Monkey Thief is a short student animation film that is currently in production at the SCAD. It was created and is directed by a talented character animator named Zachary Ates. I have the honor of being the Visual Effects Supervisor and Lead Lighter and Compositor on this film. This film currently has over 25 artists collaborating and producing this project. From animators to graphic designers to foley artists, this film has the most diverse team of artists working to produce something amazing.

The story is about a boy named Myles whose best friend is his beloved sock monkey, Henry. Myles faces challenges of being bullied by the misunderstood Delores. Myles eventually finds ways to overcome these challenges and makes some friends along the way.

Here is my process blog of all the work I did for the film and keep scrolling to meet the team and watch exclusive behind the scenes footage.



Tools : 

Maya |  Arnold  |  Nuke

Sunset Light Rig


Concept Art

MonkeyTheifPosterFINISHED (1).png



Concept Art

Monkey Thief Poster 2


Morning Light Rig


Final Trailer:


Tools : 

Maya |  Arnold  |  Nuke

After completing the movie posters, I was then challenged to take the movie poster and put it into motion. 

Below is the final trailer video that I lit, rendered, and composited. 

Final Thoughts: 

Putting the poster into "motion" was quite challenging because I couldn't just "pull it off" by using Photoshop. Keeping the same mood of the poster but in 300 frames was something I feel was successful about this project.



Tools : 

Maya |  Arnold  |  Nuke

Inspirations and References:

The team gained a lot of inspiration from different films. One film in particular that I used was Mr. Peabody and Sherman. I wanted to get the orange golden hour glow on our characters similar to how DreamWorks did in the flying machine scene in Mr. Peabody and Sherman.

Final Thoughts: 

I absolutely LOVED working on this film because it not only has a great and meaningful message, but it was great to work on such an amazing and talented team of artists across the board. Being able to complete this film considering all the complications that we faced made it so much more rewarding in the end. The film is currently being entered in film festivals all around the world. I'm so excited to see how far this film will go!

Official Film Trailer

Meet the Team:

None of this could've been done without them! Here are the links to the team's websites or social media. 

Film Leads

Zachary Ates - Director/Producer

Elizabeth Delos Reyes - Lighting Supervisor/Lead Compositor

Lauren Quinn - Look Development Lead

Joshua Boughton - Rigging Supervisor

Lily Adams - Sound Supervisor/Mixer


Tyler Grow - Music

Lily Adams - Sound Supervisor/Mixer

Candace Mortier - Foley Artist


Graphic Designer

Hannah Wells

Development Book Editor

Carlos Martinez


Jessica Roach 

Nicole Adams


The Making Of Monkey Thief Documentary Video


Monkey Thief is currently being entered into multiple film festivals across the world and is being selected. I will keep this area updated on film festivals that it was selected for. Stay tuned!