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Travis Tohill

Animation Mentor Alumni
Animator at Industrial Light & Magic

Travis Tohill was raised in Nashville, Tennessee, a town of friendly southern accents, fried food, and twangy music. Growing up, he always had an interest in the arts, constantly drawing, doodling, and eating play dough. He also developed a passion for movies and film-making. One of his favorite television shows when he was very young was Movie Magic, a show that went behind the scenes on film-making and special effects. While watching a model of a tie fighter being blown up in front of a blue screen, he decided he would work in the movies. It wasn't until seeing Jurassic Park and Toy Story that he suspected he would like to be a computer animator.

However, Nashville is far away from the movie business, and over time it seemed like less and less of a possibility. He visited the one and only animation company in TN at the time, and it became painfully clear that they would have no need for new employees for decades to come. So Travis focused his efforts into music, and during and after college played drums professionally. After being on the road for a major label and realizing it wasn't the lifestyle he wanted, Travis decided it was time for a change of pace.

He had heard of Animation Mentor, and after reading about it online, decided to give it a try. So, he quit music, got a part time job in a coffee shop, and dedicated the next 18 months of his life to animating in his bedroom. He went to San Francisco for his Animation Mentor graduation, and also attended the Animation Mentor job fair. After handing out demo reels to various recruiters, he decided to give his last reel to Industrial Light and Magic, knowing that his chances of working there were slim, but thinking that it couldn't hurt. To his absolute shock and amazement the recruiter from ILM actually knew who he was! The school had shown her his demo reel and she had remembered his name!! She asked Travis, "How would you feel about Transformers 2?"

After nearly throwing up on her, Travis said he would love to, and six days later he had officially moved from Nashville to San Francisco and was an animator at ILM. Since then he has worked at ILM and Tippett Studios on Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, Twilight 2: New Moon, Iron Man 2, and is currently working on Rango, ILM's first fully animated feature.


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