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Terry Song Kickstarts His Animation Career by Landing a Pixar Internship

Terry Song has an exhilarating future to look forward to. The recent Academy of Art University School of Animation graduate is completing a summer internship at Pixar and is embarking on one of the most exciting fields: character animation!

After spending seven frustrating months in retail, Terry wanted to do something he loved for a living.

“I was thrilled to discover there was a job out there which involved two of my childhood passions:  drawing and going to the movies,” Terry recalled.

Terry’s younger brother, Allen, was studying Illustration at Academy of Art University so Terry followed in his footsteps. He found a welcoming community of fellow animators as passionate as he. Though he spent much of his time pent up in the computer labs, he and his peers built a strong sense of camaraderie.

“Without fellowship, you’re losing out on a lot!” he advised. “Maybe you’ll do fine by yourself, but imagine doing it together as a team.”

Terry looks to the work of animation masters, like Disney’s Nine Old Men, for guidance as well as live action film. He also draws inspiration from his real life experiences and encourages fellow animators to do the same in their work.

“The audience is aware of what’s been done before, so original ideas and acting choices are what will separate you from others,” he noted.

Though they were both drawing instructors, the teachings of Chuck Pyle and the “legendary” Barbara Bradley, strengthened Terry’s computer animation practice. His instructors at Pixar shared invaluable knowledge during his internship, building upon what he had learned at the Academy.

As an Animation intern, Terry is currently working on animation tests to familiarize himself with Pixar’s proprietary software. To have a full time job at Pixar would be “the ultimate dream” for Terry.

As for his post-graduation life, Terry envisions himself learning character animation until he’s old.

“I feel it may be a lifelong struggle, but a fun and rewarding one,” he said. “I love a big challenge.” 


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