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Mentor of the Day: Mike Belzer

MikeBelzer_1We’re happy to be welcoming back mentor, Mike Belzer!  Mike was a first time mentor last fall 2012 and had a great experience.

Mike Belzer is a well-known, and seasoned animator in the industry.  From stop motion to 3D animation, Mike has done it all and has a wealth of knowledge to offer! Teaching has also been a passion of his. Mike was a mentor at the online animation school Animation Mentor and has lectured and lead workshops in stop motion and computer animation around the globe. Mike’s goal is to continue to grow as an animator, while helping others along the way.

Based in Bellevue, WA (near Seattle, WA) Mike is opting for just one mentee this term that can meet locally. “One-on-one personal interaction is always a plus. Seeing their work getting better week to week is always a big plus.”

One of Mike’s past mentees, Cesar Cueva, really enjoyed his time working with Mike. “At the very beginning, I decided to take on a very long dialogue shot. Looking back, especially since I decided to take on a full-time job as well, I probably bit off more than I can chew, but I’m coming out of this mentorship a demo reel that is much tighter than it was before, and a dialogue shot that is in a great blocking spot that is being carefully transitioned into a polishing phase. This dialogue shot, when completed should be a reel gem for my animation work.” Check out some screen grabs from his reel below and then be sure to see his whole demo reel here:




“I learned about what to think about when it comes to planing a dialogue shot. Thinking about what motivates a character, why they are doing certain types of actions, and to not always be concerned with the mechanics of the motion, but be more concerned with why that motion, and if it shows to the audience.”

If you’re in the Bellevue/Seattle area of Washington looking for a leg up in the animation industry, apply for Mike Belzer! “The in-person one to one meeting was the most effective. In those sessions, Mike could easily see my work and could give me feedback and the type of poses and emotions the characters should be conveying to the audience. Plus we could act out scenes, and brainstorm ideas right on the spot,” says Cesar.

Who does Cesar think should apply to Mike Belzer?

“I would recommend artists who could use an extra kick and motivation in their art apply for this mentorship [with Mike]. I would also recommend that they have the time to put in the work with their mentor and on their art, and not have a demanding job at the time.

Mike Belzer is an awesome mentor. He will demand quality work, and he is tough on you, but his knowledge and insight into animation makes it worth having him as a mentor. He is a fun guy to plan out shots with, and once again, he’s an awesome mentor.”

For more information about what Mike is looking for in his next mentee, check out his profile as well as his past mentor of the day post.

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