​AET/3D Animation

David Moran “SMC has beautiful campuses, and the teachers here really do work with you. They’re always checking to make sure that you’re doing the right things.”

David Moran has discovered that the ‘Wow!’ factor is creeping into large parts of his life. “I came to SMC from another college that just wasn’t working out for me. And when I arrived here I was, like, ‘Wow!’ This is a completely different planet!’ ” As it turns out, ‘different planets’ will no doubt become a real focus of David’s. “I’m gonna go into the animation industry, and the program that I’m in at the Academy [of Entertainment & Technology] is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Plus, they have a really high transfer rate.”

David recalled being completely enthralled when he had a close encounter with the film Avatar. “It was just tremendous, and I couldn’t believe how well that film was made. It was a completely new world, and parts of it were so beautiful! I mean, wow!” (There’s that word again). “And that’s what I want to do—make whole new worlds, invent new species, and be completely creative through the power of computers.” Though David has been ramping up his digital skills, he reports that time-honored traditions are also playing a large role in his education. “I’m studying with Jim Keeshen, and he’s an absolute pro. And he emphasizes that everyone has to learn the basics, and then work their way up. So he’s teaching me how storytelling works, and how to do the old-style animation, you know? We’re talking 2D, with just a pencil and paper. But he’s also working me up to be able to jump into that 3D world.”

David says, “Ten years from now, I’ll have built myself up to the point where I’m working on TV shows and doing trailers for movies. Animation can be stressful, because I never thought I’d have to be learning so much about computers. But nowadays people can do anything with computers, and it’s all just like... WOW!”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.