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Animation Director
Animator | Creative Developer

Academy Award ® nominated Animation Director has been working in the film industry for more than 25 years.  Received Oscar nomination for Tim Burton’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND (Disney), along with nominations for BAFTA Award, Saturn Award and Critic’s Choice Award, and won the Golden Satellite Award for Best Visual Effects for his team’s work on the film.   

        

Head of Animation on Sony Picture’s SURFS UP, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and recognized with two Annie Awards among its ten nominations and four Visual Effects Society (VES) award nominations.

 

Received VES award for Best Character Animation in STUART LITTLE 2 in 2003, and since that time has acquired multiple VES nominations for individual achievement.

 

Was also ANIMATION DIRECTOR on  AMAZING SPIDERMAN 2 (2014) and supported the reboot two years prior (Sony),  CHRONICLES OF NARNIA (Disney), I AM LEGEND (Warner Bros.) and lead animator on STUART LITTLE 1 & 2, EVOLUTION, CAST AWAY, GODZILLA, and PATCH ADAMS and more...

 

                 Hi, I’m David Schaub.  I've spent my career jumping headfirst into the unknown and finding the most creative path out of the jungle.  I’m usually hired as an Animation Director or Animation Supervisor, but I often work as an Animator as well because that's why I got into this business, and I still LOVE it!  As a result, I am one of the most hands-on animation directors you will find. Crews are happy because I'm excited to roll up my sleeves and join the ranks during the tough times, and studios love it because I am able to define the animation style, tone and expectations with directors before bringing on the larger team.

 

I am known for championing world-class animation on high profile feature films for both Visual Effects AND Feature Animation (two entirely different disciplines); having received awards and nominations in both categories.  While I have successfully tackled a cross-section of styles, my passion is in creating believable, heartfelt performances.  Either way, I have proven time and again to be incredibly adaptable to the needs of production, whatever those needs might be.  And if things ever get slow, I have a backlog of other projects in development.

 

I thrive in challenging situations, managing large, multi-disciplinary teams and partners under pressure, and meeting or exceeding schedule and budgetary expectations.  I’m comfortable managing uncertainty, sheltering artists from the slings and arrows of production while coaching, mentoring, and bringing out the best the team has to offer.

 

  • Alice in Wonderland (2010)

  • Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) 

  • The Green Lantern (2011)

  • I Am Legend (2007)

  • The Chronicles of Narnia (2005)

  • The Polar Express (2004)

       (Animals & keyframed characters) 

Oversaw creative workflow from character look-development, modeling, rigging, animation and editorial through post-production. Worked closely with directors, producers, visual development department, editorial, marketing and studio management.

Supervised teams exceeding 100 animators locally and remote to bring client's vision to life.

Animation Director

Head of Animation

  • Surf's Up (2007) 

Responsible for defining and maintaining a consistent performance style among animators of varied backgrounds and artistic sensibilities. Review, supervise, mentor and guide the work of 60+ animators and assistants to assure the successful execution of the creative vision for the project.

Supervising Animator

  • Stuart Little 2 (2001)

  • Castaway (2000)

  • The Astronaut's Wife (1998)

  • Patch Adams (1998)

  • The Craft (1996)

Animator

  • Evolution (2000)

  • Hollowman (1999)

  • Stuart Little (1999)

  • Godzilla (1996)

  • Anaconda (1995)

 

 

Honors and Awards 

Nomination - Academy Award for Best Visual Effects "Alice in Wonderland"

Feb 2010 - Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

 

Nomination - BAFTA Achievement in Visual Effects "Alice in Wonderland"

Feb 2010 - British Academy of Film and Television Arts

 

Nomination - Critics' Choice Award "Alice in Wonderland"

Feb 2010 - Broadcast Film Critics Association

 

Nomination - Gold Derby Award - Visual Effects "Alice in Wonderland"

Feb 2010 - Gold Derby Awards

Nomination - Best Visual Effects in an Effects Driven Motion Picture

Feb 2010 - Visual Effects Society

WON - Golden Satellite Award "Alice in Wonderland"

Mar 2010 - International Press Academy

 

 

 

WON - VES Best Character Animation in an Animated Motion Picture "Stuart Little 2"

Feb 2002 - Visual Effects Society

Nomination - VES Outstanding Virtual Cinematography "The Amazing Spiderman"

Feb 2012 - Visual Effects Society

 

Nomination - VES Outstanding Performance by an Animated Character in a Live Action Feature "I Am Legend"

Feb 2007 - Visual Effects Society

 

Nomination - VES Outstanding Performance by an Animated Character an Animated Feature "Polar Express"

Characters: “Smokey and Steamer” 

(The two non-motion-captured characters in the film).

Feb 2005 - Visual Effects Society

 

Nomination - VES Outstanding Performance by an Animated Character an Animated Feature "Surf's Up"

Character: “Cody Maverick”

Feb 2007 - Visual Effects Society

 

Nomination - VES Outstanding Performance by an Animated Character an Animated Feature "Surf's Up"

Character: “Chicken Joe”

Feb 2007 - Visual Effects Society

 

reels

"Flying Elephant" 

This is an unsolicited animation pitch that I did for Tim Burton in 2016, before a production design for this character existed (that I know of).  It is NOT Dumbo.  It's just a baby elephant with REALLY big ears to explore how an elephant might fly.  This test was not funded or sanctioned by Disney, so I'm able to post it here as an example of a personal animation pitch for the director.

Vertical Launch:

Running Launch  (loop):

Jurassic World VR Expedition ™  (2018)

Animation Director

WINNER

Cinequest VR Awards, 2019

WINNER

Upload VR Awards, 2018

“It was the best VR experience we’ve had in the four years of covering the space.”

Joined creative team at VRC as Animation Director to develop cinematic motion-base VR ride for Universal's Jurassic World  property.

Brought a new level of visual quality to the VR space with a team of award-winning film veterans for a fully  immersive cinematic experience.

— Gene Munster, VR Industry Analyst | Loup Ventures

Animation Director Reels 

These narrated reels feature a "Behind-the-scenes" look at character builds, animation and virtual cinematography for a few different kinds of films:

Alice in Wonderland - Character Builds

Talking Animals - samples

- Chronicles of Narnia:  Beavers & Wolves - (00:00)

- Alice in Wonderland:  Bloodhound - (02:35)

- Stuart Little 2:  Birds (sequence lead) - (04:23)

Amazing Spider-Man 2 - Anim. & VFX

I Am Legend

- Animals start @ 2:30

- Infected dogs - (2:30)

- Deer (and lion) - (3:38)

- Lab Rats - (4:55)

SURF'S UP:  Screen Tests 

  

This video features the screen test that I animated early in production to help define style for the film and set the tone for the work that followed.  I also included a few other shots here that I personally animated over the course of production:

...and these reels are narrated for a "Behind-the-scenes" look at character builds and animation from the team: 

Cody Maverick -  Character Build

The Geek -  Character Build

Chicken Joe -  Character Build

Additional SHOWREELS and DEVELOPMENT TESTS available on request.  Lots more where these came from...

 

Training

Here is a sampling of classes I teach as new crews are pulled together on various productions.  Training needs vary from show-to-show, but these are a few that I tend to repeat time and again… with more material and classes added as needs arise. Definitely the best method for getting everyone on the same page!  

  • Physics for Animators - (Three sessions)

  • The Art and Science of Animating Expressive Eyes

  • Lip Sync - A bulletproof method for getting it right.

  • Lessons Learned in Anim. and VFX - A retrospective.

  • Animator’s Survival Guide - Getting in and staying in.

Taught, lectured and presented the team’s work in Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada and North America at industry conventions and conferences including FMX, VIEW and SIGGRAPH.

 

endorsements

 

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