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Jess Morris

Animation Mentor Alumni

Jess Morris grew up in a small town in Wisconsin. Between shoveling snow, swatting mosquitoes and eating cheese she enjoyed drawing, movie marathons, Mario Cart tournaments and going on adventures outside. There were lots of things Jess dreamed of growing up to do when she was a kid, but ..none of them quite felt right. Well, ice cream taster felt pretty darn right, but she couldn't figure out what major that would fall under on her college application. Even though all the things she was passionate about all pointed to 'Animator', she never knew this was a possibility for a career.

It was when Jurassic Park came out she started questioning things and wondering where they found dinosaurs – and ones that could act! This is when she was told it was 'movie magic'. So Jess thought in order to make dinosaurs she would have to become a magician. After a couple card tricks gone wrong she decided she could never be cut out to make movie magic. She loved to draw and paint though, so the idea of growing up to be an artist made her happy. But then.. DVD's were invented with all their 'behind the scenes' glory and she learned PEOPLE (that weren't magicians) made movies. Even though this realization was one of the most exciting points in Jess's life, it was also one of the scariest. There weren't any animation jobs in Wisconsin. She would have to leave her family and friends, everything she knew, her life, to follow a dream she didn't know was even reachable. But she had to take a chance. She had to try. So she did.

At 18 years old Jess packed up her little '87 Toyota and drove across country to San Diego where she attended the Art Institute. During her schooling she got an internship at Nickelodeon which was her first in-studio experience. After graduating she got an internship at a game studio, High Moon, which turned into a full time position in the cinematics department. Jess was still thirsty for learning everything she could about animation so she signed up for Animation Mentor. It was the best decision she could have made for her career. Shortly after graduating she moved up to the Bay Area to work at Tippett Studio on Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. After that she jumped over to ILM for Iron Man 2 and Rango.


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