David Estes (U.S. Army Veteran) has successfully applied his interests, skills and his knowledge acquired at The Los Angeles Film School to establish himself as a professional in the entertainment industry. David graduated as valedictorian from the Computer Animation program in December 2010. With a positive and friendly demeanor, great networking skills and an endless supply of motivation David is consistently referred for jobs and steady work.
In 2009, David was driving by The Los Angeles Film School and randomly decided to stop in. He immediately knew he wanted to attend, stating, “Everyone here has such great energy; all the teachers, students, and staff. Plus everyone has such drive and passion for the industry…As far as transitioning from the military to here, the staff was very helpful with the paperwork, documentation, and getting into the program. I’m very grateful for all they’ve done.”
In transitioning from active duty to the civilian culture, David used his military background to stay focused on goals: “The program here is very intensive…like a real working experience. In the military you are used to being on a schedule and having deadlines, so I would say my military background helped.”
By summer 2010, he was working on a VFX commercial, which lead to a steady stream of gigs. “Once they found out what I could do and was capable of, they brought me back to do more work.” Most recently The Return of the Killer Shrews- a feature film- wrapped production. David’s role as CGI Lead Animator and Visual Effects Supervisor was an important part of the feature. The expected domestic distribution network for The Return of the Killer Shrews is the SyFy Channel. Watch the trailer here and check out a behind the scenes video with an on-set interview with David at the end.
Ever since David was 12 years old he knew he wanted to be in vfx & animation. At the age of 13 he made a 10 minute short film titled Flowers and submitted it to a film festival. “I remember using MS Paint,” he recalls with a laugh. That level of commitment at such a young age reinforces that drive; it is also inherent to his character. Now David has a polished demo reel, business cards and proof that he can do the work. His advice for those just starting out:
“Have patience and determination. Sometimes it will seem like there’s not much progress happening, but you have to take it step by step. Prove yourself. Do research. This path is about you – you make the best of it so get out there and gain experience. What’s the worst that can happen, they say no? Then you move on to the next opportunity and take what you’ve learned.”
The Los Angeles Film School would like to thank David for his military service and congratulate him on his academic and professional achievements!
Watch the on-camera interview on our YouTube Page.