Editor at Pixar Animation Studios and 2004 Louisiana State University School of Art alumnus Bradley Furnish’s film credits include Toy Story 3, Brave, and the Toy Story That Time Forgot television special. He is particularly proud to have edited Pixar’s It Gets Better PSA, the short film Cologne, and, most recently, the hand-painted animated film The Dam Keeper, which was nominated for an Oscar in the animated short category in 2014.
So how did this LSU graphic design graduate come to work at one of the most successful animation studios in the world as well as edit an Oscar nominated short film?
Put simply, he saw what he wanted—and went after it.
Furnish came to LSU with a love of film and art. He ended up trying out the graphic design program in the School of Art and loving it. He was asked to join the school’s Graphic Design Student Organization (GDSO), which gave him the opportunity to do real design work and develop a skill set that has benefited him in his career as an editor. Through GDSO, Furnish learned how to give critiques and take critiques, all while collaborating with others.
While at LSU, Furnish was fortunate enough to have several instructors who purposefully pushed him to challenge himself, thus minimizing his fear of failure, which helped when it came time to make decisions about his life after college. After graduation, he settled in San Francisco and, shortly after, applied for a job at Pixar. But he never heard back.
For the next three years, Furnish did freelance work around the area until he heard of a job opportunity at Pixar. “I heard through a friend of a friend of an opening, and I got hired as an editorial production assistant.” In that position, he was able to work on films such as Toy Story 3, Brave, and Toy Story That Time Forgot.
Since then, he has worked his way up at the company and has enjoyed the learning experience every step of the way. He realized how everything he practiced in graphic design was related to the skills he used in editing. “The practice of trial and error and various reiterations of visuals are practices you go through in both design and editing.”
Now, as editor in the promo department, he edits short pieces of content for feature films, including the forthcoming films Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur, and Finding Dory. The promo spots are sometimes used in theatrical trailers but are mostly used to highlight a single character or scene on a cross-promotional platform, such as the Disney Channel.
Furnish works with the film’s director to achieve his or her vision, as well as camera operators and effects technicians to ensure the visual components are in line with the story. He revels in the opportunity to be able to work with top-notch people whose talents prompt great responses from audiences of all ages.