Timothy Dailey

Digital Filmmaking & Video Production

Digital Filmmaking & Video Production Instructor
The Art Institute of California—Hollywood, a campus of Argosy University

Timothy Dailey

Develop your voice, develop your sense of style, experiment, and set yourself apart. Timothy Dailey , Digital Filmmaking & Video Production Instructor , The Art Institute of California—Hollywood, a campus of Argosy University

Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

I studied film and video while working on my bachelor’s degree. I took an animation course and a visual effects course, and I was fascinated by the endless creative possibilities. That’s when I really started focusing on building a demo reel to show off my skills.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

In most of my classes, students focus on creating demo reel-ready pieces. They use the software similar to what most professionals use—like The Foundry’s Nuke for compositing. There’s definitely a need to learn basic skills, but spending too much time on exercises that don’t grab an employer’s attention can be counter-productive. A student’s reel should show their highest caliber work, so I make sure they consistently revise their projects. An employer doesn’t accept work that’s just okay…they have their employees revise it until it’s ready for professional presentation.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

The final in my compositing class is integrating a 3D object into a 2D background. It’s a challenge because it forces students to really be hands-on with the 3D pipeline in Nuke, but it also shows real-world professional output. Students who successfully complete the project have brought something that was computer-created into reality.

How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

Collaboration is key to success. It can be as simple as giving students feedback and suggestions on how to approach a problem. I also encourage students to seek feedback from their peers from other disciplines, because different perspectives are valuable. When you’re deep in the details of a 3D character animation, for example, an outside observer brings fresh eyes to the table.

What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

Always seek feedback on your art. Apply for every internship you can. Talk to your instructors about potential places to apply. Get that real-world experience.

What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

Never abandon a piece of art. Develop your voice, develop your sense of style, experiment, and set yourself apart. Be a friendly face and bounce ideas off of your co-workers. You can be the greatest artist in the world, but people still need to like you to want to work with you.