mobile navigation

Alumni Profiles

Benjamin Su

Benjamin Su

Faculty of Animation, Arts & Design
Year of Graduation: 2002
Program: Animation - Classical

Animated Dreams

What have been the highlights of your career so far? 

I had the good fortune of graduating during the Canadian CG movie boom. Upon leaving Sheridan I landed a job as a Character Animator/Modeler on Disney’s The Wild with Toronto’s C.O.R.E Digital. Adding a feature film credit to my resume soon led to work on the feature films Everyone's Hero and 9 (Arc Productions, formerly Starz Animation) and Space Chimps (Vanguard Animation). Soon after, I made the move to California, working for Sony Imageworks and then Pixar where I am today. I can truly say that I have enjoyed every moment of it. However, a high point of my time here has been working on Toy Story 3 which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. The original Toy Story was one of the films that inspired me to study CG so being able to bring the characters of Woody and Buzz to life was both exciting and nostalgic. 

What have you enjoyed most about working in the animation industry so far? 

I absolutely loved being able to discover new cities through my work at diverse studios. An adventurous person can gain some unforgettable experience at the many outstanding animation studios all over the world. I've also made some lifelong friends along the way. Plus contributing to films that entertain both parents and kids is especially satisfying! 

What are your strongest memories of your time at Sheridan? 

Studying classical animation was a very inspiring time for me. I've always enjoyed drawing but to be able to pursue this hobby as a profession was a dream come true. Sheridan's extensive program which focused on all aspects of design, layout and life drawing kept me on a creative high. We all had a common goal and helping each other reach that goal was very rewarding. 

Was there a faculty member who made a particular impact on your life?

David Quesnelle was very influential in my final year at Sheridan. He was a hands-on teacher, consistently encouraging and pushing me to do my best. It's one thing to have a teacher explain animation theory, but to have a professional like him sit down and actually show me how to make improvements, was an amazing learning experience. 

What advice would you give a Sheridan animation student? 

To land a job in this industry is not an easy step. It takes perseverance, patience and daily hard work to snag that dream job. But if you are truly passionate about the field, don't give up; continue to work hard on your craft and eventually the work will pay off. 

What roadblocks did you face? 

I had to convince my parents that I could make a living out of my passion. They had to trust in me as I followed my dream to attend art school. Also, the industry itself has its ups and downs and you always has to be ready to move on to the next gig once the contract ends. As exciting as it is to gain new experience, it can also be tough to move so frequently. 

What do you predict for the future in the industry? 

There will be an increase in motion capture films, especially after the success of Avatar which took the technology to a different level. If Steven Spielberg's upcoming Tintin does well, I can see more live action directors taking this route.