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Director of Cinematography - Lighting

Apply NowApply Later Job ID 10022099 Location Vancouver, Canada Business Walt Disney Animation Studios Date posted Sep. 12, 2022

Job Summary:

The Director of Cinematography - Lighting is responsible for supervising and delivering all aspects of lighting, from animatic through the final film output, to realize the Director’s vision. The Director of Cinematography - Lighting will oversee a team of artists and work closely with the Production Designer to  create all the material surface properties, asset and shot specific light rigs, and integrate all special effects for the film. The role will also include the oversight of all color timing and final mastering. This is a regular, full time, staff position that will be located at our Vancouver, BC studio. Please note that relocation eligibility may be determined based on role and individual circumstance.

Role Specifics

  • Collaborate with the Production Designer to establish foundation lighting to translate the visual style for each sequence and deliver them through final shots.

  • Collaborate with the Look Development Supervisors on the creation of all asset surface properties, including shaders, textures, and lighting rigs, to ensure correct light response.

  • Collaborate with the Head of Effects Animation on the creation of all special effects to be integrated into final shots.

  • Collaborate with the Director of Cinematography – Layout on the creation of the camera rig and lens packages to be used for the show.

  • Maintain functional parity, maintenance and streamlining between Look Development, Lighting, and FX.

  • Partner with the Director of Cinematography – Layout, following all shots from conception to completion.

  • Partner with Post Production to oversee color timing and final distribution.


  • Responsible for consumability and efficiency of deliverables into downstream departments. 

  • Drives department processes, bidding, and reviews.

  • Determines resource needs and collaborates with studio, show, and department leadership in finding staffing solutions. 

  • Analyzes and determines cost implications of requests and strategizes on solutions in partnership with show leadership.  

 Leading People

  • Creates an inclusive and safe work environment by carefully managing sensitive information, making rooms feel open and comfortable, creating space for everyone to have a voice, and addressing bias when it occurs.

  • Sets the creative and technical vision/expectations for the supervisors, leads, and department.  Responsible for seeing that vision through. 

  • In tight conjunction with the Production Management and AM, inspires and motivates the supervisors, leads, and department.  Responsible for the tone and morale of the department. 

  • Contributes to the overall craft and leadership development of supervisors, leads, and department through setting expectations, delivering consistent constructive feedback, recognition, and accountability. 


  • Creates, models, and supports a collaborative work environment within the team and between departments on the show. 

    • Identifies solutions and compromises in partnership with other department leaders utilizing a holistic view to meet show vision.


  • Provides regular updates to show leadership on the progress, health, and direction of the team. 

  • Keeps the team informed with context for show related changes and updates. 

Studio Stewardship

  • Studio Culture- Actively fosters an inclusive, innovative, and collaborative environment so every employee can contribute at the highest levels. 

  • Technology, Tools, and Workflow- Engages in the creation and execution of technical standards, pipeline conventions, and workflows to support the department, show, and studio.

  • Department Stewardship- Partners closely with peers and Artist Manager to support an environment of creativity, trust, and innovation.  Actively involved in assessment, casting, hiring, and overall growth of artists. 

Recommended Experiences

  • Minimum 4 years of leadership experience that demonstrates a strong ability to lead and mentor others.

  • Demonstrated history of problem solving and project management skills.

  • Ability to quickly learn and adapt to WDAS standards, pipeline, tools, and workflows as they relate to discipline(s) they would be leading. 

  • Understanding of the disciplines/craft which they would be leading.

  • Bachelor's degree or higher in Art, Illustration, Cinema Studies, Computer Graphics, Engineering or equivalent experience.

  • Experience as a Lighting Supervisor, Sequence Supervisor, CG Supervisor, or similar role in CG Animation and/or Visual Effects production

  • Experience with camera and lighting rigs and mechanics and a strong understanding of lens effects and lighting response.

  • Experience in doing key lighting, materials, and special effects.

  • Experience in color timing and final mastering for distribution.

  • Strong understanding of the principles of lighting, material properties, effects, and simulation.

  • Strong knowledge and technical understanding of digital pipeline issues, optimizing all workflow.

  • Strong knowledge of each of the following technical areas:

    • Maya® 

    • GI Rendering

    • Nuke

    • 3D Texture painting and mapping techniques

    • Effects and Simulation principles

    • The Unix/Linux environment

  • Skill in the following areas is desired:

    • Traditional drawing, painting, design and/or sculpture

    • Knowledge of anatomy, kinematics and physical behaviors 

About Walt Disney Animation Studios:

Combining masterful artistry and storytelling with groundbreaking technology, Walt Disney Animation Studios is a filmmaker-driven animation studio responsible for creating some of the most beloved films ever made. WDAS continues to build on its rich legacy of innovation and creativity, from the first fully-animated feature film, 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, to 2019’s Frozen 2, the biggest animated film of all time, to our 60th animated feature, Encanto, releasing November 2021. Among the studio's timeless creations are Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Frozen, Big Hero 6 and Zootopia.

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 Walt Disney Animation Studios Vancouver Inc., which is part of a business we call Walt Disney Animation Studios.

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