OTT giant Netflix launched their Animation Foundation Program last year which is a four-month mentorship program, partnering with Latinx in Animation and Exceptional Minds. Then the program was run again earlier this year where they partnered with Veterans in Media and Entertainment (VME) and Illuminative to identify candidates from the Veteran and Native American / Alaskan Native communities. For the third session they will partner with Black N’ Animated.
Black N’ Animated is a community-oriented organization based in Los Angeles committed to the growth and empowerment of Black students and professionals in the animation industry. They are the home of the Black N’ Animated Podcast, hosted by Bre Williams and Waymond Singleton. They also work with local studios and organizations to provide networking opportunities and career development. Their goal is a healthy, diverse, and inclusive industry and community.
The program provides mentorships focused on art and visual development, storyboarding, CG/VFX, writing and production management. The goal of the program is to build equity and increase access for underrepresented early creatives. They will be selecting approximately 50 mentees.
Select members of Black N Animated will be invited to apply directly. Those interested can reach out and get involved with Black ‘N Animated directly to be considered.
The first session with Latinx in Animation and Exceptional Minds had 74 mentees and 19 Netflix Animation mentors. The second session of the program ran with 22 NAS mentors and 52 mentees sourced from Illuminative and VME.
Program participants were matched to a mentor from Netflix Animation Studio. Mentees received mentorship on the industry, career advice, and guidance with editing and curating professionally-styled portfolios, writing samples, or resumes, so they are prepared to apply for internships, training/apprentice programs, or entry level positions within animation.
“I loved the meetings I had both with my mentor and mentees. I really appreciated how small the group was so that we had time to go over each other’s work. Our mentor was great with critics and offered a lot of incredible knowledge. Although I would have liked to do more portfolio work, I understand that this program is meant to cover the foundations. Overall I think this was a great experience, and I would be excited if this program continued onwards! Thank you so much to both the team and mentors coordinating this project,” said Lauren Gregorio who was one of the mentees in the first session.
Where are they now: Success stories:
Session one – Latinx in Animation:
- Gabriel Vergara: development intern at Nickelodeon
- Gabriella DeJesus: CG generalist at Fuse FX
- Shutianyi Li: character designer at Marvel Studios
- Jessica Calabro: production assistant at Titmouse
- Clarissa Corral: art Intern at Warner Brothers
- Lauren Gregorio: intern at Nickelodeon
- Saige Guevara: freelance character designer at Disney TV Animation
Session two – Exceptional Minds:
- Eli Gross: internship with Dreamworks Animation
- Veronica Dolcich: character animator at Diamond Games
- Sarah Barnes: junior motion graphics artist at PPC
- Adam Schuering: media services coordinator at CBS Sports
- Becca David: production intern at Nickelodeon
- David Miles: VFX production assistant at NBC Universal
- Doron Tuvia: design intern at Mattel
- Michael Cicerelli: media coordinator with CBS Sports
- Mina McCauley: motion graphics and VFX artist at Pixelogic