Feb. 15th – Big Studios Alumni Panel

Meet our wonderful talented alumni who are working in a variety of positions at the major animation and gaming studios. Format will be brief presentations from our guests with Q&A moderated by our seminar teams.



Arjun Rihan is a filmmaker and artist based in the Bay Area. He currently works as a Camera & Staging Artist at PIXAR Animation Studios. 

Arjun has also created several personal animated films. His award-winning work has been exhibited at festivals and venues around the world, including the San Francisco International Film Festival, Annecy International Animated Film Festival, and the Centre Pompidou, Paris. Arjun received his MFA in Animation from the University of Southern California in 2009, where he was an Annenberg Fellow. He was an undergraduate at Stanford University.


Shaun Seong-young Kim is an award winning animation artist based in the Bay area. His animations have been shown at Siggraph, College Television Awards, Hirosima International Animation Festival, Melbourne International Animation Festival and many more.Shaun also worked as an animator, layout artist, and director for animation, and gaming studios. Shaun is a Layout TD at PIXAR Animation Studios.


Joanna Griebel is an animatic and video editor in Los Angeles. Her credits include Miles From Tomorrowland, Triptank Season 2, Randy Cunningham 9th Grade Ninja, Kaijudo Rise of the Duel Masters, and more!

Joanna has mostly worked around smaller studios (Hasbro, Titmouse, Shadowmachine, Wild Canary) but for network shows like Disney Junior, Disney eXD, and Comedy Central. She has also directed, written, and animated several short animated films, including the award-winning short film Tomboy.


Renae Radford is a visual development and VFX artist. Renae currently works at the Gaming Company Blizzard Entertainment. Renae has also worked at Dreamworks, Paramount, Disney Toon and Six Point Harness on a variety of projects (video games, tv, and feature).



Jon Gutman is an LA based artist, animator and filmmaker who specializes in visual storytelling through camera, composition and staging.  A native New Yorker, he studied fine art at the University at Buffalo before moving to Los Angeles to attend film school at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.  As a student in their Division of Animation and Digital Arts, his award winning short film, Memorial, was displayed at over 30 film festivals and exhibitions worldwide including Anima Mundi, the Hiroshima International Animation Festival, Siggraph Animation Theater and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

jgutman_pic2After a brief stint as a lead CG artist on commercial and music video projects for clients such as HP, Honda and Prince, Jon accepted a layout position at DreamWorks Animation, focusing primarily on final camerawork and set dressing.  He has since transitioned into a rough layout / previz role, where he works with directors, story and editorial teams to find creative ways to enhance storytelling through cinematography.  In his 7 years at DreamWorks, he has worked on over 10 films and shorts including the How To Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda series.  Jon believes in previsualization as a powerful cinematic tool and finds the work to be the most fulfilling part of his professional journey yet.


3 thoughts on “Feb. 15th – Big Studios Alumni Panel

  1. This was a fantastic seminar! It made me totally rethink what I want to do in the industry once I graduate. Previously, I’d had my heart set on being a character animator. But, being in school, I’ve had to do almost everything for my films by myself. It made me forget that that work is normally done by someone other than the character animators. Layout is definitely something that I’ve come to realize I enjoy doing (and am somewhat good at, if I say so).


  2. It was a great seminar! Seeing people who already went through the path that I’m walking is always so inspiring, and gives me a hope that I could be the one sitting there and talking about my experience to others.
    I really appreciated them sharing their own stories and practical advices from the industry. I will remember that I was given, and definatly apply to my portfolio.


  3. What a fun seminar this was. I particularly loved seeing Arjun’s work and hearing his explanations of his shots and how it all came together. His work on ‘Sanjay’s Super Team’ was especially inspiring!! Something I’m working on is how to make my storyboards more cinematic, so it was awesome getting to see the Layout and process for the short film, as well as his work on ‘Good Dinosaur’.

    Additionally, I really enjoyed hearing everyone’s paths and how they got to where they are now. This seminar really left me feeling energized and inspired to keep going and creating work, in hopes of making it to that type of position one day as well. It was also fantastic and so appreciated when everyone came up to the 3rd floor and spent time talking with us and checking out people’s work.

    Thank you, Arjun, Shaun, Joanna, Renae, and Jon for coming in to speak and spending time with all of us!


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