Gary Bruins

Gary Bruins was raised in an agricultural area of Northern California about 70 miles northeast of San Francisco. Watching the spectacular animation and special effects in Star Wars at the impressionable age of 5 captured his attention and consumed his imagination. Gary spent his youth animating hand drawn flipbooks and creating stop-motion videos starring Star Wars action figures.

After high school Gary was preparing to enter San Francisco State’s Film school when the groundbreaking CG effects film Terminator 2: Judgement Day was released. Inspired by the commanding role computers played in producing jaw-dropping animation and visual effects, Gary opted for a degree in Computer Science (CS) from Sacramento State University. In his third year of CS studies he accepted an internship at Industrial Light & Magic working as a creature developer on Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

After obtaining his Bachelors degree, Gary chose to continue his education at Texas A&M’s Visualization Sciences graduate program: a program that focuses equally on the artistic as well as technical skills required to produce appealing CG imagery. During his last semester, Gary sent portfolios to both ILM and Pixar. He received offers from both companies, but felt that Pixar afforded him more opportunities for immediate growth.

Gary joined Pixar in 2001 working as a generalist (modeling, articulation, shading, and lighting artist) on Finding Nemo. Gary focused his career on animated effects beginning with The Incredibles and continuing with Cars and Ratatouille. For his work on Ratatouille, Gary was Annie Nominated for Best Individual Achievement in Animated Effects. Gary moved into the role of Effects Supervisor for Pete Docter’s 2009 Oscar winning film, Up. Gary shared a 2009 VES (Visual Effect Society) award for Up (Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture) with Pete Docter, Jonas Rivera and Steve May.

Gary’s work as Effects Supervisor can be seen on Cars 2.

Filmography

  • Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (creature developer, uncredited)
  • Finding Nemo (2003) (computer graphics artist)
  • The Incredibles (2004) (effects artist)
  • Cars (2006) (effects artist)
  • Ratatouille (2007) (effects artist)
  • Up (2009) (effects supervisor)
  • Cars 2 (2011) (effects supervisor)

Tidbits

  • Gary was raised on a tomato farm which his family continues to operate and sell at Bay Area farmers markets.He was even a member of the FFA (Future Farmers of America) in High School.
  • Gary never used a computer prior to his Computer Science studies at Sacramento State University.
  • He was turned down three separate times for internships by Pixar. ILM turned him down once for an internship before being accepted a semester later.
  • Some of his favorite films include Star Wars, The Wizard of Oz, King Kong and The Godfather.
  • Gary also enjoys playing guitar, soccer and jogging.
  • He’s been married to Keri Bruins for ten years. They have three children Riley, Colin, and Avery.
  • You can also follow Gary on Twitter!

Interviews