Lee Crowe

LLee is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, who studied animation at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. She began her career in Los Angeles at Tom Carter productions, with freelance gigs at Richard Williams and Kurtz and Friends. Her first long term job was at Film Roman followed by Filmation and BRC, where Lee did work as a character assistant animator and storyboard revisionist. Lee worked at Walt Disney Feature Animation doing character cleanup on the movies “The Little Mermaid” and “Brother Bear”, and as a special effects assistant on “The Rescuers Down Under”. She has also worked as an effects animator for Don Bluth, Ralph Bakshi (“Cool World”), Turner Studios (“Cats Don’t Dance”), Warner Brothers (“Space Jam,” “Osmosis Jones”), and Dreamworks (“Spirit Stallion of the Cimarron”). Lee returned to Film Roman as a Timing Director on the TV show “King of the Hill”, followed by a stint at Fox animation as a timer and storyboard artist on “Family Guy”. She has her MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design and has taught animation at the college level since 2004. She currently teaches at Cal State Northridge and is a Timing Director on “The Simpsons”.

Wendy Grieb

Inspired by the Muppets, Disney movies, and illustrators such as Maurice Sendak, Mercer Mayer and Tony DeTerlizzi, Wendy Grieb has loved to draw for as long as she can remember. Wendy Grieb worked for 16 years as a storyboard artist for Walt Disney TV Animation. A highly accomplished and versatile visual storyteller and animation artist she has been cast as storyboard artist and development artist on many diverse productions, ranging from comedies including Phineas and Ferb, Pepper Ann, Lilo and Stitch, and Dave the Barbarian, to action adventure shows like Tarzan, Hercules, and Jake Long: American Dragon. One of the first artists at Disney TV to embrace digital drawing tools, Wendy has storyboarded for traditionally animated productions as well as 2D digitally animated shows such as The Buzz on Maggie and 3D digitally animated productions such as My Friends Tigger and Pooh. In 2004, Wendy was awarded the highest level of recognition offered by the Animation industry, winning the Annie Award for storyboarding on a Television Production for her storyboard work on “The Maddening Sprite of the Stump” for the Disney TV series Dave the Barbarian. Wendy’s accomplishments and esteemed reputation in the animation industry have resulted in her talents being sought out by various other studios and she has also worked as an animation development artist, storyboard artist, and character designer for the Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Sony Adelaide Productions, Film Roman, Klasky-Csupo, Flashbang Studios, Sunbow, etc. In addition to her professional work as an animation artist, Wendy is currently illustrating children’s books for Scarletta Press, and teaches Animation at California State University Fullerton.

WAC 2015 Judges

Lyndon Ruddy

As a graduate of Sheridan College in Canada, Lyndon has 30 years of experience in the animation industry on an international level. He’s covered pretty much every aspect of the creative production from key Animation, layout supervisor, design and storyboarding at many top studios. He began his career in Toronto at Nelvana Animation working with Lucasfilm on Ewoks and Droids as well as freelancing for various commercial houses such as Lightbox animating on Honey nut Cheerios spots.Soon after that Lyndon excelled into Storyboard/Layout Supervisor/Animation and Design roles on many award winning projects (KimPossible, Tom & Jerry, Backyadigans, Arthur) for Disney, Blue Sky,Warner Bros., Nelvana, Wildbrain to name a few. Focusing exclusively on Storyboarding/Story Lyndon went onto work on many Feature Films including The Wild, Escape from Planet Earth, Gnomeo & Juliet, The Nut Job Henry and Me. He moved to the U.S. full time to work as a Story Artist on The Legend of Tembo at Digital Domain in Florida, then onto Disneytoon Studios in LA where he worked on Story and Story Development for the Tinkerbell and Planes World franchises’ Feature films, pitching story ideas and concepts to the executives, producers and directors.Lyndon is currently a Story Artist/ Development Artist at Paramount. Pictures new Feature Animation division in Hollywood California.”

Stephen Chiodo

President and creative director of Chiodo Bros. Productions Inc. Stephen Chiodo has established himself as a highly creative special effects director with an expertise in stop-motion animation. Stephen perfected his animation and directorial skills at Rochester Institute of Technology, where he was awarded "Best Young Director" at the Cannes Film Festival for his ten-minute short, "Cricket”. In the early eighties, he collaborated with Tim Burton and Rich Heinricks as a Technical Director and Animator for the acclaimed animated short Vincent. Stephen’s directing credits include the first feature length clay animated film I Go Pogo and the cult classic Killer Klowns from Outer Space.  Recent credits include the stop motion character animation for New Line Cinema’s “Elf” and creating the cast of marionettes for Paramount’s “Team America- World Police “. Recently Stephen has directed pilots for CNN, ShowTime, Relativity Media and the Disney Channel as well as creating content for new media outlets on the Internet. Stephen has also been sharing his experiences and knowledge by teaching stop motion animation at the prestigious California Institute of Art.

Hock Wong

Hock Wong’s 15 years’ experience spans various entertainment industry, including games, TV, Film, etc. He is currently a Previs/Post-vis Artist at Halon Entertainment. Hock is also a Consulting Layout Supervisor on the Chinese animated film: “Little Door Spirits” by Light Chaser Animation in Beijing. Prior to that, he was a Previs/Layout artist at studios such as Sony Pictures Animation, Dreamworks Animation and has worked on animated movies such as “Hotel Transylvania 2”, “Home”, “The Croods”, "Shrek Forever After", "Puss in Boots", "Kung Fu Panda 2", "How To Train Your Dragon", etc. Earlier in his career, Hock was a Lead Animator on cinematics at Sony Playstation for 6 years and worked on game titles such as: Warhawk, Lair, Killzone, Socom series, MLB, Hock teaches at the Art Institute of California as well as other places. He has a BFA in Computer Arts from the Academy of Arts University and a MA in Interactive Media and Game Design from Savannah College of Art and Design.

Pete Michels

Originally from New Jersey, Pete Michels earned a BFA in Illustration from Jersey City State College and an MFA in Animation from UCLA. After landing a job on “The Simpsons” in 1990, Pete quickly moved up the ranks to become a Director by 1995. Staying on to direct for several more seasons, Pete then accepted a post as Supervising Director on “Family Guy”. Eventually directing more than

a dozen “Family Guy” episodes, including the direct to video movie “Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story”. Pete is currently Supervising Director on Adult Swim’s new show “Rick and Morty”, coming this Fall, and continues painting watercolor landscapes as time will allow. He and his wife, Emily, have two sons, Sam, and Eddie, and live in Stevenson Ranch, CA.


Lee Lanier

Lee Lanier has worked as a professional computer animator and VFX (visual effects) artist since 1994. He has over 70 features, shorts, music videos, trailers, and commercials to his credit. While at Buena Vista Visual Effects at Walt Disney Studios, he created VFX for numerous feature films. While at PDI/DreamWorks, he served as a senior animator on Antz and Shrek. Along the way, he directed a series of independent, animated short films that went on to play 200+ film festivals, museums, and art galleries worldwide. His work has been featured at such venues as Sundance, Slamdance, SXSW, the Ottawa International Animation Festival, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Smithsonian Institution. As a world-renowned expert in the animation and VFX fields, Lee has written high-end software books that have sold 30,000 copies, has authored VFX training videos for lynda.com, has taught VFX compositing at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood, and is a member of VES (Visual Effects Society). A strong supporter of the arts, Lee co-founded the Dam Short Film Festival – Nevada’s largest film festival – and continues to serve as its executive director. He also co-manages the Boulder City branch of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School. In addition, he curates The Art Space gallery in Boulder City and is a member of the Boulder City Art Guild. Lee has recently turned his skills to painting, creating his first two series in 2015.


Jose Zelaya

Jose Zelaya was born in El Salvador and moved to Los Angeles when he was twelve. His interest in art and animation began at a very young age. Exploring his passion for drawing and art, Jose graduated from Poly Technic High then earned himself a scholarship in animation at Crain/Royer Studios in Santa Monica, CA. Jose has excelled in animation as a Senior Character Designer and Visual Development Artist at Disney Animation Studio. He has worked on shows such as Recess, An Extremely Goofy Movie, Lilo & Stitch series, American Dragon, The Emperor’s New School, Tigger & Pooh, Phineas and Ferb, Kick Buttowski and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Minnies Boutique and more. Recently he worked as the primary character designer for the Annie Award-winning musical Interactive animation show, Jake and the Neverland Pirates and is currently working on Lion Guard. Jose is also a freelance artist working for studios such as Rough Draft Studios, Sony, Universal and Cartoon Network. Some of these shows include Futurama, Drawn Together, Stripperella, Spiderman and Curious George.

Juli Murphy

Juli Murphy has been an animation professional for 25 years. Her credits include directing episodes of “Hey Arnold”, “Danny Phantom”, “The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy”, and “Chowder”. A four-time Emmy Award nominee, Juli is currently a timing director on “Sanjay and Craig” at Nickelodeon. She has a BA in Animation from San Francisco State University.

International Animation Festival

Edwin Aguilar

Edwin Aguilar, a 5 time Emmy Awarding winning animator, has been in the animation industry for over 20 years. Born in El Salvador, he moved to Los Angeles in 1982 to flee the civil war. Art was always Edwin’s passion, eventually earning him one scholarship in fine arts and illustration at Art Center of Design in Pasadena and another in animation at Royer Studios in Santa Monica. After working as assistant animator at Graz Entertainment, Hanna-Barbara, and Chuck Jones Film Productions, Edwin earned a position on The Simpsons as a character layout artist. Since 1998 he has worked on the show as storyboard artist, character design artist, and prop design artist. While working on The Simpsons Movie, Edwin moved into his current position as an assistant director. He also works freelance for Bento Box, Bongo Comics, Cottage Animation and Cartoon Network. Another of Edwin’s passions is helping kids through art. Since 1994, Edwin has been facilitating animation workshops for children of all ages in schools across the country. He works with kids to produce 30 second animated public service announcements on topics such as diversity, negative affects of substance abuse, dangers of smoking, and anti-bullying. In 2011, Teen Line honored him with their “Above and Beyond” award for his work with kids and animation.

Virginie Michel d'Annoville

Virginie is an animation supervisor, animator, rigger and professor of animation with over twenty years experience in feature animation & visual effects, commercials, and games for various studios with most of that time spent at Industrial Light and Magic in San Francisco in addition to Lucasfilm Animation in Singapore and Sony Pictures Imageworks in Los Angeles. She was a technical animation supervisor on the academy award winning animated film Rango as well as a sequence supervisor and a character lead. Virginie has also worked on a large variety of other films such as Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones, Star Wars Episode 3 : Revenge of the Sith, Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, The Hulk, Superman Returns, The Chronicles of Narnia :The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.