Alexis Block is a SVAD UCF Alumni currently working at DreamWorks on their upcoming Croods series for Netflix.
Why did you choose SVAD UCF?
In High School I knew I wanted to pursue animation but that I also needed to stay in-state for financial reasons. After checking out Ringling, FSU and FullSail the choice was pretty easy. The Visual language program at UCF was only a few years old at the time and they were the only program in the state taking a collaborative approach to an animation degree. I really loved touring the facilities in downtown Orlando and seeing all the students working together to make an animated short. And everyone was so welcoming too!
What did you like most about it?
The energy/environment of all the classes. A lot of other schools focus on the individual but with Visual Language we were a team completing one film. My time at UCF really made the transition into the industry all that much smoother, I was already used to that world!
Most colleges have a specific personality that goes beyond its academic offerings. How would you describe UCF personality at that time?
This is going to sound really nerdy, but bear with me- in those days UCF was like the Cartoon Network of the state schools. You had your Disney Channels and Nickelodeons dominating the system, but here we were doing these new, crazy-cool things and having a great time, even if no one was really watching. Slowly but surely people started looking our way and wanting to be a part of it as well. Nowadays most people I meet instantly recognize UCF, that's awesome!
What surprises did you experience?
None? Hard question, haha! I can't really think of anything that surprised me, sorry.
How did your time at UCF shape your decisions and choices in your life and your career.
After graduating from UCF I was inspired to pursue a Master's degree in Animation as well. I really want to be able to give back in the same way our professors during my time in the program mentored all of us. I want to soak up as much knowledge as I can about this industry in the next 15 years so I can help foster the next generation of animation graduates in the same kind of environment UCF provided.
What do you like about your current job/life?
That I'm still excited everyday to go to work. I've been at 3 different studios and each one always has familiar faces, some UCF alum too! We're a small industry so everyone really looks out for one another. It's great piece of mind knowing that if I'm ever on a show that gets cancelled, I have a network of great people to turn to find that next project.
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