Philip Isaacs: Animation, Video Specialist Creates Motion Graphics

Philip Isaacs, animation and video specialist for Information Technology Services, edits a video Jan. 18 in the New Media Lab.

Q: Phil, you came to Wesleyan six years ago this month. What were you hired in as, and when did you join the New Media Lab?

A: I came to Wesleyan as a multimedia developer working for The Learning Objects Studio, helping to develop and produce web-based projects for the faculty. Over the years, I began to focus more and more on animation, since that was my background, and last fall, my title was switched over to animation and video specialist to reflect my new role.

Q: As a member of ITS’s New Media Lab, what are your core responsibilities?

A: Currently I worked as part of team to help produce videos which then get distributed onto the web as podcasts through our iTunes channel or on Wesleyan’s YouTube site. On a day to day basis I do everything from shooting and editing video to creating motion graphics and 3D animations.

Q: Did you learn video on the job? How much of your job is spent making videos vs. creating animations?

Philip Isaacs

A: I sort of fell into the role since it was something I had been dabbling in for a long time. When I was just a multimedia developer, I spent most of my time doing Flash development, which is an animation and video tool used for the web. Right now I spend more time doing videos but I’m hoping for the opportunity to find more animation projects within the university to work on.

Q: What types of events or projects do you film?

A: Everything from weekly lecture series and guests speakers whom come to campus to special events like the Homecoming Family Weekend to our big Wesleyan on Broadway event last December.

Q:  Are most of your pieces a collaborative effort or do you generally work alone?

A: My job is definitely very collaborative, and over the six years I’ve been here, I’ve worked with a lot of different people on numerous projects. Currently I work a lot with Melissa Datre, Allynn Wilkinson, John Wareham from New Media Lab and Mark Bailey from University Communications.

Q: How many projects do you work on at one time?

A:  There’s always a couple projects going at once, but we are definitely busier when school is in session.

Q: Where did you go to college and what did you major in? Where did you work before coming to Wesleyan?

A: I went to Emerson College in Boston, Mass. where I majored in publishing and communications. After college, I lived in California where I worked in the animation industry before moving back to Connecticut about 12 years ago where I bounced around a bit before landing a job at Yale University. That’s where I was working when I got the job here at Wesleyan.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: Currently a lot of my free time these days is taking up by classes. I’m currently enrolled in a program where I’m studying character animation. When I’m not doing that I enjoy playing golf, watching movies (I’m a big movie nerd), listening to new music and collecting and reading graphic novels.