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Working at ESPN is unlike anything else. That’s because we’re always finding new ways to interact with fans – however and wherever they connect with sports. When you have the latest technology, game-changing ideas and world-class talent on your team, every day is extraordinary.

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Senior Director, Project Design and Animation

Role Rundown

Job ID 635117BR Job Location Bristol, Connecticut, United States Category ESPN
Job Summary:
Motion Graphics is responsible for the design, animation, construction and play out of most graphics displayed on various ESPN platforms. We work with various clients on many different platforms to achieve our goals.

This position will oversee long-range strategic planning, activities, and developmental areas for the Production Design & Animation group. This person will plan short- and long-term resource staffing, budget, and equipment requirements. They will also maintain a firm understanding of staff, management, and equipment capabilities and capacities to meet all production requirements and developmental needs. Finally, this person will develop and implement strategies for future efficiencies and growth, and will contribute to the growth and development of individuals creating the future leaders of this department.

Responsibilities:

  • Lead management team in developing the skills of designers, broadcast animators and VZRT animators
  • Create a clear growth path for our future leaders and retain our top talent
  • Contribute to long-range planning and allocation of Motion Graphics Design staff and resources.
  • Lead department Director and Senior Managers to prioritize projects, delegate assignments, and explore alternative workflows.
  • Direct efforts to continually improve design, animation, virtual, and render farm capabilities, including testing of new software and hardware solutions
  • Increase productivity and “wow-factor” of on-screen graphics and animations
  • Search for ways to innovate and contribute to great storytelling.
  • Work with managers and ESPN Technology to prioritize workflow of graphics for automation testing on RCS, VCS and VizRT Playout workstations.
  • Oversee and monitor the implementation and progress of training programs for departmental staff members
  • Oversee and monitor integrity of file management techniques and server conditions.
  • Strengthen staff abilities and overall versatility by collaborating with Senior Managers to identify creative and technological developmental areas for staff and devising strategies to address these growth areas.
  • Mentor Senior Managers, Managers, Supervisors and staff members to be strong leaders, good communicators and reliable resources for handling an increasing variety of projects.
  • Contribute to budgetary discussions and make final recommendations
  • Contribute to discussions to improve departmental policies, procedures and efficiencies.
  • Implement and support ESPN graphic looks with necessary personnel and departments.
  • Direct the implementation of efficiency methods for improving the overall work flow and productivity of the department.
  • “Future Plan” to ensure continuous departmental evolution through evaluation of training programs, new equipment and software.
  • Responsible for evaluation and Performance Reviews of management staff direct reports.
  • Implement Performance Improvement Plans (PIP) for underperforming staff members.
  • Determine and recommend merit raises, bonus distributions and promotions.
  • Implement disciplinary actions involving staff members.
  • Write departmental communications and reports.
  • Approve expense reports and resolves SAP Travel and Expense issues.
  • Approve vacations, floating holidays and comps days for management level.
  • Actively champion diversity in hiring and promotions.
  • Advise and contribute to department hiring decisions.

Basic Qualifications:

  • 10 years management experience.
  • 10 years of on-air graphics, design/animation experience in a major market or at the network level.
  • 5 years leading a team of creatives.
  • Examples of developing individual contributors talents and development of future leaders
  • Sports interest/knowledge and strong computer/problem solving skills are a must.
  • Strong knowledge of ESPN family of networks programming.
  • Online portfolio or provided demo reel to showcase work/achievements (creativity, design and type layout skills).

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Multi-Media, Digital Design, Graphic Design, Animation, Communications, Computer Sciences or related major preferred.Strong Leadership skills and ability to handle pressure, guide staff members under tight & ever-changing deadlines, and possess a take charge attitude to resolve on-the-spot problems with production, personnel, equipment & software.
  • Good coaching skills, an open mind, and collaborative approach to people and project management.
  • Must be highly motivated, self-organized and detail oriented while understanding production’s needs and programming deadlines.
  • Expected to maintain high standards of efficiency, consistency, accuracy and creativity
  • Possess in-depth understanding of studio, remote and promo formats of ESPN networks.
  • Understand capabilities of design/animation software programs Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, After Effects, Maya, Cinema4D, VizRT Playout, VizRT Artist and VizRT Trio, and Brainstorm.
  • Understand ENPS & Image Management System for daily production use, as well the capabilities of PC-based character generators and equipment such as Duet, VCS, RCS Playout, LEX, and HyperX.

Required Education

  • High School Diploma

Preferred Education

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Multi-Media, Digital Design, Graphic Design, Animation, Communications, Computer Sciences or related major preferred
About ESPN:

Working at ESPN is unlike anything else. That’s because we’re always finding new ways to interact with fans – however and wherever they connect with sports. Every day we’re doing things that no one has done, all in a dynamic culture where we defy odds and continuously outdo ourselves. When you have the latest technology, game-changing ideas and world-class talent on your team, every day is extraordinary.

About The Walt Disney Company:

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with the following business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. From humble beginnings as a cartoon studio in the 1920s to its preeminent name in the entertainment industry today, Disney proudly continues its legacy of creating world-class stories and experiences for every member of the family. Disney’s stories, characters and experiences reach consumers and guests from every corner of the globe. With operations in more than 40 countries, our employees and cast members work together to create entertainment experiences that are both universally and locally cherished.

This position is with ESPN Productions, Inc., which is part of a business segment we call ESPN.

ESPN Productions, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or protected veteran status. Disney fosters a business culture where ideas and decisions from all people help us grow, innovate, create the best stories and be relevant in a rapidly changing world.

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