Harding alum finds success with Pixar

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published March 7, 2013 at 10:53 a.m.
Updated March 7, 2013 at 10:53 a.m.
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David Condolora, an alumnus of Harding University, works as a second assistant editor for Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. He has done work on the Pixar films Brave and Monsters University and the short film Partysaurus Rex.

David Condolora, who graduated from Harding University in 2006, is making a career out of editing films for Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif.

Condolora’s role as a second assistant editor allows him to interact with all of the other departments at the animation studio.

“Editorial helps put the movies together,” Condolora said. “We make sure the story makes sense, and make changes. We then enter the process of going back and forth until the movie gets to the best it can be.”

Condolora said the movies at Pixar go through an immense editing process, and each film is worked on multiple times.

“It’s really exciting seeing the film come together,” Condolora said.

Condolora, who is originally from Syracuse, N.Y., said he has always wanted to go into filmmaking. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in electronic media from Harding, he worked at a local television station in Arkansas for two years before being laid off.

After he lost his first job out of college, Condolora said it was the “kick” he needed, and he realized that he and his wife could go anywhere and work.

“It made the most sense to go where the most work was,” Condolora said.

After moving to California, Condolora worked on Walt Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph and Tangled. Condolora has also done work on the Pixar movies Brave, Monsters University and the short film Partysaurus Rex.

He said a typical Pixar film takes three to four years to complete.

Condolora recently spoke to Harding students about the film industry and working in animation.

“I told them how to find meaning in [filmmaking] and do it to glorify God,” Condolora said.

Condolora said his education at Harding solidified his desire to work in the movie industry.

“I wanted to make movies that did something good in the world,” Condolora said.

One thing Condolora enjoys about working at Pixar is working on films that have an impact on people’s lives.

“People don’t forget about these films,” Condolora said. “It’s awesome being a part of something like this and seeing the movie come together over time.”

Condolora said working in the film industry has been an eye-opening experience for him.

“I didn’t realize how much the film is reworked,” Condolora said. “I thought someone just sat down, wrote a script and made a movie.”

Condolora said he hopes to one day become an editor for Pixar.

“In college you do a lot of editing, and you do the work yourself,” Condolora said. “Coming into the movie industry, you work closely with an editor and develop storytelling skills.”

If Condolora becomes an editor, he would lead assistant editors and teach them the skills he has learned as a second assistant editor.

Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501)244-4307 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

Online Reporter Lisa Burnett can be reached at 501-378-3887 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

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