JILL CULTON (Written by/Directed by) is an American film
director and a 29-year veteran of animated feature films. She has made a career
as an animator in both 2D and 3D formats, a character designer, visual
development artist, storyboard artist, head of story, head of story development,
writer, director and executive producer. Culton is considered to be among the
first female pioneers who helped to further the medium of computer feature
Culton earned her BFA in the character animation program at California
Institute of the Arts, where she later taught advanced animation.
The first decade of her career was spent at Pixar Animation Studios, where
she was an animator and storyboard artist on Toy Story, A Bug's Life and Toy
Story 2 on which she also designed the beloved cowgirl Jessie. Culton was the
head of story development and credited with "original story by" on Monsters,
Inc., which continues to be one of the most popular films in Pixar's history.
Spending two years with Industrial Light & Magic, Culton was hired to help
this strictly CG FX studio develop animated features. There she helped develop
Curious George, along with many other projects.
Culton made her directorial debut on Sony's first animated feature, Open
Season (2006). This cemented her place as one of the first female principal
directors of a big budget, computer-animated feature. During her tenure at Sony,
Culton also directed Midnight Bun Run, a short based on the Open Season
characters, and executive produced Open Season 2. She was also integral to the
development of Hotel Transylvania.
In 2011 Culton began working at DreamWorks Animation Studios. There she was
hired to write and direct Everest, which became her passion, the story of a
young girl and a Yeti. Over the course of several years, the movie grew into
what is now Abominable, a co-production between China's Pearl Studios and
Though she has spent most of her career working in Los Angeles, Culton has
always maintained a home in the woodlands of Marin County where she writes,
sculpts, draws and finds inspiration by wandering in the redwoods and along
beaches, usually with her big dog. Whether it's skiing in the mountains, surfing
in the ocean or hiking in the woods, Culton says nature keeps her grounded and
able to access storytelling in a clear and present way.
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