Q&A with Jonathan
How did you first become interested in a career in gaming?
When I was nine I started programming video games because I wanted to play a split-screen game with my sister and it wasn't available online. Without thinking twice, I said to myself, I'll just make it! And taught myself. Little did I know it took a year and a half to make, and I finally turned to my sister and said, "it's done! Let's play!" That decision then went on to become a centerpiece of my career, rippling into the future even twenty years later.
What is the most interesting or enjoyable thing that you have gotten to do in your career?
I had the honor to work as a global technical director on some Oscar-nominated films for DreamWorks Animation. I worked on a total of 5 films with $100m+ budgets. And I must say, it's not actually the Oscar nomination that was the most enjoyable. It was the environment that surrounded it. It was the people. It was DreamWorks. It's absolutely inspiring to have been part of a group that is banding together to make something big that will echo throughout almost every country in the world. But this group of people doesn't really focus on the distribution (the "fame of it," for that is all fame is: distribution). They focus on the perfection of their individual craft, how they use their time and efforts to help others outside of work, and what sorts of large projects can also be contributed to.
What is the best part about your current position?
Working on a franchise I've loved for over a decade and bringing new experiences to that fan base.
Why did you choose to get your education from the Guildhall?
As both a consultant and intern for the Guildhall, I saw firsthand the benefits of attendance and determined that it was an excellent approach to solidifying a career in game development.
How did the Guildhall prepare you for your career in gaming?
Let's just say I have to turn down job offers about once very two months for the past seven years because of demand.
What impact has the Guildhall had on your life?
It taught me how to work hard, and be excellent at the craft of engineering. The standards demanded in Cohort 4 were very high. I am grateful for that.
What is the greatest piece of advice you've ever been given?
One time I was walking past the living room, and Sammy Sosa popped up on my TV screen for a "got milk" commercial. I must have been 7 years old. He seemed to look me right in the eyes, and said with a milk mustache, "You can do anything you set your mind to". I could have swore he was talking right to me. That piece of advise stuck with me, because I believed I could do anything then. Later in life, when I started to wonder if there were things I couldn't do, I researched incredible stories of people overcoming their circumstance. And you know what, it turns out there have been people who were born into MUCH WORSE and MUCH HARDER situations than I have ever been into, that went on to become far more successful than I will ever be. I realized then, that yes, Sammy Sosa, you were right.