Tell us about yourself!
Hello all! My name is Cameron Brown, producer, storyteller, and yes…resident gamer! I have lofty dreams of becoming the next great producer in the field of animation! I developed a passion for the animated picture at an early age, where I became fascinated in the medium’s pipeline and endless possibilities. I have always enjoyed the Golden age of animation era cartoons, and aspire to create a name for myself in this industry just like the medium’s early pioneers. At SCAD, I specialize in animation production management as well as story. I am currently a producer on SCAD Animation Studios’ first musical short, Bearly, as well as an aid for 2D animation professor, Troy Gustafson.
What area of animation do you enjoy the most and why?
As an enthusiast of every aspect of the animation pipeline, I am completely enamored with animation production and development. I have always been enchanted by the idea of a group of talented artists, with a variety skill sets, coming together to create a cohesive narrative. It’s like gathering the Avengers but for art!
What is a challenge that you’ve had to overcome?
For a long time, my greatest struggle was my lack of confidence in my own abilities. When I came to SCAD, I had not produced a single animation in my life, and lacked knowledge of many programs other students had been using for years. This mindset would warp over the course of my SCAD career, as I pushed myself everyday to work harder, adapting my personal style (and dare I say charm) into every aspect of my craft. Needless to say, people soon took notice as I am currently writing a Student Spotlight!
What advice would you give yourself as a freshman?
I would tell my freshman self to always strive to seize every opportunity life throws at you…me…whatever. SCAD has no shortage of learning opportunities, with countless clubs, presentations, industry-level softwares, and a library filled with the greatest literary work of the animation world. Take the time to soak in everything and apply this newfound knowledge to school assignments and personal projects to help with growth. Also, stop wearing graphic tees and invest in button downs, dress like a professional.
What inspires you during a difficult project?
When projects become stressful and challenges start to arise, I think of my favorite Walt Disney quote, “Keep moving forward,” and how his life embodied this mantra. Walt Disney’s career was peppered with great losses and failures. However, throughout every hardship, he kept moving forward, garnering a tremendous amounts of success in creating some of the most timeless and influential work in the history of animation. Snags and drawbacks are inevitable in any project, but I have realized when I stick to my strengths and keep moving forward, those obstacles only make my eventual success so much sweeter.
What experiences have stood out to you?
Acting as a producer on Bearly, the SCAD Animation Studios’ short, has truly been a stand out experience as it has given me opportunities and experiences I could not have imagined as a freshman. What truly makes this project special for me is the feeling of working on a project that crosses new territory. This film marks SCAD Animation Studios’ first production, which will be a great milestone for not only the School of Digital Media, but for SCAD in general. It is also a musical, a feat rarely attempted in the animation short circuit. Producing on Bearly has been a dream come true for me, as it makes me feel like those early pioneers of animation, pathing the way for a new form of entertainment that will be remembered for years to come.
What are some things you are looking forward to this year?
One aspect that excites me as I finish up my junior year is pitching the idea for my senior film. Spearheading a feature has always been a pipe dream of mine, and directing a senior film would be the perfect opportunity to test my creative skills as well as leave my legacy at SCAD. While definitely not an easy task, it has certainly had my mind buzzing with ideas that I have been workshopping with different professors, talented students, and directors of current senior films. Also, taking notes in Professor Troy Gustafson’s production class has given me a better understanding of the process of senior films and the amount of effort behind them.
What inspires you?
The animated features and shorts of the 1920s through the 1940s have always been of great influence to me. I have always admired the pioneers of animation, such as Walt Disney, The Fleischer Brothers, Tex Avery, and Chuck Jones, who were able to create timeless characters, using simple storytelling techniques and visual humor. I am constantly inspired by the experimentation with animation during this era, as studios invented new innovative technologies and techniques that would differentiate themselves from their competitors. This not only gave us an abundance of unique animation techniques, but also debuted some of the most influential characters and stories of the 20th century, an impact that can still be seen in our culture today. I strive every day to embody the spirit of these creators, in the hopes of creating stories that can be loved for generations to come.
What classes have you enjoyed, and why?
I’ve enjoyed many of my animation classes, but the courses that stuck out to me the most were Professor Troy Gustafson’s Action Analysis and Professor Bernardo Warman’s Principles of 3D Animation. Both classes pulled me out of my comfort zone, whether it was quickly gesturing the human form or animating in Autodesk Maya, and pushed me to learn different styles and techniques that made me a more competent artist. These professors also also imparted on me invaluable lessons, such as the importance of collaboration and the value of working smart.
Is there anything you want to see SCAD offer in the future?
It would be great if SCAD offered courses in animation production and development. I feel having a class that teaches different production softwares such as Shotgun & Microsoft Excel, would really benefit students who aspire to become producers & supervisors in the industry one day. I would also REALLY love a cartoony animation class for undergrads because wacky cartoon antics take up most of the real estate in my brain!
Do you have a favorite animated movie?
When discussing the topic of my favorite flicks, three animated features come to mind. Who Framed Roger Rabbit usually tops the list as I adore all the references to golden age of cartoons as well as its ingenious animation techniques. The original Toy Story is a close second, as I am truly fascinated in the writing and clever ideas in the film presents. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs however, holds a special place in my heart, as I admire the film’s simple, yet effective story structure, beautiful music and impact on the industry.
What are some things you enjoy doing in your free time?
Though my main focus is in animation production, I still find joy in working on simple 2D animations in my free time. I still really like the title of “Cameron Brown, 2D Animator,” as I am drawn to the Richard Williams and Frank & Ollie books, often referencing them as I work on a new scene. I revel in learning new techniques that can make my 2D animations stronger and more accurate to the “rubber hose” style of the 1920s & 30s. Though I strive to be a producer like Walt Disney, some days I just wanna be Ub Iwerks.