Alumna Vicky Hedgecock animates “Call of The Wild”


Courtesy of Vicky Hedgecock

Preparing for a band concert, alumna Vicky Hedgecock and her friend Sarah Kellogg get ready together in their senior year of high school in 2012. Hedgecock agreed that band helped a lot with her animation skills. “If you come from some sort of musical background like band, it really helps with timing actions for your animation so they work with the beat of the music and have a better overall impact in trailers or in the movie itself,” Hedgecock said.

After deciding to become an animator her freshman year of high school, 2012 alumna Vicky Hedgecock worked in high school and college to gain animation skills and experience. She is currently animating the movie “Call of the Wild,” coming to theaters Feb. 21, 2020.

“The major push for me to pursue animation was after trying Multimedia and Adobe Flash class with [former teacher Laura] Glenn,” Hedgecock said. She opened up the door for me and these programs like Premiere and Flash and somehow managed to keep me focused. I learned the basic tools for editing and already had a great sense of timing because of being in the Longhorn marching band.” 

Hedgecock continued her education in animation at Missouri State University (MSU) for Electronic Arts: Animation then moved to Vancouver, British Columbia for its Institute of Media Arts: 3D Character Animation course.

“In college at MSU, it was pretty much the same. I joined the marching band to keep my sense of rhythm and worked part-time at the college’s computer help desk to keep up with the technical aspects, and then I was in the art department learning new programs like After Effects, Avid and Autodesk Maya. I had a goal, and I wouldn’t stop until I reached it,” Hedgecock said.

After her schooling, she started working in Montreal, Quebec for Moving Picture Company (MPC) Montreal as an animator. Now working on “Call of the Wild,” she is using the skills learned from her experiences in high school and college.

“First, we do a lot of research to make sure they are acting, moving and looking like whatever we are animating. Another huge part of the job is being an actor yourself. Some of the shots you’ll receive need the character to express current types of emotions, so it’s good to have a mirror by your desk so you can see how you’d perform that action,” Hedgecock said. “Animation is working with editing, lighting, rigging and environment teams to help bring something to life, so it’s very good to keep up the communication so no problems arise later on down the pipeline.”

Courtesy of Vicky Hedgecock
2012 alumna Vicky Hedgecock and her sister Hillie Hedgecock take a selfie on their visit to Montreal, Canada.

MPC Films is a large company that has animated recent movies such as “The Lion King”, “Life of Pi”, “Guardians of the Galaxy”, “The Greatest Showman”, “Hunger Games” and “Harry Potter.”Hedgecock works on the team that created these movies.

“Art may seem like a scary thing to pursue as a career, but there are so many new branches of what ‘art’ is now. If you are looking to be a 3D, 2D or stop motion animator, keep that dream alive and practice,” Hedgecock said. “Study shots or specific scenes from some of your favorite animated or [visual effects] films. Think of your own ideas and stories and characters and maybe storyboard a specific part out. Most importantly, do not let anyone tell you that you aren’t going to make it, or you aren’t good enough. Animation is a skill that if you work hard enough to achieve, I feel almost anyone could do it. It’s a very enjoyable community of people who are always happy to have more young artists and creators join.”