LCAD Main Campus

Mike Pelensky


Storyboard Revisionist DreamWorks Television Animation


Since graduating from LCAD, I've animated on a banner ad for "Ren & Stimpy" creator John K., animated and storyboarded on several projects with Hero4Hire Creative near Boston, and made a few animatics to stay in the public eye and keep the gears in my head from getting rusty. I'm currently working full-time on the hit Netflix series "All Hail King Julien".
Coming from virtually no animation education, but a deep-seated passion for classic Disney and Warner Bros. cartoons, I benefited profoundly from the company of my fellow students, my professors, and other legendary animators that I met by association while at LCAD. The animation business is no different. Master one facet of filmmaking or draftsmanship and you've still got a dozen to go! Thankfully, I'm still thirsty for knowledge and practicing to get better at my craft every day, and my coworkers and supervisors are treasure troves of insight.
If you want to pursue a career in animation, especially where storytelling is concerned, here's a tip: Go to LCAD. I'll bullet-point a few tips as well, for those who are comforted by seeing numbers at the beginning of paragraphs:
1. Play to your strengths. Are you likely to tell a story whose main character is Rapunzel? Luke Skywalker? Batman? Daffy Duck? You'll definitely want to branch out and test your skills with something new or daring as you move forward, but don't lose sight of the stuff that gets you most psyched in storytelling.
2. Favor the simplest, most direct approach (to a point). Don't skimp on expressions, construction, or nuanced action - if characters behave differently, they should be drawn differently. Their actions will sure as heck be timed differently. That said, a character always makes his/her point more clearly with a few simple gestures than flapping and twirling his/her arms about.
3. Don't stop! After completing my senior film "A Little Hitch" and in between freelance assignments, I continued to make animatics and limited-animation skits to stay active and prove that I was not a one-trick pony. I have a feeling that all that work combined landed me the DreamWorks gig. After all, if you love what you do, you should be prepared to do it at least 40 hours a week!

Undergraduate Alumni: