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Department Head, Characters

Apply NowApply Later Job ID R-03052 Location Emeryville, California, United States Business Pixar Animation Studios Date posted Sep. 02, 2021

Job Summary:


Artist Casting

  • Analyze overall needs and available resources; anticipates resource conflicts and makes staffing (and contingency) plans accordingly

  • Works collaboratively with Department Supervisors and Managers to ensure that talent is equitably distributed across projects (i.e., each project has a mix of seasoned and newer artists, specialists and generalists, etc.)

  • Communicates artist transitions to artists and to shows in a proactive and timely manner

Collaboration & Communication

  • Develops effective relationships with Associate Producers and Producers to influence casting and staffing for the artists

  • Maintains strong partnerships with other DHs, to leverage and build programs affecting production groups

  • Provides Studio executives with updates on artist development, needs, and morale, to ensure technology and resource support

  • Provides Directors of Production and the Executive Team with updates on artist development, needs, and morale, to ensure technology and resource support

Career Development

  • Works with Department Supervisors and Managers and Pixar University to identify and plan training and education needs for artist population; ensures that there is a learning curriculum designed to broaden and deepen skills

  • Identifies skill gaps and pigeonholing; works to ensure artists are receiving stretch assignments and being exposed to new challenges

  • In conjunction with Department Supervisors and Managers, advocates for underexposed and/or underutilized artists

Performance Feedback

  • Works collaboratively with the Department Supervisors and Managers and shows to ensure timely and actionable performance feedback for all artists

  • Partners with Department Supervisors, Managers, HR and show management to address and manage problem performance

  • Provides career development feedback directly to artists; communicates where artist needs to strengthen skills or behaviors in order to progress in his/her career

Talent Assessment & Compensation

  • Partners with Department Supervisors and Managers to assess and evaluate talent; determines range of performance and peer groups

  • Makes compensation determinations for artist population (market adjustments, merit increases and long-term incentive awards) based on talent assessment, potential and value of contribution

  • Provides transparency to artists regarding how talent is evaluated, measured and rewarded


  • Reviews staffing patterns and needs; determines staffing shortages and need for hires

  • In conjunction with Recruiting and Department Supervisors, identifies and hires new talent

  • In collaboration with the Department Supervisors and Managers, determines how to best ‘onboard’ new hires into their respective department, by designing and establishing a new hire training and support program


  • Prefer 10 years professional work experience

  • Prefer 5 years in a managerial/supervisory role providing direct oversight/supervision of staff

  • Prefer 2-3 years in a Resource Management function; overseeing the staffing of creative projects

  • Excellent communication and presentation skills (proven ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing with a variety of groups, e.g., artists, supervisors, executives, show leadership, technology leadership etc.)

  • Effective collaborator; possesses excellent consensus-building skills 

  • Influences through strong relationships; can manage a complex set of stakeholders

  • Intuitive and analytical approach to problem solving, successfully anticipates long-term impact 

  • Successfully recognizes and troubleshoots potential risks/issues and offers proactive solutions

  • Demonstrated ability to successfully organize people, projects and information 

  • Detail oriented with exceptional organizational and analytical skills

  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience

  • Advanced Excel Skills preferred

  • Experience as a technical or creative artist is a plus, though not a requirement

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 Pixar Inc., which is part of a business segment we call Pixar Animation Studios.

Pixar 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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