Lead Lighter

  • Full Time
  • Glendale, CA
  • Applications have closed

DreamWorks Animation

Salary or Budget: $115K - $140K p.a
Experience required: 3+ years

Company Description

DreamWorks Animation is looking for more adventurous dreamers who shoot for the moon. We tell stories about the journeys our unconventional heroes take to make dreams come true. As a growth-minded studio, we pride ourselves on being one of the world’s leading producers of high-quality, award-winning, animated films and series, reaching consumers around the globe. We push to feel more, laugh more, and build immersive new worlds.

DreamWorks creates a diverse array of original content in a variety of formats, delivering compelling stories with unique characters. We place tremendous value on the experiences our talent brings to the table from their own non-traditional paths to success. We believe in frequent communication and that transparency and trust yield the best work. We are a community of artists, technologists, innovators, and creators, who are passionate about animation and also happen to love eating lunch together.

The Lead Lighter is responsible for establishing the lighting for a given sequence under a CG Supervisor. Works closely with the VFX Supervisor, Head of Lighting, and Production Designer to achieve the look of the film. Responsible for artistic and technical setup.

If you are part of the fandom and believe teamwork makes the dream work, join us in #livingthedream and #doingyourdreamwork!

Job Description

“What would you say you do here?”

  • Sets up, lights, and composites key shots for a given sequence based on artwork provided by the art department.
  • Works closely with Production Designer, Art Directors, VFX Supervisor, Head of Lighting, and CG Supervisor to set a visual target for the sequence and address all lighting comments.
  • Defines standards and techniques for lighting a sequence that improves efficiency and ensures quality. Optimizes setups for rendering.
  • Provides technical support and mentorship for production lighting team.
  • Leads by example in encouraging a good working atmosphere.
  • Ensures that lighting setups are clean, well detailed, modular and easily applicable to other shots.
  • Troubleshoots creative and technical issues as they arise.
  • Initiates, sets up, coordinates and details any lighting tools, scripts, or processes.
  • Presents the sequence rigs to production lighters before they start. Explains technical and aesthetic challenges of the sequence.
  • Collaborates with other departments for timely integration of elements into a sequence.
  • Handles personal shot load based on the schedule for a given sequence.
  • May help facilitate visual development. This can include working with surfacing, setting materials or shader parameters.
  • Attends dailies and lighting launches as the need arises.
  • Responsible for informing CG Supervisor of any sequence issues.
  • Assists with interviews and recruiting as the need arises.
  • Participates in the testing of new technologies as the need arises.


“What do I need to have in order to do this job?”

  • 3+ years of lighting production experience.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Art, Film, Visual Effects, Animation, Computer Graphics or other related fields and/or equivalent experience.
  • Experience with lighting setup.
  • Knowledge of cinematic principles.
  • Must be willing to work in Glendale, CA
  • Willingness to work overtime, and on weekends with short notice
  • Must be able to provide a reel/portfolio of work examples — if available, include a web address when you submit your resume

“What can I offer?”

  • Experience with ray tracing and lighting software such as Nuke, Katana, and/or Houdini.
  • Experience in feature animation.
  • Consistent track record of successful partnerships with other departments.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Proactive and creative problem solver.

This position has been designated as hybrid, generally contributing from the office a minimum of three days per week.

Additional Information

NBCUniversal’s policy is to provide equal employment opportunities to all applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, gender identity or expression, age, national origin or ancestry, citizenship, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, veteran status, membership in the uniformed services, genetic information, or any other basis protected by applicable law. NBCUniversal will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with relevant legal requirements, including the City of Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative For Hiring Ordinance, where applicable.