Alumni

Platt College Alumni

Felix Honda

  • Graduation Date: 2013
  • Program: B.S. Multimedia / 3D Animation
  • Company: Legend3D
  • Title: Junior Depth Artist

Jarod Octon

  • Graduation Date: 2012
  • Program: B.S. Degree Media Arts / Visual Effects & Compositing
  • Company: Touch This Media
  • Title: Art Director

Krystiana Brzuza-Hardisty

  • Graduation Date: 2012
  • Program: B.S. Degree Media Arts
  • Company: Sonic Boom Wellness
  • Title: Graphic Design Specialist

Nick Ryan

  • Graduation Date: 2012
  • Program: B.S. Multimedia / Web Design
  • Company: Awthentik Design Group
  • Title: Artist / Graphic Designer



Carrie Ann Caranci

  • Graduation Date: 2012
  • Program: B.S. Multimedia / 3D Animation
  • Company: Independent Contractor
  • Title: Graphic Designer

Andrew Duenas

  • Graduated: 2011
  • Place of Employment: UCSD
  • Job Title: Videographer/Editor

Jeanette Ortiz

  • Graduated: 2011
  • Place of Employment: Pixel Bytes Media LLC
  • Job Title: Co-Founder / Drupal Developer

Jose Cabral

  • Graduated: 2010
  • Place of Employment: Rando Productions
  • Job Title: Multimedia Designer
  • Projects: Microsoft Surface Product Launch Event, Lady Gaga Born This Way Ball Tour

Geoff Canady

  • Graduated: 2010
  • Place of Employment: MJD Interactive
  • Job Title: Web Developer

Prin Ratanatasaniya

  • Graduation Date: 2010
  • Program: 3D Specialized Animation Diploma
  • Company: Post International Media (ELLEMENThailand Magazine)
  • Title: Art Director

Daren Horwege

  • Graduated: 2010
  • Place of Employment: Nu Context Creative
  • Job Title: Production Assistant
  • Projects: Titanic 3D, Various Walt Disney Studios music videos

Suzette Drazo

  • Graduated: 2009
  • Place of Employment: Planned Parenthood Corporate
  • Job Title: Graphic Designer

Kris Baldwin

  • Graduated: 2009
  • Place of Employment: Stereo D
  • Job Title: Lead Compositor/Painter
  • Projects: Titanic 3D, The Avengers, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Santiago Vasquez Jr.

  • Graduation Date: 2008
  • Program: A.A.S. Graphic Design
  • Company: Bereavision.TV
  • Title: Videographer / Editor / Graphic Designer

Juan Fernando Garcia

  • Graduated: 2007
  • Place of Employment: BlackBat Studio
  • Job Title: Illustrator

EUGENE PALUSO

  • Graduation Date: 2006
  • Program: Bachelor of Science Degree: Media Arts
  • Company: Industrial Light & Magic
  • Company Type: Major Motion Picture Visual Effects
  • Title: Visual Effects Artist

Avatar, Skyline, Battle: Los Angeles 2011, Jonah Hex, 2012 & X-Men Origins: Wolverine

THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO SPEAK WITH US TODAY EUGENE, SO LET’S START OFF WITH HOW’S EVERYTHING SINCE WORKING ON AVATAR? DID YOU GUYS GET A LOT OF PRAISE AND SOME CONTRACTS FOR FUTURE PROJECTS OUT OF THAT?

Once Avatar was over, there was a small break of about a month before we ramped back up for multiple feature films. The VFX house I work at would agree that working on Avatar is great for business.

CAN YOU GIVE US SOME BACKGROUND ABOUT YOURSELF, LIKE HOW YOU BROKE INTO THE INDUSTRY AND WHAT WERE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES?

For starters, I am a native San Diegan who loves the Chargers, super sad about LT. After a comment by my sister, I checked out Platt and totally dug the environment. I broke into the industry by becoming an awesome video game tester. A tip by a peer at Platt pointed me in the direction of game testing for Sony Computer Entertainment America San Diego in Sorrento Mesa. I did that for a couple of months then moved across the street to the development division. After a referral from a classmate, I interviewed for an internship that led to working with veterans from the movie business. Later on, they called me up to Los Angeles for my first Visual Effects job. There were some challenges early on with contract work ending and having months of down time. I recommend the every artist to save their dough after their first gig. That job can be gone at any moment if you’re a contractor. Life as a freelancer can be tough.

SOUNDS LIKE YOU HAD ONE CRAZY JOURNEY… WOULD YOU RECOMMEND INTERNSHIPS TO EVERYONE THAT’S TRYING TO BREAK INTO THE INDUSTRY?

It has been a crazy journey indeed. I do recommend internships for anyone who is able. Three months is the usual length, and at the end you might get a contract. If not, you’ve gained three months of “on the job” experience that can go a long way in your next job interview. Platt played a big role in my career as well, mostly due to people I went to class with. It was my network of friends that threw me leads for gigs here and there. Also Platt’s curriculum prepared me for what was to come.

BETWEEN MAKING MOVIE MAGIC AND MAKING GAMES, WHICH DO YOU PREFER?

Maya is such a beautiful software package. With it, you can build video games, make short films, animate South Park, or create cinema magic. In my experience, there’s more prestige in cinema. The gaming industry is more like a vacation from the movie industry. At the moment, I prefer working in cinema.

I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU ON MAYA BEING THE FOUNDATION. WHAT OTHER SOFTWARE KNOWLEDGE WOULD YOU SAY IS ESSENTIAL FOR SOMEONE TRYING TO GET INTO 3D ART?

It depends on the discipline, I guess. If you’re a modeler, you better know Photoshop and know it well. Zbrush, Vue, and Mudbox are definite pluses. Maybe some knowledge of UV unwrap software will come in handy. For animators, I’ve seen Motion Builder being used, but usually it’s just Maya animation. realFlow for dynamics people goes a long way. Also, for any discipline, it’s good to know how to slap a composite together either in After Effects, Shake, or any available composite program.

SO JUST OUT OF CURIOSITY, WALK ME THROUGH YOUR TYPICAL DAY AT THE OFFICE WHEN YOU’RE WORKING ON A PROJECT…

Before I even get to the office, I know exactly what I’m going to tackle that first few hours. I work in a room with 6 other artists. There is never a dull moment in there. During work, I have a task list that I try to get done. Sometimes things come up, also known as “fires”, and someone has to “put them out”. Sometimes, they’re small “fires”, other times they can be big. They can happen at any moment and are to be avoided! Usually I’ll just joke with the guys as I get work done as the day goes on. Most studios will buy lunches and dinners for the artists during projects that run long. So throughout the day we’ll take breaks, chill, and eat.

AS A CHARACTER ANIMATOR, ARE YOU GIVEN A LOT OF FREEDOM AND CREATIVITY WITH YOUR WORK, OR ARE SOME THINGS MORE STRICT?

Character animators are at the mercy of the client. Whatever the client wants is what the animation supervisor is going to tell you to do. For the most part, there is little “freedom” for animators, Motion Capture (mocap) being one of them. Some projects are mocap driven, which means animators might be cleaning up motion capture. Also, it can be a real bummer when the client doesn’t like what you like.

For any beginning artist, understand that there will be a lot of on-the-job training and learning. On your first job, your employer knows you’re fresh out of college and knows what to expect.

Thanks again for your time Eugene, everyone here at Platt is proud to see your success and we’re looking forward to what else you pull out from the magician’s hat!


FAVIAN JUDKINS

  • Graduation Date: 2005
  • Program: B.S. Degree in Media Arts
  • Company: Parity Studios – Icon Group Intl.
  • Company Type: Animation
  • Title: 3D Animator – Technical Director

DARRIN LAURITZEN

  • Graduation Date: 2005
  • Program: B.S. Degree in Media Arts
  • Company: KSWB-TV Channel 5/69
  • Company Type: Broadcast Television
  • Title: Creative Services

DAVE SHEPARD

  • Graduation Date: 2005
  • Program: B.S. Degree in Media Arts
  • Company: Digital-Telepathy
  • Company Type: Agency+
  • Title: Web UI Developer

CHARLES PARK

  • Graduation Date: 2005
  • Program: B.S. Degree in Media Arts
  • Company: San Diego City Beat Magazine
  • Company Type: Publication
  • Title: Production Manager

JASUN GILES

  • Graduation Date: 2004
  • Program: B.S. in Media Arts
  • Company: Sony Pictures ImageWorks
  • Company Type: Motion Pictures
  • Title: Technical Animator/Mocap

“Platt College was a great experience! The teachers were awesome and everything was hands on. The Bachelor of Media Arts Degree I earned gave me the understanding and opportunity to get my foot in the door at some pretty amazing animation companies.

Since graduating Platt College, I have worked on many different movie projects, such as: Beowulf and Monster House. And my video game projects include Conan and Timeshift.

Being a Technical Animator/MoCap Artist, I am blessed to work with many Hollywood stars. But, the most rewarding is the design teams I work with day after day.

I would personally like to thank all the teachers and new friends I have met along the way at Platt College. My eyes have been opened to a different world.”

The Anglo-Saxon poem “Beowulf” is often credited as one of the touchstones of old English literature with its enduring tale of the warrior-hero Beowulf, the monster Grendel, and Grendel’s dangerous and vengeful mother. Director Robert Zemeckis (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Forrest Gump) is viewed as somewhat of a legend himself for his technological innovations in cinema. Now, the centuries-old material comes face-to-face with the latest motion-capture technology in Zemeckis’s 3D computer-generated film Beowulf.

2004 B.S. in Media Arts graduate Jasun Giles (technical animator/mocap artist: Sony Pictures ImageWorks) had worked hard on the Paramount Pictures release Beowulf and is busy on his next project: Foodfight for House of Moves.

Below are Jasun’s credits:

  • Foodfight! (2008) (post-production) (technical animator/mocap artist: House of Moves)
  • Beowulf (2007) (technical animator/mocap artist: Sony Pictures ImageWorks)
  • Monster House (2006) (technical animator/mocap artist: Sony Pictures ImageWorks)
  • Gretzky NHL 06 (2005) (VG) (technical animator/mocap artist: Sony Computer Entertainment America)
  • NBA ’06 (2005) (VG) (technical animator/mocap artist: Sony Computer Entertainment America)
  • SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs – Fireteam Bravo (2005) (VG) (technical animator: Sony Computer Entertainment America)
  • SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALs (2005) (VG) (technical animator/mocap artist: Sony Computer Entertainment America)
  • MLB 2006 (2005) (VG) (technical animator/mocap artist: Sony Computer Entertainment America)

MORGAN SELF

  • Graduation Date: 2004
  • Program: B.S. Degree in Media Arts
  • Company: KUSI 9/51 News
  • Company Type: Broadcast Television
  • Title: Graphic Designer

DREW STAUFFER

  • Graduation Date: 2003
  • Program: B.S. Degree in Media Arts
  • Company: Jackson Marketing Group
  • Company Type: Marketing
  • Title: Interactive Designer / SEO

In my final year at Platt, I was added to the National Dean’s List honoring high-achieving college students nationwide. Immediately after graduating, I accepted a job at Einstein Industries designing and developing websites for some of the most acclaimed doctors and lawyers in the country. I was employed for three years while maintaining 3 personal websites: www.drewstauffer.com,www.alibiproductions.com and www.wildfireproductions.net. Freelance clients for these successful personal sites include The Hyatt, world-renowned photographer Brian Bielmann, and Allied Recycling, Inc.

My freelance sites have been popular enough to put me in the limelight and an advertising and marketing company in Greenville, SC contacted me. After a few months of negotiations and travels I finally accepted a position at Jackson-Dawson as an Interactive Designer. A nationally-recognized marketing firm, Jackson Marketing Groups clients include BMW, Michelin, Alemite, and many other well-known brands.

I have been living in Greenville for the past month and have started a new Search Engine Optimization department at Jackson Marketing Group in addition to my position as an Interactive Designer.


TYLER PHILLIPS

  • Graduation Date: 2003
  • Program: Bachelor of Science Degree: Media Arts
  • Company: DreamWorks Animation SKG
  • Company Type: Animated Motion Pictures
  • Title: Animator

Projects: Puss in Boots, Mega Mind 3D (Starring Will Ferrell) 2010, God of War III 2010, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs 2009, Hostel: Part II 2007


AARON NABUS

  • Graduation Date: 2001
  • Program: Specialized Web Design Diploma
  • Company: Retention Performance Marketing
  • Company Type: Marketing
  • Title: Graphic Design Manager

Originally graduated with an A.A.S. Degree in Multimedia / Animation in 1999.


CYNTHIA NIETO

  • Graduation Date: 2001
  • Program: A.A.S. Degree in Multimedia / Animation
  • Company: Zoomphotoads.com
  • Company Type:
  • Title: Senior Display Artist

GEOFF GREENWOOD

  • Graduation Date: 1999
  • Program: Mutlimedia / Animation Diploma
  • Company: Focalscape, Inc.
  • Company Type: Media Arts
  • Title: President

DJ GRIMES

  • Graduation Date: 1999
  • Program: Associate of Applied Science Degree: Graphic Design
  • Company: The Phelps Group
  • Company Type: Marketing
  • Title: Art Director

Multifaceted Senior Art Director/Creative Director with extensive management and creative experience.

10 years experience in both in-house and agency environments. Well versed in all aspects of conceptual thinking, creative direction, layout and design for both print and web. I have managed projects in multi-channel environments, ensuring brand strategy paralleled design concepts.

Having worked in fast paced environments, I am comfortable managing multiple projects and design teams. A leader and team player dedicated to excellence in communication, collaboration and partnerships.

SPECIALTIES

Interactive, print, and direct advertising. Building fully-integrated digital brand experiences across all mediums. Experience managing creative teams from concept through completion of projects. Work well in both team and solo environments.


VICKI GORDON

  • Graduation Date: 1998
  • Program: Graphic Design Diploma
  • Company: Qualcomm – QWBS Marketing
  • Company Type: Telecommunications
  • Title: Senior Graphic Designer

MATTIA MONTUORO

  • Graduation Date: 1998
  • Program: Bachelor of Media Arts
  • Company: Washington Post/Local 6 News
  • Company Type: Broadcast
  • Title: Senior Graphic Designer/Animator

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PROJECTS THAT YOU’VE COMPLETED IN YOUR CAREER AND WHY?

I have worked on several cool projects throughout my career. My favorite project was creating the seasonal in-game graphics for the San Francisco Giants. I was art director and producer of the graphics for the large video boards within the ballpark. The Giants often flew me to San Francisco for photo shoots with the players and primary Giant staff to create the openings, bumpers and player screens.

I just completed, two 5-minute videos, to demonstrate how a children’s card game is played. The client was very pleased with the work. Their comment was “the production value of what I’m seeing is phenomenal!”

WHAT WAS YOUR GREATEST SUCCESS?

Well, winning two Emmy Awards was a great honor however knowing that a client is happy and extremely satisfied is more rewarding than any award.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR KEY (OR KEYS) TO SUCCESS?

Understanding to be a good designer you need to have not only the design skills but you also need great communication skills/values. Part of communication is listening. ALWAYS listen to the client. If you listen to what your client is trying to accomplish you will save yourself an incredible amount of time during production.

Secondly, don’t take your job personally. Take criticism as way to grow and not as an attack or insult. It is just business.

ANY ADVISE FOR STUDENTS OF PCSD?

Never stop learning and updating your skill set. New techniques will expand your vision and knowledge.


BRIAN TERHORST

  • Graduation Date: 1997
  • Program: Multimedia / Animation DiplomA
  • Company: Revolt In Style Magazine
  • Company Type: Publication
  • Title: Owner/Publisher

MORGAN BONAR

  • Graduation Date: 1996
  • Program: Multimedia / Animation Design Diploma
  • Company: Sony Online Entertainment
  • Company Type: Game & Entertainment
  • Title: Lead – Web Development

HAVE YOU MET ANY CELEBRITIES IN YOUR LINE OF WORK?

When Los Angeles was making a bid for a team (when are they not) my previous company and I were working on a presentation to the City Counsel and NFL owners. I was able to chat with Al Davis (Oakland Raiders Owner) for awhile.

ANY ADVISE FOR STUDENTS COMING OUT OF PLATT COLLEGE SAN DIEGO?

Stay on top of your technological skills. It is a continuing education type of field. Never become complacent with your skills.


ROBERT MCFARLANE

  • Graduation Date: 1996
  • Program: A.A.S. Degree in Multimedia / Animation Design
  • Company: Pint, Inc. (www.pint.com)
  • Company Type: Web Development Firm
  • Title: Creative Director / Partner

HOW DID YOU END UP IN YOUR CURRENT POSITION?

Back in 1995, while still attending PCSD, I was hired by Thomas Powell (Founder of Pint, Inc.) to do some design and illustration work. Over time my roll at Pint, Inc. grew from a Graphic Designer to Creative Director and now I am a Partner.

WHO IS YOUR MOST VISIBLE CLIENT?

For over six years, PINT, Inc. has been fortunate enough to work with the Central Garden & Pet Company (www.central.com). Central Garden & Pet have multiple consumer brands on the pet and garden side including Nylabone, TFH, Kaytee, Super Pet, Pennington Seed, and many more. Their products are found in stores such as Petco, PetSmart, True Value, and Home Depot.

ANYTHING PARTICULARLY “COOL” ABOUT THE CENTRAL GARDEN & PET WEB SITE?

One of the coolest parts of this project is that there are so many sites. While the corporate site gets to remain, well, corporate, the different brands can take on their own personalities. Super Pet (www.superpetusa.com) is primarily for kids and uses a lot of bright colors with green-screened video of animals interacting with the layout. Zilla used some animal animation as well but was much more reptilian with snakes slithering across the page. When you are talking about everything from cats and dogs, to tropical fish and reptiles, to birds and small animals, it gives you a lot of different things to try out. I think my dog just liked the fact that she got a bunch of free toys and treats!

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE WITH THE CENTRAL GARDEN & PET PROJECT?

It’s probably the same thing that made the project so much fun, the number of different sites. Trying to give all of the different brands their own unique style, content and layout, while having them all tied to the same back-end systems with the same functionality. Meeting the business goals while giving all the different brand managers what they wanted visually is always a challenge.

ANY ADVISE FOR STUDENTS OF PCSD?

While the students are still in school they should visit their career services department. They can help the student find internships, freelance work or a job. Even if the internship or freelance work does not pay, it will pay them back two-fold. All employers have seen the same class projects before. Professional projects in a student’s portfolio are invaluable. It shows dedication and the ability to work outside the school environment. Besides, some internships or freelance work turn into a job position for the student. It is their foot-in-the-door. That is what happened to me.


ANDREI BOORIAKIN

  • Graduation Date: 1995
  • Program: Multimedia / Animation Design Diploma
  • Company: Sony Computer Entertainment America
  • Company Type: Video Game Developer
  • Title: Senior Manager, Art Development

ANDRE PADILLA

  • Graduation Date: 1995
  • Program: Multimedia / Animation Design Diploma
  • Company: Sony Online Entertainment
  • Company Type: Online Video Games
  • Title: AV Producer

HAVE YOU MET ANY CELEBRITIES IN YOUR TRAVELS FOR WORK?

Growing up in San Diego, I have always been a huge San Diego Padres fan. So, when I was working on a San Diego Padres project I met 12-time All-Star player David Winfield. He was a completely nice guy.

ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR THE CURRENT STUDENTS AT PLATT COLLEGE SAN DIEGO?

Feel passionate about your career and projects. Do what you love. This is not an industry that you just fall into because you have to. It is the type of career that you consider as your life, not a job.


BRIAN PATIENCE

  • Graduation Date: 1995
  • Program: B.S. Media Arts
  • Company: Trion Worlds, Inc.
  • Company Type: Motion Picture and Film
  • Title: Senior AV Producer

WHAT PROJECTS HAVE YOU WORKED ON FOR TRION WORLD?

I mostly work on the in-game Cinematics, tutorials and mission videos. I also create marketing videos for Rift, End of Nations and Defiance.

ANYTHING PARTICULARLY “COOL” ABOUT THE JOB?

I get paid! Besides money, I have the ability to be creative and produce high-end Cinematics and cut scenes for video games.

HAVE YOU MET ANY CELEBRITIES AS A RESULT OF YOUR WORK?

I sure have. I have met Christopher Lee, Mark Hammill, Jim Lee, Tony Hawk and Curt Schilling.

ANY ADVISE FOR STUDENTS OF PCSD?

It is important to get along with everyone you work with. You may run into them again.
Secondly, Internships, internships, internships.
Lastly, never stop learning.


DAVID SCHORN

  • Graduation Date: 1995
  • Program: Bachelor of Science Degree: Media Arts
  • Company: Neversoft & Sony Computer Entertainment America
  • Company Type: Video Game developer, Publisher and distributor
  • Title: Senior UI Artist

WHAT GAME TITLES HAVE YOU WORKED ON FOR SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA AND NEVERSOFT?

The games that the San Diego branch of SCEA mainly developed were the NBA and MLB franchises for PS2, PS3 and PSP consoles. I have been working on the NBA franchise since 2001. In 2006, we changed the franchise name for the NBA product from NBA ShootOut to NBA. My next project is for Activision. If I tell you what it is I will have to kill you.

Here is a list of the specific game titles I worked on:

  • Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock & Guitar Hero 5
  • Band Hero
  • NBA: ′09 The Inside (PSP & PS3)
  • NBA: ′07-′08 (PS3)
  • NBA: ′06-′08 (PSP, PS2)
  • NBA: ShootOut 2001-2005 (PS2)

WHAT IS THE ENVIRONMENT LIKE AT NEVERSOFT ENTERTAINMENT?

It is an awesome work environment with great people. There are free drinks, as well as, free lunch Monday thru Thursday. Most Friday′s everyone takes a couple of hours to play test the current title we are working on. While designing the UI for Guitar Hero we often saturated ourselves with Rock and Roll music, imagery and movies. The motto at Neversoft is “work hard, play hard, and party hard.”


HAVE YOU MET ANY CELEBRITIES AS A RESULT OF YOUR WORK?

Plenty!!! When I was working for Sony Computer Entertainment America, I attended the NBA Shoot Out Celebrity Tournament event and hung out with Snoop Dogg and various celebrities such as: Tia Carrera, Trey Parker, Matt Stone (South Park), Vin Diesel, Wilder Valderrama, and Danny Masterson (That 70′s Show). I also met Tommy Lee (Motley Crue) at the E3 Sony party.

Working at Neversoft we meet all sorts of famous musicians too. I experienced No Doubt perform and met Taylor Swift while they were in the studio for their Motion Capture sessions for Band Hero. I also got to see a private concert featuring Soundgarden for the release party of Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.

ANY ADVISE FOR STUDENTS OF PLATT COLLEGE SAN DIEGO?

Learn as much as you can, be adaptable, be open to change and continue to expand upon your skills away from school. Also, network and learn from your fellow classmates is a key element in furthering your skills and your overall future.


GINA VON DER KRET

  • Graduation Date: 1995
  • Program: Multimedia / Animation Design Diploma
  • Company: LJG Partners, Inc.
  • Company Type: Media Arts
  • Title: Vice President/Director of User Experience

Originally graduated with an A.A.S. Degree in Multimedia / Animation in 1994.