Lind­sey Oli­vares

Animation Magazine - - RIS­ING STARS -

Pro­duc­tion De­signer/Lead Char­ac­ter De­signer, Con­nected, Sony Pic­tures An­i­ma­tion

When Lind­sey Oli­vares was a young girl grow­ing up in San Diego, Cal­i­for­nia, she used to love to draw the cover im­ages from her fa­vorite Dis­ney VHS movies from the 1990s. “I loved The Lit­tle Mer­maid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and re­ally loved to draw those char­ac­ters. My par­ents en­cour­aged me to draw, and soon I re­al­ized that it was pos­si­ble to have a ca­reer in an­i­ma­tion.”

Oli­vares at­tended a CalArts an­i­ma­tion pro­gram one sum­mer and got ac­cepted to Rin­gling Col­lege’s com­puter an­i­ma­tion pro­gram. Then she landed an in­tern­ship at Dis­ney An­i­ma­tion dur­ing her sopho­more year. “I learned so much about visual de­vel­op­ment dur­ing that in­tern­ship,” re­calls the tal­ented 32-year old.“It was all about tak­ing things be­yond just the craft and learn­ing how to use real sto­ry­telling to bring your char­ac­ter to an­i­mated life.”

Af­ter land­ing a po­si­tion in the art depart­ment of PDI in the Bay Area,

Oli­vares worked on Dream­Works’

Mada­gas­car 3 and learned a lot about pro­duc­tion de­sign, color keys and art di­rec­tion from in­dus­try vet­eran Ken­dal Cronkhite. She then did some early de­vel­op­ment work on movies such as Pen­guins of Mada­gas­car, Trolls and The Emoji Movie. Her ca­reer took a huge leap for­ward a few years ago when she was rec­om­mended to di­rec­tor Mike Rianda, who was just be­gin­ning to work on his new fea­ture Con­nected at Sony.“We started to work to­gether and I just loved his sense of hu­mor,” says Oli­vares “His pitch for the movie (which fol­lows a typ­i­cal fam­ily who have to save the world from a global robo­ca­lypse) was in­cred­i­ble. I did some char­ac­ter de­sign work for the pitch, and they kept bring­ing me back. Af­ter the movie was green­lit, I was hired as pro­duc­tion de­signer!”

She says she loves the movie’s quirky sense of hu­mor and au­then­tic­ity. “It tells a very hon­est story, and its ob­ser­va­tional sense of hu­mor re­ally aligns with a lot of the things I love about art and sto­ry­telling,” she ad­mits. “The job is very sat­is­fy­ing cre­atively, and you get to work with this amaz­ing team, so it blends the per­sonal and the cre­ative in a nice way. I also loved work­ing with the 3D team so that the illustrati­on work re­ally comes through in the fi­nal ren­der.”

Point­ing out an­i­ma­tion vet­eran Glen Keane, his daugh­ter Claire Keane and pro­duc­tion de­signer/art di­rec­tor Ken­dal Cronkhite as three of her idols, Oli­vares rec­om­mends do­ing the kind of work that you are pas­sion­ate about. “I was cre­at­ing an­i­mated gifs of day-to-day life and putting them on­line on my own, and that’s what res­onated with the movie’s di­rec­tor,” she points out. “It helps you land the kind of work that you would like to do even­tu­ally!”

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