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Tommy Schatz-Thompson         •  •  253-820-6957


  Lead Rigger (Wendell and Wild) 2021 - Present  

  • Manage department builds, including scheduling, budget, design, fabrication, and departmental collaboration

  • Design and build rigs using a range of tools, machinery, and software for manual and motion-control applications

  • Work with the rigging APM to manage the rigging department’s budget and shop’s inventory



   Planning and Strategy Manager 2020 -  2021

  • Created the Planning and Strategy department and were responsible for all scheduling and resourcing

  • Developed a scheduling system from the ground up utilizing Microsoft Projects and Teams

  • Collaborated closely with department heads and figure leads to maintain the projects’ timelines and needs

  • Clients included Universal Studios, Disney Imagineering, Weta Workshop, and Pixar

   Technical Design Manager 2019 - 2021

  • Collaborated directly with the Vice President of Operations to create the Technical Design Manager position

  • Managed animatronic and puppet builds from the cradle to the grave, including design, assembly, and installation

  • Created conceptual designs and build plans for each figure while maintaining build documents

  • Created bids for potential projects outlining designs, timelines, resource needs, and probable difficulties

  • Oversaw $20 million in technical assets from initial design to on-site installation

   Assembly Technician 2018 - 2019

  • Assembled highly complex mechanical robotic structures and puppets to the client’s technical specifications

  • Integrated each mechanism with the animatronics’ cosmetic “figure finish” (skins, foam, furs, costumes)

  • Managed installation of figures at various sites, including Harry Potter World at Universal Studios and Disney Land


BBC / Bento Box Animation

   Animatronic Head Mech Designer/Fabricator (Moon and Me) 2018

  • Designed and fabricated animatronic puppet head mechs utilizing machining, laser cutting, and 3D printing 

  • Maintained the look of the show and character traits while maximizing the range, action, and ability of the character

  • Molded and cast master sculpts, cast fiberglass headshells, integrated animatronic head mechs



   Rigger (Missing Link) 2017 - 2018                   

  • Built rigging apparatus and mechanisms providing movement, stability, and ease for puppets and props

  • Quickly fabricated shot and character-specific components 

  • Designed rigging kit components creating CAD models and drawings using Autodesk Inventor

  • Prototype parts using 3D printing, manual machining, laser cutting, welding, silicone casting, and water jet operation

   Jr. Metal Fabricator (Missing Link) 2017                   

  • Mig/tig welded steel deck animation tables, foliage armatures for landscapes, and studio facilities projects

  • Designed and fabricated builds using CAD modeling, welding, machining, and metal finishing techniques

  • Assist stages with large scale mechanical builds and rigging

   Machinist (Kubo and The Two Strings, Missing Link) 2014 - 2017

  • Machined armature, rigging, and motion-control parts and kit items operating a Haas VF-1 CNC Mill

  • Manually machined production runs of parts using mills, lathes, tapping machines, and tumblers

  • Designed, prototyped, and tested new rigging and motion control components 


Bent Image Lab

    Animator / Generalist 2012 - 2014

  • Animated on television specials, commercials, and digital shorts

  • Fabricated sets, models, props, puppets, armatures, and animation tables

  • Provided rigging, animatable features, assistance to animators, set-dressing, and look-development


Kate Bush’s Misty

   Director / Production Designer / Animator (Mistraldespair) 2011

  • Hired directly by Kate Bush to create a music video for her song “Misty” from her album “50 Words For Snow”

  • Worked onsite at Abbey Row Studios and Kate Bush's studio


Awards: High Strung (2011) Stop-Motion Short, 13 min. 

  • “Most Promising Filmmaker” SPIFF 2012, “Best Animation” NWCFF 2012, “Best Animation” BEFF 2011


Education: Bachelor of Arts, 2010 - Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA: Stop Motion Production/Media and Film Studies

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