Our Grads

SHAWN EWASHKO

“Making the decision to attend the DAVE School was one of the best ones I’ve ever made. They trained me for real life in production which has been a huge reason why I have continued to thrive in VFX since graduating. The DAVE school has also afforded me endless opportunities including jobs and a pool of talent I can pull from to help me fill my teams as I have entered a more management positions within the industry. The DAVE School and it’s employees have been amazing from the date I was accepted and every day since graduating. I feel very fortunate to be a part of such a strong group of alumni and community fostered by the DAVE school.”

Star Trek: Picard, Star Trek: Discovery, Station 19, S.W.A.T., American Crime Story, 9-1-1, The Tick, The Brave, Criminal Minds, Empire, Ozark, Mom, Bones, Outsiders, Preacher, The Blacklist, Rosewood, True Detective, Salem, Orange is the New Black, Black Sails, Glee, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Flash, Under the Dome, Extant, Castle, Sleepy Hollow, Da Vinci’s Demons, The Mindy Project, Community, Red Widow, Fringe, Grimm, Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games, Terra Nova, Mission Impossible, Ghost Protocol, Hawaii Five-O, Outsourced, Gulliver’s Travels

JASPER BALTZERSEN

“As a young artist growing up, it was my dream to one day become a visual effects artist working on blockbuster feature films. I have since been incredibly blessed to have had a long and successful VFX career at some of the biggest and best studios in the industry. The knowledge and experience that I gained as a student at the DAVE School helped me to achieve my dream. At DAVE, I was able to further my knowledge of 3D animation and VFX while working collaboratively in a real production-style environment, which prepared me for a career in the industry. While working at a number of big-name studios, I have worked alongside a number of other DAVE graduates. I think that is a testament to the value and strength of the DAVE School experience.”

Amazing Stories, Bloodshot, Zombieland: Double Tap, Stranger Things, Spiderman: Far From Home, Star Trek: Discovery, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Hunger games: Mockingjay (1 & 2), Boxtrolls, Megamind, How to Train Your Dragon, Transformers, Pirates, Super 8, Rise of the Guardians, Madagascar 3, Puss in Boots, 47 Ronin, Boxtrolls

TOM WRIGHT

“With the amazing educational foundation provided to me by the DAVE School, I was able to reach the highest levels of production art, working on feature films and video games enjoyed by millions of people around the world. Giving me the honor of working at studios like Disney Feature Animation, DreamWorks, Naughty Dog and Epic Games was made possible by the time I spent learning from the amazing production artist-instructors at the DAVE School.”

Call of Duty: Ghosts, Green Lantern, Uncharted 2, The Last of Us, Madagascar 2, The Golden Compass, Meet the Robinsons, Jimmy Neutron, The Ant Bully

JON ROSENTHAL

“When I went to the DAVE school in 2001 it was one of the only places to get an VFX education. I had computer experience but little art experience. From inside a double wide trailer in the parking lot at Universal I learned enough and made enough contacts to build a career. I’m very grateful to the DAVE school for allowing me a chance to find a job I had never dreamed possible and giving me the tools to achieve that dream. The professionalism and skills I learned then I’ve seen repeated as I’ve worked beside those graduates who have come after me.”

Walking Dead, NCIS, Heroes, Battlestar Galactica, Mob City

2-Time Emmy Nominee, 2 VES Nominations

MICHAEL CLIETT

“From industry veteran instructors to a true studio environment to team collaboration on projects ..nothing prepared me better for my first job in Hollywood than the DAVE school. I was taught how visual effects have the power to influence and enhance a story. How visuals can steer a story and how we as artists become an integral part of the story telling process. The skills I learned early on at DAVE have been crucial and greatly benefited me throughout my career not only as a VFX artist, but also as a Producer and Director.”

The 100, Arrow, Wonder Woman, CSI, CSI: Miami, Serenity, King Arthur, Falling Skies, Twilight Saga

4-Time Emmy Nominee, 2 VES Nominations

MANNY ROSARIO

Gotham, The Flash, Hunger games: Catching Fire, Sharknado, Thor, NCIS, Chuck

BRYAN HAINES

Army of the Dead, Council of Dads, Bloodshot, The War With Grandpa, Legacies, Bigger, Creepshow, Pandora, Lodge 49, Jacob’s Ladder, Stranger Things, Midsommar, Shaft, Stuber, The Orville, Better Call Saul, Mid90s, The Originals, Uncle Drew, Escape Plan 2, Deadpool 2, Legion, A Wrinkle in Time, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, A Bad Moms Christmas, The Walking Dead, Thor: Ragnarok, Star Trek: Discovery, Spiderman: Homecoming, The Mist, The Circle, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, Sleepy Hollow, Power Rangers, John Wick: Chapter 2, Hidden Figures, Doctor Strange, La La Land, Pete’s Dragon, Captain America: Civil War, Black mass, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Insurgent, Constantine

TOM BREMER

“The D.A.V.E. School is really in a tier all to themselves when it comes to training for visual effects and game production. The instructors and staff were always very knowledgeable about the industry, since they were handpicked FROM the industry. Without the school, I would not have been able to work on so many great projects throughout my career as a 3D Artist, been able to live and work in so many places, and meet so many amazing artists and people. At D.A.V.E., they really care about their students and push and groom them to be better at what it is they want to accomplish. I cannot recommend this school enough.”

CSI, Red Sky, Planes, Terra Nova, Grimm, Hunger Games, Amazing Spiderman

1-Time Emmy Winner, Several Telly Wins

JOSE ASTACIO

“Choosing DAVE School was an easier choice than the challenges our class would face throughout our school year. While maintaining a full-time job, the late nights, and natural disasters, graduating was not only a highlight, but my most gratifying accomplishment. Staff was the key. They were able to open doors of possibilities I had only dreamt of. I owe a lot to our final projects Professor, Director, and Friend, William Vaughan for his ability to teach by example, and remain engaged with his students even after hours and post graduation. He was solely responsible for giving me the final push I needed to move to California and work on the movie that would set the tone for my future in this industry, James Cameron’s Avatar. Since then, I’ve also had the chance to work with more award winning directors such as Robert Zemeckis, Steven Spielberg and Jon Favreau to name a few. I am honored to be part of the 2004 Hall of Fame and owe an immense thanks and gratitude to the DAVE School and its talented staff.”

Avatar, Adventures of Tintin, A Christmas Carol, Uncharted 3, Oz the Great & Powerful, The Jungle Book, Edge of Tomorrow, Black Panther, Ready Player One, Avengers: Endgame

1 VES NOMINATION

JON GOURLEY

Fear the Walking Dead, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Arrow, Scorpion, Constantine,  Hunger Games, Amazing Spiderman, Olympus has Fallen, Game of Thrones, Fringe, Grimm, Killzone 3, Tron legacy, Gears of War 3, Godzilla

JUSTIN STOCKTON

“I would not be where I am today had I not attended the DAVE school. The expertise of the instructors, class size, access to studio level facilities, and curriculum were all tailored towards enabling the success of the students. VFX is a hard industry to get into and this school provided me all the tools and opportunities I require. Thank you DAVE School!”

Avatar 2, Jumanji, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Hobbit, Man of Steel, Iron Man 3, Prometheus, Avengers, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Avatar

2 VES Nominations 

DEAN LEWANDOWSKI

“I was in my first year of Graduate School for Computer Animation when a coworker of mine pointed me to a DAVE School commercial he saw. I went to the website and I remember being blown away by the quality of work coming out from the students. I had 4 years of College under my belt and my work didn’t compare. I knew that I would be competing against the DAVE School students for jobs and I would never win with my current portfolio. So, I left grad school and enrolled at the DAVE School. Best decision of my professional life. My friends all thought I was crazy to drive to a school in Orlando to “Make Movies” but literally, a couple weeks after graduation, I was hired to work on a new movie from James Cameron. It was Avatar. I owe my professional career to the William Vaughn and the DAVE School. The School taught me what life would be like in production and prepared me for it. After only a few months, on my first job, on a James Cameron film, I was a lead. That would not have happened had I not gone to the DAVE School.”

Star Trek, Avatar, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Journey 2, Battleship, Avengers, MIB 3, Hobbit, Iron man 3, Man of Steel, The Wolverine, Hunger Games, 47 Ronin, Avatar 2, Avatar 3

MOTOKI NISHII

“It’s been close to 15 years since I graduated from the DAVE school. During that time, I’ve been able to work on numerous films and got to experience an exciting career in an amazing and creative industry. DAVE School not only taught us how to work with the tools out there, but also provided us with a production setting which trained us to work together to bring a project to life. Now, that practical team oriented training is something that I continue to look for as I try to bring on artists for my own team.”

Avatar, Starcraft II, Warhorse, Immortals, Ironman 2, Thor, I am Number 4, Battleship, MIB 3, Total Recall, Oblivion, Godzilla, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Maze Runner, Suicide Squad, Rogue One, Avatar 2, Avatar 3

RICK RAMIREZ

“Visual effects work was always a dream of mine and something I chose to pursue after a few tours in the Army. Having spent 8 years in the service, I was not looking forward to another 4 years in school. I found the DAVE school and their one year program sounded perfect. Spending that one year in Orlando taught me everything I needed to know to get started. After graduation, the school provided me with the opportunity to join a well know VFX studio in Hollywood that was looking for fresh, junior talent. The DAVE school armed me with all the tools to jump in at a fast paced studio, working on popular prime time television shows like Lost and 24. I’ve spent more than a decade now, crashing cars, blowing things up, making super heroes super, and helping people travel through time. I have a fantastic career, made possible by what I learned at DAVE.”

Charmed, Hawaii 5-O, NCIS: New Orleans, Fear the Walking Dead, The Walking Dead, Supergirl, The Flash, Banshee, Tyrant, Ray Donovan, Fringe, The Social Network, Flashforward, Chuck, Ghost Whisperer, Army Wives, 24, Get Smart, Lost

1-Time Emmy winner, 2-Time Emmy Nominee, 1-Time VES Winner, 1-Time VES Nominee, 2 H.P.A Noms

PATRICK HORNE

The Flash, Supergirl, Arrow, Grimm, CSI: Las Vegas, Jane the Virgin

DREW TOBIN

“It really doesn’t come around too often to say that you work in the field that inspired and captivated you growing up. Even after 11 years I still can’t believe I am doing the job that I am doing. It is without any exaggeration to say that it would not be possible to be where I am today without the DAVE School. Their efforts to mold inexperienced students, such as myself, into an artist tailor-made to enter the visual effects industry in such a short period of time cannot be understated. I am very thankful to have made the decision to attend the DAVE School in spite of all the uncertainty that came with it. To all the instructors, staff, and classmates that helped me along the way, I owe you a tremendous amount of gratitude. I can’t imagine doing anything else for a career and I know this is still just the beginning. Thank you very much!”

MIB: International, Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse, Sausage Party, Once Upon a Time, Scary Movie 5, 666 Park Avenue, Trespass, Conan The Barbarian, The Mechanic

JOSHUA RIVAS

“I feel greatly honored to be inducted into the Dave School Hall of Fame. I’ve had the privilege to work with the best studios and the most talented artists in the VFX industry. I’ve gotten to travel across the country and the world working for studios like WETA Digital, Industrial Light & Magic, Digital Domain, and many many more. I am extremely proud to have contributed to some of the most popular movies and beloved characters in cinema history from The Avengers: Infinity War to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. None of this would have been possible without the training I received from the DAVE School. I am deeply grateful to all the staff and faculty who invested their time and effort in me. Thank you for your instruction and motivating me to pursue my career in VFX.”

Sonic the Hedgehog, Avengers: Infinity War, Spiderman: Homecoming, Pirates: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Warcraft, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, X-Men: Apocalypse, Peanuts Movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Hobbit, Man of Steel, Epic

BRIAN BENTLEY

“One day while playing around trying to do visual effects for short film. I realized I didn’t have the skill set that I needed to complete the project I was tasked to do. While I was unable to do things I wanted, I started to think that there are schools or someplace that could teach me how to do visual effects. I started to look around and I found the Dave school. I had a great career in electronics engineering, and switching careers I didn’t think was an option. One day I decided to take a tour of the school. Seeing all the cool projects and meeting the instructors really started me to think, could this be possible? After thinking about it I decided I will do it, go back to school! While attending the school it was very challenging and rewarding, I learned so much. After graduating, I moved to Los Angeles to start my career in visual effects. Since then I’ve worked on some amazing movies and worked with amazing directors. I wanted to thank the Dave school for allowing me to chase my dreams.”

The Mandalorian, Star Wars Rise of Skywalker, Gemini Man, Hobbs & Shaw, Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel, Alita: Battle Angel, They Shall Not Grow Old, Ant-Man & The Wasp, Ready Player One, Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok, Blade Runner: 2049, Kingsman: Golden Circle, War for the Planet of the Apes, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and many more…

TANNER BARTLETT

“I always wanted to work in the film industry, and until I found DAVE School, I believed I’d have to go to a four year university to even have a chance of getting my foot in the door. Luckily, I found it, and the day of my graduation I was already interviewing with multiple studios for my first gig. The DAVE School provided me with a solid foundation of Animation and VFX knowledge that helped me land my first job and continue to grow my skills, network, and career beyond the school. Since graduating in September of 2013 I’ve been lucky enough to have both in studio and on set jobs. I’ve now been at Crafty Apes for five years and have been able to work on over 80 shows that range from episodic television, to indie films, to blockbuster movies. DAVE School gave me a huge leg up in breaking into the industry and I’m immensely proud to be a DAVE graduate. Thanks, DAVE School.”

Outer Banks, Star Trek: Picard, Amazing Stories, Bloodshot, Birds of Prey, Creepshow, Zombieland: Double Tap, Jacob’s Ladder, Hobbs & Shaw, Stranger Things, Spiderman: Far from Home, Stuber, A Star is Born, Lodge 49, Ant Man & The Wasp, Escape Plan 2, Deadpool 2, Legion, A Wrinkle in Time, The Goldbergs, The Walking Dead, The Orville, Thor: Ragnarok, The Mist, Spiderman: Homecoming, Power Rangers, John Wick: Chapter 2, Hidden Figures, Doctor Strange, La La Land, Pete’s Dragon, The Detour, Sleepy Hollow, The Last Witch Hunter, Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell, The Legend of Hercules

SARA TREMBLAY

Jacob’s Ladder. Lodge 49, Legacies, The Originals, The Miracle Season, A Wrinkle in Time, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Stranger Things, Star Trek: Discovery, The Orville, The Mist, Sleepy Hollow, Hidden Figures, Doctor Strange, The Circle, La La Land, Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell

CHEICK KAMAGATE

“I started the game program without any prior artistic abilities. It only took about a year of training and my career began shortly after. My first gig was some previsualization with the founder of the DAVE school. I had a blast coming up with my own animation ideas which lead to big name projects! In 5 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work on amazing titles such as The Last of Us Part 2, Gotham, and Agents of Shield. The first time I stepped into a studio, I felt nervous! But thanks to the training at the DAVE school, I also felt ready.”

The Last of Us Pt 2, Gotham, Agents of Shield