Tell us about yourself!
Hi, I’m Michael Castellon! I’m a senior pursuing 3D character animation and story. My biggest passion is telling stories that excite and inspire, and I think animation is the best medium for doing so. I’m also the President of the Animation Organization this year.
What area of animation do you enjoy the most and why?
The storytelling potential of animation really calls out to me, and I’m fascinated by the ability to use exaggeration of expression and movement in characters to evoke emotion.
What is a challenge that you’ve had to overcome?
Honestly, my biggest challenge was nailing down exactly what I want to do in the industry and discovering where my strongest skill sets can be used. I transferred to SCAD and changed my major mid-way through my education, so I’ve had to play a lot of catch-up, but it’s been a fun and inspiring journey!
What advice would you give yourself as a freshman?
Network, network, network! Building relationships is so important. Learn from and be inspired by the people around you.
What inspires you during a difficult project?
I love listening to interviews with industry professionals while I work. Hearing about how they got to where they are motivates me to keep working hard. It also helps to put things in perspective – at one point, these big names were students just like us, facing the same challenges. If they can make it, so can we. I’m also grateful for the encouragement from my friends and family when the going gets tough.
What experiences have stood out to you?
I had the pleasure of working an internship at Nickelodeon over the Summer. I was with the social media team, helping them make graphics and animations for their Instagram. I also got to see what goes into the production of their shows and learn from the incredible people that work there – many of whom are SCAD alumni!
What are some things you are looking forward to this year?
I’m so excited to be working on the senior film John’s Interview. I absolutely love the team and we’re working hard to make a funny and enjoyable film. I’m also looking forward to running many of the Animation Organization’s events this year like Exquisite Corpse, the SavanniJam 24-Hour Animation Contest, and more!
What inspires you?
My biggest inspiration comes from real-life events. The kind of funny or weird things that happen and make me go, “Huh, that’d make a great story.”
What has been the best thing about SCAD?
By far the people. This school is filled to the brim with the most talented, funniest, and kindest people I’ve met. The animation major has provided a great community to work together and build each other up, and the professors really want to help you succeed.
Do you have any advice for working as part of a team?
I think it’s crucial to ensure that everyone on the team has a voice and an opportunity to shine.
Do you have a favorite animated movie?
Pixar’s Up was the movie that made me want to start animating. I also love The Iron Giant, Into the Spider-Verse, and Wall-E.
What are some things you enjoy doing in your free time?
In my free time you can find me reading, brushing up on my Smash Bros., or wondering when teleportation will finally be possible.
Thank you Michael for taking the time to interview with us! Check out more of his work on his Website or Instagram!