Animation director Peter Ramsey recently spoke to the students at the South Atlanta High School of Computer Animation and Design. Mr. Ramsey is currently directing DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians. Rise of the Guardians is an epic adventure that tells the story of a group of heroes – each with extraordinary abilities. The feature film is based on William Joyce’s The Guardians of Childhood series of children’s books and is set to be released on November 21, 2012.
Mr. Ramsey viewed a demo reel of various animated works done by the students of the South Atlanta High School of Computer Animation and Design. He spoke words of praise and encouragement to the students and reflected that his early animated projects were very similar to theirs. Various clips from Rise of the Guardians were shown and he went into background as to how each scene was constructed then animated. Mr. Ramsey stressed that the students continue to draw, get involved in as many animated projects as they could, learn and work with animation software, read and watch films of all genres to learn about story telling, storyboarding and character development. “Way before I even thought about directing, I was making my own small films. Back in the day, it was done on Super 8, 16 mm. As I was storyboarding, I was also reading a lot about film history and film technique.” His career path lead him to directing, which is a job that takes elements from his previous work experiences and has a great deal of responsibility. “The biggest job of the director is to keep the whole team focused on the story and the direction that the story takes,” said Mr. Ramsey.
Prior to his involvement with Rise of the Guardians, Mr. Ramsey directed the hit Halloween special, Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space. In addition to directing Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space, Ramsey served as head of story on DreamWorks Animation’s Monsters vs. Aliens and has worked as a storyboard artist on a number of live action feature films, which include Minority Report, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Cast Away, Fight Club, Men in Black, Independence Day and Batman Forever, amongst others.
Having grown-up in Crenshaw, Mr. Ramsey is a lifelong resident of Los Angeles, California. He is a graduate of Palisades High School and attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The South Atlanta High School of Computer Animation and Design thanks Mr. Ramsey for his visit, his words of encouragement and professional insight.