I have always had high aspirations for myself. I founded DaniMation when I was 14 years old in 2009. I am also an alumni of Woodbury University’s School of Media, Culture, and Design. In May 2018, I graduated with a cum laude and earned my Bachelor’s of Fine Arts specializing in animation. Beyond this point, I will continue to run my animation company while striving to earn my Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) in Business Management at Woodbury University.
My vision and long-term goal is to have my company DaniMation Entertainment be a mainstream animation studio, like Disney or Warner Brothers, with a new twist—provide an autism and special needs friendly environment to produce animated work and commercials.
For over 9 years with DaniMation Entertainment, I have produced animated commercials, PSAs including Autism Society of America (which was shown at over 4,000 AMC theaters nationwide during Autism Awareness Month, April 2017), 6 books, music videos, and 7 animated shorts that premiered at San Diego Comic Con International through the San Diego International Children’s Film Festival.
This year, I will premiere my 8th animated short The Audition to San Diego Comic-Con on July 22nd, followed by the Palm Springs International Animation Festival & Expo in Comic-Con Palm Springs (August 22nd-26th), and will continue through the film festival circuits.
The Audition is my Woodbury University senior thesis film, about a young girl named Mindy, who wants to be a circus clown. Mindy faces lots of obstacles, but she won’t let anything stop her including the sword swallowing lizard Sandra, who is competing for the same position. Will Mindy get the spot or will Sandra foil Mindy’s plans?
Click on the video player to see the trailer.
Joey Travolta, was the first person who believed in me and gave me my first animation teaching gig when I was 14. I have been working with him ever since, teaching animation to kids with autism. Joey Travolta’s Short Film Camps is a two-week program that teaches teens and young adults with high-functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome the principles of filmmaking. I started teaching animation around the country at age 16 with Joey Travolta’s Inclusion Film Camps in Jacksonville FL, Tenafly NJ, and Detroit MI. My current location for Travolta’s camp is at St. Mary’s College with Futures Explored in Moraga CA.
I am also currently working with VSA Florida’s Animation Gets Real, a one week animation and music program that educates teens and young adults with autism. It currently has two locations, which is University of South Florida in Tampa FL, and the Miami-Dade Public Library in Miami FL. The previous Miami location last year was at Florida International University. This year is Animation Get Real’s 5th Anniversary.
Not only I teach animation around the country, every fall and spring semester, I teach animation at Spectrum Laboratory’s Spec Saturday Animation Workshop, locally at Music Space Studios in Van Nuys CA.
Spectrum Laboratory is an non-profit organization that entertains and empowers young individuals on the autism spectrum and with other special needs through works of film, music and animation. “We provide collaboration with professionals to help our students learn the skills of their craft. Learning through the arts helps people on the autism spectrum with self esteem, social skills and interaction,” said Jason Weissbrod, one of Spectrum Laboratory’s founders.
Spec Saturday Animation Workshop officially started in late January 2017. This is when my students and I animated and produced Spectrum Laboratory’s first fully animated music video Be a Friend, which premiered at SpecFest, May 2017.
From Fall 2017 to Spring 2018, I had my animation students work on their own animation projects.
I would like to give a HUGE thank you ToonBoom for providing the software to make my animation camps possible. This would not happen without their support.
ToonBoom has been DaniMation’s sponsor ever since DaniMation launched in 2009, it provides the animation software Harmony Essentials to help me teach animation at Spec Saturday Animation Workshop and animation programs around the country. All of my animation work including my animated shorts where done in ToonBoom software (primarily Storyboard Pro and Harmony Premium).
Owning and managing an animation company may be difficult, but it is possible by taking one-step at a time. It will take patience, effort, courage, and determination to keep moving forward towards future success. I am fortunate to live in Los Angeles, home to the animation industry, where I am surrounded by other creative animation talent. With these steps of this action plan and with the great people that support me, I am confident that I will achieve my goal of making DaniMation a mainstream animation company.
Leave A Comment