some weekend work for the television show Grimm. He also is an instructor at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects.

For Hunger Games, Breaux spent months working on the tracker jackers, which fans of the books and movie will remember as the genetically engineered wasps. All the work had to be hand keyed, which meant that he spent hours developing details such as their movement, their speed, and the hive.

“My time at CCAD gave me a broad education, though, and it has helped me be flexible when it comes to work,” Breaux said. “Most of the time I focus on formatting, but I can also work on models and do some design work.”

Breaux is currently working on Die Hard 5: A Good Day to Die Hard, starring Bruce Willis, which is scheduled for release in 2013.