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PROFILE: Just Out of School and Already on Schedule With His Television-Industry Career

Andrew Marshall of Anderson Township graduated last June from UC’s digital design program. Already, he’s found full-time work in Hollywood. In fact, you can see his handiwork on “American Idol,” “World Idol” and "The O.C."

Date: 3/15/2004 8:00:00 AM
By: Mary Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos By: Provided by Andrew Marshall
UC ingot Appreciate the irony:  2003 digital design graduate Andrew Marshall, 25, of Anderson Township is so busy with his new career in the television industry that he never actually has time to watch television anymore.

Andrew on the Santa Monica beach

Admits Andrew, “Twelve-hour days are normal.  Six days a week is normal.  Sometimes, I have to work on Sunday too to get a project done.  I generally miss my three-times-a- week Kung Fu class….

“Sometimes, I turn on the TV to see two or three different projects I’ve worked on, just to check out how they look coming through the satellite.  That’s the best.  To see my projects on the air.  Normally, though, I don’t watch the shows I work on because I have to prioritize my time.  But my family back in Cincinnati watches them for me,” he laughs.

Unless, like Andrew, you’re more than, well, animated about the chance to create television animations, promotional graphics and logos along with movie billboards, the high volume and high pressure of the work might get as stale as droning sitcom reruns, but not so for Andrew.  “I love it,” he says matter of factly.  “If you don’t love it, you can’t get it done because you wouldn’t put in the time, the energy.”

In fact, Andrew loves his design career so much that he actually seeks out freelance work in addition to his more-than-full-time schedule as a designer and animator for Aerodrome Pictures in Los Angeles, a company that provides brand identity, animations, promotional graphics and more for both mainstream networks like ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox as well as cable channels like Comedy Central, National Geographic and Sci-Fi.

He’s also designing toy concepts on a freelance basis for Hasbro, Inc., a direct outgrowth of toy-design co-op experiences he had with that company while a College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning student.  Explains Andrew, “I do regular freelance work on GI-Joe, Tonka and various other toy lines.”

All of his work – both full-time and freelance – grows out of his student days in the digital design program.  Andrew started out as a fine art student at DAAP but switched to digital design.  He didn’t have his sites set on Hollywood at the time.  “I was actually interested in things like space animation at the time, working in a documentary style.  I liked that kind of work better than special effects and science fiction,” he recalls.  At the same time, he had three toy-design co-ops with Hasbro, Inc., as well as other co-ops creating architectural and interior design visualizations.  (Co-op refers to the practice at UC where students alternate academic quarters in the classroom with paid, professional work directly related to their major.  Co-op had its worldwide founding at UC in 1906.)  “The co-ops were valuable, especially those at Hasbro, because I learned to understand the process of seeing something through the entire design phase to product.  I learned to design for a target market, not necessarily what would please me personally.”

Andrew in the mountains

So, how did he make it out to Hollywood?  It’s simple.  Andrew visited the West Coast as a junior and felt immediately at home in the diverse environment there.  So, he knew two things – that he loved working with 3-D animation, and he loved the diversity he found on the West Coast.  It seemed simple logic to combine the two things he loved.

At first, upon moving to Los Angeles in September 2003, Andrew did freelance contract animation work out of his apartment for different companies.  Then, Aerodrome Pictures hired him for a four-week trial.  “They actually gave me a try as a design assistant, organizing files and tapes.  I guess I proved myself at that time because now I’m a full-time designer and animator with them.  I was just so lucky,” he claims.

If so, it’s luck he designed for himself.

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