We had the good fortune of connecting with Cameron Ward and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cameron, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
my reputation. we all have one. it’s way out there in front of us. it has already had a conversation with everyone in the interview long before I show up and introduce myself. my reputation is something that, for the most part, I’m responsible for cultivating and tending to and protecting. I’m the one who polishes it and makes it shine or neglects it and allows it to dull.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
when I started out on the pursuit of a career in animation fifteen years ago, there were two schools of note and I landed at the very best of those options, Gnomon School of Visual Effects. going to Gnomon equipped me with a large tool belt that lets me fit in to a large number of roles in the visual effects pipeline, the capacity to continue my education to new software,tools, and techniques as the industry grows and changes, and a network large enough to ensure that I’ll be working for years to come. further, patience and perseverance were important to attaining the position I wanted rather than throwing in the towel altogether or settling for a much more menial post. I continued to wait tables, tend bar, and look for work for two years after finishing at Gnomon before I was able to break into the industry in a position I was hungry for at Aaron Sims Company in 2010. despair definitely set in more than once during the several years at Gnomon and in the couple of years following my education, but I waited patiently until the right opportunity came along and I took it! Aaron Sims Company was a launchpad for the career that has followed.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
the South Bay is the hidden gem of Los Angeles County. skip Santa Monica. skip Hollywood. skip Beverly Hills and Venice. spend your week between Playa Del Rey and Hermosa Beach. great food, great beaches, great communities, and a nightlife without the LA grunge is all you need for a great week in LA.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
despite my parents’ best efforts to nudge me toward a successful career, my Any Smalltown, North Carolina community college British Lit teacher, Bill Horchler, is the person most responsible for me pursuing a career that I enjoy charting. after class, Mr. H asked me to come back to his office to discuss the paper he’d just returned to us with our grade. don’t get the wrong idea, I’d aced the paper. when we were seated in his shared cubby of an office, he asked me THE question that would change my calculus about the future. he asked me what I wanted to do with my life, and I responded that I was well on my way to becoming a nurse taking pre-nursing classes and basic college courses to get into the nursing program. then he said to me, “no, no! what do you REALLY want to do with your life?” until then, I’d never questioned what I wanted. rather, I’d been meditating on the low hanging fruit available in southeastern North Carolina. I hadn’t ever considered making movies as even a remote possibility until Mr. H met me with that question and a couple of years of mentorship to get me properly oriented toward an aspiration to do what I wanted to do with my life.