Shelley Page went from freelance illustrator to Hollywood animation guru, working with every big name in the book. DreamWorks’ “talent manager” tells us how to make it big in animation.

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When you talk about networking into animation circles, Shelley Page is one of the names to get to know. She’s spent more than 20 years in the industry, working on groundbreaking movies such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, The Prince of Egypt and Shrek, alongside the likes of Richard Williams, Steven Spielberg, and Jeffrey Katzenberg. Now, she is Dreamworks’ European representative. 
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Her role is to seek out and nurture fresh talent for one of the biggest animation studios in the world – “talent management, as we call it in California,” she says. <BR>
She’s a tough woman to impress, but her experience speaks for itself. Having trained as an illustrator in Kingston, Page spent the first ten years of her career in freelance illustration.
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“I was doing hyper realistic airbrush illustration, which is now something that is completely done by computer,” she says. She then got a job with legendary animator Richard Williams, and was head of background on Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. 
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“Getting to work with Richard Williams was an incredibly lucky break,” she says. “I had no aspiration to become a part of the animation community.” But the team effort of working towards animated output got her hooked.
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“I suddenly realized, here was a job you could do as an illustrator, which doesn’t mean being alone in your room at 3am with a horrible deadline. Instead, you’re with 25 people with a horrible deadline. It was so much more appealing to work with a team of talented people, and feel part of something.”
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And being a team player is vital to get along in the big studios, according to Page. “We look for people not just for their skills, but whether they’re going to be a good member of the team. We don’t want individuals who are difficult to work with. We don’t want egos to be clanging around.”
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