Expired November 8, 2021 7:59 AM
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Learn the how, why, and what to do, from some of the industry’s greatest animators.

The mix of live-action and animation in features isn’t new but the team behind Space Jam: A New Legacy was met with some unique challenges; from working with beloved characters to having to shift to working from home partway through production.

Go behind the scenes of the making of the film with some of the key talent that helped shape the look of the movie including animation digital art director Scott Johnston, co-animation supervisor and production designer Devin Crane, co-FX supervisor Mary Sheridan, co-head of clean up animation Elizabeth Watasin, and animation supervisor Spike Brandt, as they discuss everything from the challenges of keeping a uniform look on the 2D animation to being on set with LeBron James.

Image courtesy @ 2021 Warner Bros. All Rights Reserved.


Scott F. Johnston

Owner // Fleeting Image Animation, Inc.

(Space Jam: A New Legacy, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, Star Trek Into Darkness, Iron Man 3)

Scott F. Johnston has been a member of the animation community for over thirty years.


Johnston joined Walt Disney Feature Animation during production of The Little Mermaid and was part of the team that brought the first digital ink-and-paint system, CAPS, on-line for The Rescuers Down Under. He was one of the principal designers of the ground-breaking ballroom sequence in Beauty and the Beast, and contributed to the CG effects in Aladdin. As CGI Supervisor for The Lion King, he oversaw the development and production of all the CG effects in the record-breaking film, including the climactic wildebeest stampede.


At Warner Bros., Johnston served as Artistic Coordinator on The Iron Giant to realize director Brad Bird's vision of bringing a CG giant into a 2D world. On Looney Tunes: Back In Action, Johnston oversaw the integration of the traditionally drawn characters into live-action and recreated various artists' styles in the Louvre sequence. He was honored with ASIFA/Hollywood's Ub Iwerks Technical Achievement Award for developing the film's unique character lighting technique.


At StereoD/Deluxe, Johnston’s team's software was used in the stereo conversion of dozens of films. He helped bring animation to Deluxe as the Digital Art Director on The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water and was Vice President of Animation Art and Technology during the formation of Deluxe Animation Studios, now Company3 Animation.


Johnston returned to Warner Bros. in 2019 for Space Jam: A New Legacy.


Johnston is a member of ASIFA/Hollywood and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Website // IMDb // LinkedIn

Devin Crane

Co- Animation Director, Animation Production Designer // Independent

(Space Jam: A New Legacy, Smallfoot, Kung Fu Panda, Iron Giant)

Devin Crane is an American animation director, whose animation career has spanned 23 years. He was the Animation Co-Director as well as the Animation Production Designer for the film Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021) for Warner Brothers. He was previously the Art Director on the Warner Brothers animated film Smallfoot and also designed the characters as well. He has Art Directed for Paramount Animation as well as Character Designed for DreamWorks Animation, Walt Disney Feature Animation and Sony Pictures. Devin spent 14 years at DreamWorks Animation making significant contributions as a lead character designer and story artist on many Oscar-nominated films such as Shrek 2, Monsters Vs. Aliens, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon amongst many others. Devin has also worked as concept designer for several live-action and television projects. Since 2017, Devin has been a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Devin began his career designing theme parks for Walt Disney Imagineering at the age of 17, and was the youngest designer ever to contribute concepts for a major theme park attraction. His designs for the Winnie the Pooh Honey Hunt created one of Tokyo Disneyland’s most popular attractions to this day. Afterwards, he attended college at the prestigious Cal Arts. During his studies, Devin was selected to animate on Brad Birds’ groundbreaking animated feature The Iron Giant. Soon after, Devin contributed animation to Walt Disney Feature Animation’s The Tigger Movie and designs for Brother Bear.

Website // IMDb // Instagram

Mary Sheridan

EFX Supervisor // Tonic DNA

(Space Jam: A New Legacy, Mary Poppins Returns, We Bare Bears, Sinbad Legend of the Seven Seas, Spirit Stallion of the Cimarron)

Mary Sheridan was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland where she graduated with a bachelors degree in illustration, photography, graphic design and classical animation from the Dublin Institute of Technology, College of Art and Design, Parnell Square, Dublin. Today she lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

With over 15 years of experience working in the film, tv and animation entertainment industry, she has worked for Film Roman, Cartoon Network, Duncan Studio, Dreamworks Animation, Walt Disney Animation, Warner Bros Feature Animation, Don Bluth Films and Steven Spielberg's Amblimation with credits on top movies and TV shows, as a Visual Development artist, background painter and "tradigital" effects animator proficient in both classical hand-drawn animation and Toon Boom Harmony software. Her most recent position has been EFX Supervising animator at WAG Warner Animation Group on Space Jam: A New Legacy using Toonboom Harmony. She has been developing and enhancing her career skills as a digital artist, matte painter, concept designer with CGMA master academy and LAAFA, North Hollywood and also training traditional 2D animators to create hand-drawn animation in Toonboom Harmony. Her software proficiencies include MODO 3D Foundry; Adobe Photoshop CC 2019; Harmony Toon Boom 21 and Procreate.

Website // IMDb // LinkedIn

Elizabeth Watasin

Co-Head of Clean-Up // Independent

(Space Jam: A New Legacy, Mary Poppins Returns, Princess and the Frog, Beauty and The Beast)

Elizabeth Watasin is a 2D animation artist and the author of the Gothic steampunk series, The Dark Victorian, which won a 2015 Rainbow Award for Best Lesbian Fantasy & Fantasy Romance, The Elle Black Penny Dreads, the Darquepunk series, and the creator of the indie comics series Charm School, which was nominated for a Gaylactic Spectrum Award.

A twenty-year veteran of animation and comics, her credits include fifteen feature films, such as Space Jam: A New Legacy, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, and The Princess and the Frog, and Mary Poppins Returns. She lives in Los Angeles with her black, ghost cat Draw, busy bringing readers uncanny heroines in shilling shockers, sci-fi noir, and diesel fantasy tales.

Website // IMDb // Facebook // Instagram // Twitter // LinkedIn

Spike Brandt

Animation Director // Warner Animation Group

(Space Jam: A New Legacy, Supernatural ScoobyNatural, The Looney Tunes Show, Duck Dodgers)

Spike Brandt is an American producer, director, writer, and animator, who is a veteran of Warner Bros. Animation. He is the director and supervising producer of Tom & Jerry direct-to-video films, Duck Dodgers and The Looney Tunes Show. He also co-directed the theatrical Tom and Jerry short The Karate Guard with animation legend Joe Barbera. His latest work on the feature Space Jam: A New Legacy as Animation Director, was released in July 2021.

Brandt got his start in animation at StarToons, a prominent animation studio located in Chicago. In his three years with StarToons, he worked on Warner Bros. shows Tiny Toon Adventures, Tazmania and Animaniacs. From there, Brandt went on to write, direct, and produce the Cartoon Network animated series Duck Dodgers, which was nominated for Annie and Emmy Awards. Spike also developed The Looney Tunes Show, a 52-episode series with several Emmy nominations.

In 30 years of animation, Brandt has navigated through his career by combining contemporary stories with classic cartoon characters.

IMDb // Facebook // Instagram // LinkedIn


David Burgess

Animation Supervisor // Animal Logic

(DC's The League of Super Pets, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Trolls, Mr Peabody & Sherman)

Dave has almost three decades of experience in the animation industry, working on some of the most iconic 2D and CGI animated films of our time. Dave is currently the Animation Supervisor at Animal Logic's Vancouver studio and has recently wrapped on The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.

In 1991, Dave started at Walt Disney Feature Animation where he was an Animator and Supervising Animator on many of their most successful 2D films including Beauty & The BeastAladdinThe Lion King and Tarzan.

In 2001, he switched his pencil for a computer and started at PDI/DreamWorks, working as an Animator, Supervising Animator and Head of Character Animation. His credits during this time include Shrek 2MadagascarOver the HedgeMegamind and Trolls.

Dave graduated from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver with Honours in Animation.

Website // IMDb // LinkedIn