Show 31* – Disney Talent Development Alumni (*Animation Mentor Exclusive)

Disney Training Program

“You learn everything from every production that you’re on, even if it’s, you know, a commercial that lasts three weeks. You learn something from it.”

It’s finally here – my exclusive podcast for Animation Mentor! It marks a few firsts: my first podcast in over a year; my first roundtable with five guests; my first women guests! Since this is an exclusive, you’ll need to head over to Animation Mentor to listen and download the show. My focus for this show was to grab five artists at Disney who recently went through the Talent Development Program at Disney and talk about how they got there and what it’s like to work at the studio. My guests include Story Artist Jeremy Spears, Visual Development Artist Lorelay Bove, Rough Inbetweener/Jack of all Trades Joe Pitt, 2D Animator Sarah Airriess, and CG Animator (and Animation Mentor alumni) Kira Lehtomaki. Please leave your comments and feedback on this this post. I’d love to hear what you think.

53 Comments on “Show 31* – Disney Talent Development Alumni (*Animation Mentor Exclusive)

  1. Wow, that was really interesting and entertaining! Thank you very much. I love the anecdote about Andreas watching youtube videos πŸ™‚

    I can’t believe it’s been so long since the last one, but then, that’s probably because I listen to the other ones so often it’s like they never stopped.

  2. That was some helpful stuff. Thank you very much. I think one of the most encouraging things about it was the atmosphere I heard between just these students. They all seem to be able to have a good time and be dedicated to their work.

    I love the encouragements they all gave and hope to see ALOT of GREAT stuff from them in the future.

    To be able to listen to this stuff and take notes is such a gift. I just found out about this site about a week ago. It is pretty funny that I happened to be on for the first time you posted a podcast this year LOL

    Have a great time Clay and hope to hear more soon πŸ™‚

  3. A great return to the podcast Clay. I’ve missed it and can’t believe it’s been so long since the last one (Hey I’ve been listening since the beginning).

    This was a really interesting dynamic, a group of enthusiastic young people working hard for their dream jobs. Very refreshing, also very cool to hear your experiences when you were in their position.

    The interviewee’s all really played well off each other and brought a completely different point of view to the table, arguably as inspiring as podcasts from the industry veterans.

    Hopefully the next podcast won’t be more than a few months away?

  4. Haha about time we got another one of these πŸ˜›
    Sounds intriguing.

    *downloads and puts on ipod*

  5. Thanks Clay,
    And thanks to all the interviewees. I had fun listening to this one. Keep em comming. Hooray!

  6. Still in the middle of listening, great so far, but can anyone tell me who is who? I’m trying to put the faces to the voices and I just cant do it. I think I have an idea on two of them, but Im not going on anything other than a hunch.

  7. Kyle, I listed their names in the order of the photo, starting with Jeremy on the left.

  8. welcome back Clay. Great show, very inspiring to us aspiring animators! Keep it up.

  9. nearly missed this as it didn’t show up in my itunes πŸ™

  10. If this is the future of Disney animation , the company is in trouble. To hear one on the girls state she did not even know what a portfolio was when she decided to go to art school is absoulately shocking. the annoying giggling about how little they really know , is frustrating. There are so many artists trying to get in to a company like Disney , and they are jumped in line by a bunch a rich kids who could afford Cal Arts is a travesty to the Disney name.

    I hope the talent dept picks up on the their uselessness and drops them soon as possible. Hopefully the studio can get some real artists at the studio.

  11. Michael, listen again to the podcast and they all state which schools they went to. Not all of them went to CalArts.

    And recommend you do a google search of each name and you will find examples of their work and their resumes.

    They earned their positions. The same opportunities are available to everyone else, it’s an open door to talent.

    Agree to disagree, nothing odd with giggling in my opinion.:) Adds even more character to the casual atmosphere of the interview.:)

  12. Great stuff! I didn’t even know Disney had a training program anymore. I thought they just had the internship.

  13. Great interview. Although I was expecting a podcasting featuring an animator we’d all love to hear (I’m praying for a Richard Williams interview). But thanks anyways and keep up the good work.

  14. Definitely one of my favorite interviews! Lol am I the only one who identifies with Kira Lehtomaki for being an animator in a Computer Science major?

  15. I might have been too harsh in my previous post, checked out their portfolios and they do have skills. I guess I must be listening too much to the political hype.

    keep up the good work on this valuable informative sight.

  16. Hi Clay! Long time listener first time poster. I’ve found all your podcasts to be incredibly insightful and entertaining but this one has to be my all time favourite, thanks so much for getting all these creative young people together to chat! SO inspiring (and really funny). The advice everyone gave at the end was also wonderful to hear πŸ™‚
    Thanks again for a great podcast!

  17. Great show clay! will this show be on itunes? It would be great as I can add it to my ipod.

    thanks all the best


  18. Awesome show clay, It was great to have a different group of people interviewed, both in terms of their age and stages in their careers.

    Loved it.

    Thanks man.

  19. Nice job, Clay, and welcome back (I understand the delays, since I haven’t touched my blog for months until last week). I’m going to make sure to recommend the podcast to all my AM students — it’ll be very inspiring for them to hear from people who were so recently trying to break in.

  20. Very good podcast. Good to hear from some of the new talent.

    btw, I’m starting Animation Mentor in the Winter! I’m very excited! Sounds like a great school!

  21. Awesome πŸ™‚

    i’m really liking the view from someone who isnt an eric goldberg, glen keane etc..

    its really cool to hear what they think.

    keep it up, maybe we’ll have another podcast soon?
    maybe you could put up that nik rainieri one πŸ™‚

    thanks a bunch, awesome job

  22. Yay for a new episode. This was quite an interesting podcast to listen to, and I agree with the others, that it was nice to get a different point of view!
    Hope the next podcast will come soon πŸ˜€


  23. Hello Clay,

    What a great surprise this was! I found your new show while searching about the Talent Development Program on the net.

    Thanks for taking the time to make all these interviews happen and share them with world. This latest one has to be one of my favourites, very insightful and inspiring (especially the comments at the end.) Very funny as well.


  24. Hello Clay,

    I just want to start out by saying that i love the interviews. I have a deep passion for disney hand drawn
    animation and it has been very inspiring to listen to some of the greats talk about their lives as Disney Animators.

    I have a question about getting started in learning the 2d animation process. I have previously completed a 3d animation program and am looking to explore hand drawn animation. What would you tell an inspiring animator to begin that wanted to learn and break into 2d animation? Animation is a labor of love for me and i understand how intensive it can be.

    Again thank you for the interviews, especially the one with Glen Keane, his work is amazing. Thanks for all that you do with this site.


  25. I a bit of a newcomer to the animation podcast, but this was the first one I discovered. I just want to thank you all for all the amazing insight into the industry. Being someone who would love to work at a place like Disney, this is by far one of the most useful resources I’ve come across so far.

    I do have a question though: what scene was it that Sarah (I believe it was Sarah) got back into Frog? I don’t know if you’re allowed to say, but I just saw Princess and the Frog when it opened, and I am dying to know!

    Keep up the amazing work Clay!

    Thanks again,

  26. I was surprised that no one mentioned ToonBoom. I’d really like to hear more about implementation of the ToonBoom pipeline. I’ve played with ToonBoom Studio a bit and really like it. Are animators drawing on paper or tablets? How has it changed the process? Pros and cons?

    Love the show! I’ve listened to all of them. It’s are real treasure. Anyone reading that has not checked out Eric Goldberg’s book, go get it now! I just finished it, and it’s amazing. I’ll be rereading it many times in the future.

    Thanks for all your work, Clay!

  27. That was really fun and inspiring! Really nice of everyone to share their early experiences with us
    Looking forward to the next podcast πŸ™‚


  28. Wow, i really enjoyed listeting to this =]
    i am a junior in high school and i just recently started looking into animation, im really excited about it
    its inspiring hearing from younger people in the studio talk about advise and whatnot

  29. Hello,this is Delaine Brilowski,just identified your Blog on google and i must say this blog is great.may I share some of the article found in the web site to my local friends?i am not sure and what you think?anyhow,Many thanks!

  30. its inspiring hearing from younger people in the studio talk about advise and whatnot.
    Love the show! I’ve listened to all of them. It’s are real treasure. Anyone reading that has not checked out Eric Goldberg’s book, go get it now! I just finished it, and it’s amazing.

  31. Hello! Hope everything is going well!
    Will there be another podcast coming up sometime?
    I used to love listening to these and still do.

    Hope everything is going well and to let you know that everyone really appreciates you doing these whilst working so hard at your job.


  32. This was a great podcast. I heard it about 3 times so far and it has opened my artist eye more and given me a greater exposure to what to except if wen I work in the animation industry. Thanks Clay!

  33. Great show clay! We miss the animation podcasts!!!!

  34. Hey Clay,
    Just wanted to say hello and thank you for doing a really great job with the podcast and thanks to all the guys for sitting down for them. i am always going back and listening to them over and over. Would be cool to see you back again sometime. Hope you’re well. mwap mwap.

  35. Hi Clay
    as usual fantastic podcast, informative and entertaining πŸ™‚

    however like the rest of your audience, am really missing your new podcasts, when do you think you will be restarting..

    something about TANGLED for starters would be great
    kind regards Elizabeth, NZ

  36. I’ve already seen thousands of websites and all of them contain similar complex information which has nothing in common with reality. You let me find the point in it and that’s what I really was looking for. I add you to my favorites!

  37. We miss you Clay! We have some big animation tasks coming up at Zynga and we usually put on the Animation Podcast for motivation. We’ve heard all of the existing ones to the point where we can recite them verbatim.

    I know they are a lot of work on you side, but they are a huge inspiration to countless animators out there. Looking forward to hearing some new interviews if you can get to them.

  38. This was an amazing podcast!!! So informative and eye opening. I just found all of this so I never knew there was such a break in between posts but please keep them coming! Definitely loving it!

  39. I can’t seem to find anywhere to download this, only a crappy flash player. Anywhere I can get the MP3 to put on my phone so I can listen to it on my bike?

  40. This was a really interesting dynamic, a group of enthusiastic young people working hard for their dream jobs. Very refreshing, also very cool to hear your experiences when you were in their position.

  41. Yeah, is there a way we could still have access to this podcast? The link is broken (as Leander mentioned above), and it sounds really interesting! Thank you for providing these great resources and podcasts to us :)!