Graduate Certificate: Animation Directing, 2010
Emily Dean is an Asian-Australian writer, director, and artist living in LA.
Emily holds a BA (Honours I), History and English Major, from the University of Sydney. Following her academic studies, Emily pursued a career in animation first at AFTRS, then further at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Following training at Pixar in the Story Department, Emily has worked as a Story Artist and Visual Consultant for Warner Bros and Animal Logic on films such as The Lego Batman Movie (2017), The Lego Movie 2 (2019); Lionsgate’s sci fi thriller Hotel Artemis (2019) starring Jodie Foster; and on Sony Picture Animation’s Oscar Award winning Hairlove (2019) from creator/director Matthew A. Cherry.
In 2012 Emily’s animated short film Forget Me Not was nominated for an Australian Academy Award (AACTA), and in 2018 her first live action sci fi short film Andromeda played and was awarded at numerous genre fests including the Trieste Science Fiction Festival.
In 2019 Emily was named as one of Variety Magazine’s ‘Top 10 Animators To Watch’, and in 2021 called one of Piaget’s ‘Extraordinary Women’.
Emily recently served as director on Volume 3 of the Emmy-award winning Netflix animated series Love, Death + Robots, under the creative leadership team of Tim Miller, David Fincher, and Jennifer Yuh Nelson.
Emily currently writes, directs and produces content for film and television under her production banner, Grade 8 Productions.
Having access to all the great facilities and people, as well as going to lectures and screenings. It really helped to open my eyes to how a production is made and what is involved.
My career highlight so far has been having the opportunity to work closely with and learn from really great filmmakers. Beginning as a storyboard artist, your job is to help make the first visual record of a director’s vision and it’s a very trusted and collaborative position. It put me in a place where I had to creatively think on my feet and up my game. You improve your own skills by playing with those who are stronger than you, so I feel grateful I’ve had the opportunity for truly fulfilling ‘creative play’.