Skip Navigation

Be part of the story

Lead Animator

Apply NowApply Later Job ID 10022268 Location Bristol, Connecticut, United States / Los Angeles, California, United States / Town of Bristol, Connecticut, United States Business ESPN Date posted Sep. 13, 2022 Flex Type Hybrid Preferred, Remote Possible

- This role is considered hybrid, which means the employee will work a portion of their time on-site from a Company designated location and the remainder of their time remotely. A remote opportunity may be possible for qualified candidates under certain circumstances and, if granted, the employee would work remotely on an ongoing basis.

Job Summary:

ESPN Creative Studio leverages the combined talents of our in-house storytelling, animation, design and edit teams to elevate ESPN content for fans and advertisers.

Position Summary:

The Lead Animator role at ESPN is responsible for translating assignment details and creative direction into visually compelling solutions through the creation of template and custom animations for short turn-around and long-range projects. Individuals need to work well within a team, but also have the skills to be successful when working independently. Must be proactive, have excellent communication skills and not be shy about offering up smart solutions. This is a hands-on position requiring advanced knowledge of After Effects, Media Encoder, Photoshop, Illustrator and Cinema 4D – showcasing the ability to develop animations from concept to completion. Successful individuals in this role possess strong conceptualization and technical skills, are able to change direction easily, actively develop their software skills and proactively communicate on all phases of an assignment to ensure the delivery of quality creative content.


  • Advanced knowledge of After Effects; able to create high-level custom animations as well as develop animation templates/toolkits for handoff production teams and less experienced users
  • Advanced After Effects scripting and toolkit knowledge; able to customize scripts and code (Python, JavaScript) for more efficient template/toolkit workflow
  • Advanced Cinema4D knowledge; capable of animating objects with fluid camera motion; model hard surface and organic objects; practical understanding of UV texture mapping
  • Aptitude for reviewing and troubleshooting internal and external After Effects and C4D scenes, providing guidance and technical solutions that fit within our animation pipeline
  • Advance knowledge of Photoshop, Illustrator
  • Must be an excellent communicator and collaborator within a fast paced daily workflow environment
  • Display next-level creativity within productions, actively pursue and share creative solutions
  • Translate assignment details and creative direction into visually compelling solutions 
  • Proactively mentor, coach and develop less experienced animation staff
  • Strong technical skills within animation, software solutions, and production pipelines
  • Ability to quickly and independently pivot between assignments
  • Maintain high-level output and efficiency
  • Engineer animation projects for efficient versioning and rendering
  • Excellent attention to detail, accuracy and adherence to quality control and delivery specs
  • Highly motivated, work well under pressure, and able to prioritize assignments
  • Confidence working independently and within a team
  • Strong organization, communication, collaboration and daily reporting skills
  • Receptive to creative direction/critical feedback
  • Continually engaged in developing personal software knowledge and technical skills to increase versatility


  • Advanced knowledge of After Effects, Cinema 4D, Photoshop, Illustrator
  • Practical understanding of Media Encoder for AE rendering and conversion
  • Familiarity with industry standard CPU/GPU render engines
  • Link to online portfolio/demo reel

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Practical knowledge of 2D tracking techniques
  • Experience developing advanced visual effects utilizing C4D, Mograph, X-Particles, Turbulence FD
  • Experience within the animation, VFX, or graphics industry as a hands-on animator
  • Experience creating and maintaining sports themed animation packages

Required Education:

  • HS Diploma or Equivalent

Preferred Education:

  • Bachelor’s Degree or Equivalent

Additional Information: (i.e. physical requirements, holiday, nights, weekend shifts, etc.)

  • Ability to work flexible hours including nights, weekends and holidays


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 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.

We will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories consistent with applicable law.

Apply NowApply Later

Watch Our Jobs

Sign up to receive new job alerts and company information based on your preferences.

Specify LocationsSelect a job category from the list of options. Select a location from the list of options. Finally, click “Add” to create your job alert.