Team Spotlight: Mark

Team Spotlight: Mark

Animation Team Lead. Former Army Crew Chief. Mark has our back.

Mark Jessup

Tell us about your role and what a typical day looks like.

I’m the gameplay animation lead at Monolith Productions. If I’m not in meetings all day, coordinating motion capture shoots or managing the animation team and their tasks, I attempt to still do some animation work when time allows. Gotta keep refining my skills and growing as an animator.

What’s one of your proudest accomplishments at the studio so far?

Being asked to lead the animation team. I started at the studio in 2009 as an intern and not only did I eventually become a contributing member of the animation team, but I was eventually asked to take on the role as animation lead. It was not a position that I sought out, but I’m honored to be entrusted with the responsibility by leadership and by the team.

What do you love most about the animation team?

Aside from their raw talent and experience, I’m blessed to have a team that is dedicated and passionate about what they do and the impact they have on any project they’re a part of.

What’s the most important trait someone can have as a teammate?

Integrity is one of the most important values to me. When someone says, “I got this,” it means that I trust them and that they’ll follow through to the best of their ability. Being able to trust that someone has your back means you can focus on the challenges in front of you.

What advice would you give someone looking to pursue a career in your field?

This goes with any career field, it doesn’t matter if you’re digging ditches or running a multimillion-dollar company — make sure you do something that you can feel like you made a difference and that you’re proud of the work you’ve done.

Why did you decide to work at Monolith?

To be honest, they were looking for interns and I needed someplace to get experience!

What do you see as a core value of our studio?

Plenty of people have come and gone, projects shift and the studio itself has evolved over time and yet, there always seems to be a level of commitment that remains.

Commitment to a project and the people who work here. Artists committed to their work and team members committed to their team. It’s something that has persisted through the culture of the studio and I’m always amazed when I see it.

What’s one of your favorite stories from your time at the studio?

One of the first mo-cap shoots I can remember being involved in was with my lead at the time. He wanted me to do a hip throw and throw him onto the crash pad. He landed on the pad, but his toe did not. Let’s just say that was the end of the shoot but luckily not the end of my career!

What’s a hopeful trend you see happening in the games industry?

As the industry has evolved, more and more people are seeing gaming as a serious form of entertainment and storytelling. It’s inspiring to find games that tell a story as good or better than any movie ever could.

It’s exciting to be a part of an industry that’s dedicated to creating experiences and stories that hopefully inspire you, challenge you, make you feel something, or at least entertain you for a little bit.

Being a gamer growing up, I got to experience it. Now, I get to be a part of creating those experiences for others. That’s something I’m very proud to be a part of.

What are you looking forward to working on at Monolith?

It’s been fantastic to see people’s reactions to us working on a Wonder Woman game and their genuine excitement for the project. What motivates me to do the best that I can do is seeing how much the fans love this character.

If you weren’t in Game Dev, what else would you be doing?

Before I was in the industry, I was in the Army. I served as crew chief on the black hawks (C Co. 1/140th Fort Lewis Washington) and had just gotten back from a deployment in 2008. I had just finished up school at the Art Institute of Seattle in 2009 and luckily landed an internship at Monolith.

If the game development thing didn’t work out, my plan was to stay in and attempt to become a warrant officer (helicopter pilot). I would have also had a wife who would be significantly more stressed out and concerned about my well-being.

Luckily, I’m blessed to be on the path I am on now and will forever be grateful for my experience in the Army. It’s directly responsible for shaping me into the man I am today.

Thank you, Mark!

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