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Pictured is Treven Carter. Photo | Kayla Green

Meet Treven Carter '23

Job Title & Employer
LAUNCH Fellowship Program, DreamWorks
Frederick, Md.
High School
Tuscarora High School
Now Living In
Frederick, Md.
Dream Job
Animate for film/TV and direct projects with my twin brother
Hobbies & Interests

Creative writing, drawing, playing guitar, running, story analyzing 

"It was such an honor to mentor Treven Carter. It was a privilege to share my experience and perspective within the industry to someone so excited to learn! Treven was curious, introspective, asked great questions and always showed gratitude."

Melissa Mabie, a production supervisor of story and editing, DreamWorks

"Because of what I learned at Point Park, I could focus on the fellowship topic I was familiar with in a new perspective instead of trying to quickly grasp something I was unfamiliar with. The skills I learned from college, such as note-taking, public speaking, active listening and networking helped me grasp new subjects and step out of my comfort zone to make new connections during my experience with DreamWorks."

Treven Carter '23

What is the DreamWorks LAUNCH: Fellowship program?

The DreamWorks LAUNCH: Fellowship is a virtual talent development program for students to get their foot in the door of the animation industry. What began as a program for HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) students, now invites schools across the country to participate in order to provide opportunities to students and recent graduates from underrepresented backgrounds and communities. The objective is to build networks with industry professionals, attend workshops to extend knowledge within the animation industry and gain mentorship from individuals who work at DreamWorks.

What were your key responsibilities?

For eight weeks, I attended weekly workshops, scheduled time with my assigned mentor and made the most of the experience. I talked to DreamWorks professionals about their backgrounds, career paths, current roles and and daily life in the studio. The valuable insight I gained makes me feel more comfortable about where I am on my animation journey.

What did you enjoy most?

I met so many amazing people who shared personal and professional experiences. Meeting the other fellows, who were similar in age, made it easy to connect and reminded me of the amazing people I miss dearly from Point Park. 

I'm so grateful that my mentor Melissa Mabie, a production supervisor of story and editing for an unannounced project, chose to guide me over the eight weeks. She provided advice and resources to understand the production side of animation, writing/pitching in animation and overcoming obstacles.

The guest speakers shared valuable insight about their jobs and animation journey. The speakers were artists, executives and technical directors, so I had the chance to hear the different perspectives in animation. 

Finally, the DreamWorks Early Career team is one of the kindest groups of people. They are responsible for the program, and they root for you to succeed. They represent the great culture that exists at DreamWorks.

An animation created by Treven Carter.

Artwork created by Treven Carter to celebrate his acceptance into the DreamWorks LAUNCH Fellowship program. 

How did your Point Park experience prepare you for this fellowship?

My college experience prepared me most when participating in workshops about animating and the animation pipeline. When guest speakers explained the different parts of animation — animating, storyboarding, modeling, lighting, etc. — it felt like a refresher on what I learned in my classes at Point Park (especially from the Community Animation Project course).

Because of what I learned at Point Park, I could focus on the topic I was familiar with in a new perspective instead of trying to quickly grasp something I was unfamiliar with. The skills I learned from college, such as note-taking, public speaking, active listening and networking helped me grasp new subjects and step out of my comfort zone to make new connections.

What was it like being a college student in Downtown Pittsburgh?

I grew up in the suburbs of Maryland, so being able to explore a city environment and the many cultures that came with it was something I enjoyed. There was a great advantage to going to a school in the city because it was adjacent to many things that sparked creativity inside and outside of the classroom.

Other than the public art across the city, some highlights were going to the National Aviary to draw birds, drawing at Point State Park with classmates, visiting the Mattress Factory and going to The Andy Warhol Museum.

As a member of Point Park's Cross Country team, running around the city and exploring different neighborhoods was a daily task. Whether running at Schenley Park in Oakland, along the trails and sports stadiums on the North Shore or going up to Mount Washington to see the incredible view of Downtown Pittsburgh, those are memories I’ll always keep close to heart. Of all the neighborhoods I explored, my favorite was Pittsburgh's Strip District because of all the shops and restaurants.

What advice do you have for high school students considering Point Park’s animation program?

You will get out of the B.F.A. animation program what you put into it.

In the fellowship, I talked to cohorts who attended well-known animation schools and learned about their college experience. I can assure you that the quality of the teaching is no different at Point Park, and I can personally attest that Point Park's animation program improves every year. Nevertheless, you must work hard to get the quality of education you want regardless of where you decide to learn.

I’ve seen people surrounded by the equipment and resources needed to succeed in animation but will take those things for granted by not doing more than the bare minimum (I’ll even admit I was guilty of this). As fantastic as animation is, it is a tricky, time-consuming skill to learn, and it is obvious to see when you half-step the work. If you want to succeed, effort is needed. Those who tend to put in the time, ask questions, seek help and utilize all resources provided to them usually do better than those who don’t. The sooner you can make a habit out of it, the better.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

You are going to experience the highs and lows regardless of the journey you decide to take in your life.

During your highs, stay humble and be thankful for where you are because anything can happen, and that high can turn into a low in the blink of an eye. During your lows, keep your composure and remember everything that drives you on your journey to success, for those are the key components that will bring you to where you need to be. I am a firm believer that all great things come in time. If you put in the effort, stay focused, be patient and be kind. Everything will work out in the end.

I advise anyone (whether you are an artist or not) who qualifies for the LAUNCH program to apply because I believe it can be a real eye-opener to many. Please don’t let the fear of failure stop you from doing something you want, for it is better to try and fail than to regret not trying in the first place. 

Connect with Treven Carter '23

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