Thursday, November 5, 2009

Student Spotlight: Daniel Xiao part 2

At the beginning of the summer I did an interview with a former student of mine, Daniel Xiao, as he began an internship at Pixar. This is a follow up interview done at the conclusion of his internship

1)Have your professional goals changed since completing your internship, if so how?

In a way. If anything they've become more specific in that I know more about how the industry works and the types of jobs I'd like to shoot for. At the moment, matte painting seems like a good step in the right direction.

2)What kind educational/training do feel you gained from your internship that you cannot get from traditional schooling?

I think the most important thing I came away with from this internship was simply learning about what it means to be an artist as a profession. It's one thing to do your own personal project for class. Working on a real feature film with a full-fledged art department and experienced production designer is something else entirely. It's not something I really thought about before the internship but it certainly left the greatest impression afterward.

3)What experience do you feel you gained the most from in your internship?

[see above]

4)Do you feel your internship helped you to eliminated any weaknesses, or simply improve on your strengths?

A little bit of both. I feel like growing as an artist means making the most you possibly can out of your strengths, and then scrambling to plug up any weaknesses.

5)Which skills do you feel you improved?

Learning how to compose well for a shot is the big one. Also keeping your files clean and organized and painting for a specific style.

6)Has your dream job/project changed, if so how, if not do you feel you are closer to fulfilling this dream?

My dream project used to just be working on an epic sci-fi or fantasy film with a massive budget, something on the scale of Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. Now the dream is to have matte paintings in that epic sci-fi/fantasy film.

7)At this point which artistic achievment are you most proud of?

The other matte paint intern and I did nearly every background for one of Pixar's new short films. A few people have described to me what it's like to see your work projected onto a 60-foot screen in front of hundreds of audience members and it's definitely something I've been excited about. It sounds incredible.

8)If you could go back in time 5 months what advice would you give yourself?

Go vacation somewhere nice.

9)If given the opporitunity would you take another internship from Pixar in a year?



Matthew Scheuerman said...

Awesome interview. Thanks for posting this. Really great insights from Daniel

ernesto said...

i love this concept. i have always been curious to know how people go from student to working professional