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Blog Interviews Spotlight Students

Brendan Casey – Student Spotlight

My name is Brendan Casey, and I am a 3rd year Graduate Student pursuing my MFA in 3D Animation! I am from Fairfax, Virginia and I received my BFA in Digital Arts from Virginia Tech in 2018 before coming to SCAD. During my time here I have had the opportunity to be a part of the SCAD Animation Studio. I love comedic animation, and my dream is to one day get to animate in the video game industry.

What area of animation do you enjoy the most and why? 

I love getting to do really cartoon animation. When you aren’t limited to what a character should be able to do, the possibilities are only limited to what I can think of.

What is a challenge that you’ve had to overcome? 

A big challenge I have had to overcome is my own expectations of myself. I used to hold myself to unrealistic expectations and the stress affected me a lot. I want to hold myself to high standards, but not to the point that it stops me from achieving anything.

What advice would you give yourself as a freshman? 

Everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses, and everyone will improve at their own pace. Let others’ skill encourage you, rather than discourage you.

What inspires you during a difficult project? *

When I am struggling with a project it helps me to absorb media similar to what I am doing. During Cartoony Animation I watched a lot of Looney Toons, and during Video Game Animation I played a lot of video games. It serves multiple purposes because I get a break from whatever I am struggling with while still gaining inspiration from what I am watching.

What are some things you are looking forward to this year?

Ignoring the first half of 2020, what I am looking forward to this year is finishing my thesis film and getting to enter the animation industry.

What inspires you?

I am constantly inspired by my friends who are constantly pushing their work to be better and better every time they make something. It drives me to want to make sure every animation I make is an improvement on the last one.

What classes have you enjoyed, and why?

My favorite classes I have taken so far are my Cartoony Animation class and my Video Game Animation class. Professor Tessier and Professor Warman have so much knowledge on the world of animation, and the both really take the time to make sure what works and what doesn’t in your work. Even when your work is good, they push you to make your work as good as it could be.

Have you worked on any projects outside of class?

I am currently working on my thesis film, so at the moment I do not have any extra personal projects, but when I do have time, I love to character model as well as animate!

Is there anything you want to see SCAD offer in the future?

A class on hand animation would be really nice (or perhaps handy). I get frustrated when animating hands, which probably means they are what I need a class focusing on.

What made you decide to go to SCAD, and when did you choose to go to SCAD?

In my undergraduate program I was trained as a generalist. I was learning modeling, motion capture, photogrammetry, animation, etc. I was lucky enough to have a chance to intern Tokyo, Japan as a 3D animator, and it was there that I decided I wanted to focus on being an animator more than a jack of all trades. So, when I graduated, I began looking for graduate programs that would allow me to focus on becoming the best animator possible, which led me to SCAD.

What type of studio would you like to work in when you graduate?

I would love to work in a game studio. I love fantasy games, so the chance to make a game with swords and knights and magic would be a dream come true for me.

What has been the best thing about SCAD?

The best thing about SCAD is the incredible amounts of experience the teachers have, and how willing they are to share that experience with you. Whether its 2D animation, 3D animation, character design, or any number of other fields, you do not have to go far to find a teacher who is an expert of the subject.

What are your goals after graduation/ What goals do you have for your career?

I would love to work in the video game industry as an Animator. Eventually I would love to get the opportunity to work with From Software in Japan, because the Dark Souls series is my absolute favorite.

Do you have any advice for working as part of a team? (Question for students who have worked on short films only please!)

No idea is so good that it cannot be improved upon. Be open to change, so long as time permits it. Additionally, welcome critique no matter who it comes from. An expert may be able to tell you why something needs correcting, but if someone’s immediate response to your work is that it is uncanny, that should be considered as well.

What has your favorite project been during your time at SCAD?

Getting to work on Bearly with SCAD Animation Studio has been my favorite project. Everyone who was there was there because they wanted to make an amazing film. I had the ability to work with some of the most talented animators at SCAD, and I learned so much from everyone there.

Do you look up to anyone in the industry? And why?

Santiago Solarte, a Senior Animator at Ubisoft, is huge inspiration for me. He puts so much energy into all of his work. Everything he does feels like it could be a shot from a film, not just a standalone exercise. Justin Rasch is a Blizzard cinematics animator. From claymation to stop motion to 3D, everything he touches comes to life.

Do you have a favorite animated movie?

Howls Moving Castle

When in your life did you decide to choose animation as a career?

Before I knew what animation was, I wanted to be a comic artist. I had books filled with stories I’d come up with. And then I remember the day that I watched Spirited Away, and it clicked that cartoons had to be made by somebody, and that I could be that somebody. From then on there was nothing I wanted to do more than be an animator.

What are some things you enjoy doing in your free time?

When I am not animating, I love to play video games, my current favorites are Crash Bandicoot, Ori and the Blind Forest, and the Dark Souls games. I also love sports and have played rugby since my senior year of high school!

Thanks Brendan! make sure to check out Brendan’s work at:

Twitter and Instagram – @brendancaseyart

Portfolio – www.brendanmcasey.com

Twitter –  https://twitter.com/brendancaseyart

Animation Reel – https://vimeo.com/418718218

Game Animation Reel – https://vimeo.com/418982801

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