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All Things Animation - Panel Biographies

Dale Baer started out at Filmation and then spent 23 years with Walt Disney Feature Animation. Baer worked outside of Disney for Ralph Bakshi, Richard Williams, Quartet Films and Hanna-Barbera and headed up the Los Angeles unit on Who Framed Roger Rabbit. He owned Baer Animation in Studio City for 12 years. Although he is retired from Disney, Baer is still busy doing freelance projects for Warner Bros. and Duncan Studios, plus teaching traditional animation at CalArts and mentoring young animators via the Academy’s Spark @ The Academy program.

Neysa Bové joined Walt Disney Animation Studios in 2014 and spearheaded costume design for the Academy Award-nominated Moana. Prior to joining Disney, she was a toy designer for Mattel, designing Barbie dolls. Bové also worked at Disney Consumer Products as a graphic designer. Born and raised in Spain, Bové attended the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles and has also taken animation classes at CalArts.

Everett Downing, Jr. is an animator and storyboard artist with over 15 years of experience in feature films. He has contributed to over 15 animated projects from studios such as Blue Sky Studios, Pixar, DreamWorks and Paramount, on titles such as Ice Age, Ratatouille, Up, Brave and Monsters University. He is currently working at Sony Pictures Animation, storyboarding director Shannon Tindle’s upcoming film.

Jorge R. Gutiérrez is an award-winning painter, writer and director born in Mexico City and raised in Tijuana. He and his wife, Sandra Equihua, created the multiple Emmy Award-winning animated television series “El Tigre, The Adventures of Manny Rivera” for Nickelodeon. Gutiérrez co-wrote and made his feature directorial debut with The Book of Life for 20th Century Fox. Most recently he created and directed the VR short Son of Jaguar for Google Spotlight Stories. He is attached to write and direct the upcoming Billion Brick Race LEGO film for Warner Bros.

Vanessa Morrison was named president of 20th Century Fox Animation in 2007 after serving as executive vice president at 20th Century Fox. During her tenure at 20th Century Fox, Morrison spearheaded the production of Garfield: The Movie, Cheaper by the Dozen, Cheaper by the Dozen 2, Dr. Dolittle 2 and Fat Albert. Since moving to the studio’s animation division, she has overseen such films as the Ice Age and Rio franchises, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Epic, The Book of Life and The Peanuts Movie. Up next for 20th Century Fox Animation are Ferdinand and Pigeon Impossible.

Simon Otto is a director, animator and story artist for DreamWorks Animation. He joined the studio’s character animation team in 1997 to work on their first animated film, The Prince of Egypt. He contributed to numerous DreamWorks films, including Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Shark Tale, Flushed Away and Bee Movie, becoming head of character animation in 2006. Otto has since overseen the animation of the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, being instrumental in developing the look of the characters, their personalities and the overall style of the animation on multiple platforms, including film, television and interactive media.

Randy Haberkamp (Moderator) is the managing director of preservation and foundation programs for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and has direct oversight of the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library, the Academy Film Archive, Public Programming, Education and other foundation programs including the Student Academy Awards, the Nicholl Fellowships and the Oral History Projects. He received his MA in motion picture production from UCLA and worked for 14 years at the CBS Television Network, where he last held the post of director of specials and feature films.