So the story goes like this…Two weeks ago, I wrote a piece on Peter Ramsey, the first African-American animation director to direct a major big budget studio animated film – Dreamwork Animation's The Rise of the Guardians, which is coming out this month (HERE).
I made it clear that, of course, there are many people of color who are working in animation, although we don't know who most of them are.
But that wasn't good enough for one commentor who said: "You pass over them because many have assumedly Euro-sounding names. This has been the case in the present and the past. So unless you see a picture, it's like they don't exist. They do though."
Of course they exist, as I said so myself in my piece about Ramsey. So I facetiously responded (as is my wont) that either those directors should all change their names to Aftrican names, or maybe to more Urban flavored names like Dontae.
But more seriously, I suggested that those directors should get a good PR rep, or get attention somehow, and make themselves known. I mean, how do we know who they are, if they don't make themselves visible?
However, one animator who's a regular reader of S & A, who read that Ramsey piece, reached out to us to make himself known and we're happy that he did.
He's New Orleans native Lyndon Barrios and he has mounted quite an extensive career as an animation director, working on many projects such as, The Tree of Life, Sucker Punch, Speed Racer, I Robot, The Martix Revolutions and Reloaded, and several other films and TV projects.
He's also written and directed his own award-winning short film, The Lift, which you can find out more about HERE.
And also, he's even been profiled on The Today Show, a segment you can watch below:
But of course Lyndon isn't the only one.
As he told me: "You may be surprised at who you find. People like Peter (Ramsey), myself, Corey Turner, Audria Topps-Harjo, Paul Davies, Andrew Roberts, Greg Anderson, Cabral Rock, Kyle Robinson, Sheiree Jackson, Jamaal Bradley, Andre Taft, LeSean Thomas, Jeremy Stewart, etc., etc… We've all worked and continue to work on major motion pictures and television shows and, as you can see, we don't all have euro-sounding names."
Granted that's true, though I didn't see a Dontae in the bunch.
But it should be no surprise to anyone that there are many unheralded and unsung talented black animation directors out there doing some truly extraordinary work!
We have covered many of them before on S & A, and will continue to do so; and we ask that, if you're one of them, to reach out to us and let everyone get to know you.
You can find out more about Lyndon right HERE, and, oh yes, there is a amazing reel of his work on previous projects, but due to certain restrictions I am unable to post it here.
However you can see it for yourself at this LINK.