Guest speaker Jennifer Howell reveals how to succeed in animation

Reading Time: 2 minutes The film and television executive and producer Jennifer Howell visited UVU as part of her lecture series on Sept. 14.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Entertainment executive Jennifer Howell was invited by UVU’s Innovation Academy to hold a lecture series aimed at equipping students with valuable knowledge and insight into the entertainment industry, specifically that of animation. Students had the opportunity to attend five lectures and workshops including script writing, animation, digital media and acting/improv. 

Howell began her career with her work on the television series “South Park,” in which she served as the supervising producer and the voice of Bebe Stevens from 1997 to 2006. She shared a Primetime Emmy Award for the series in 2004. 

Howell left “South Park” in 2006 to head up 20th Century Fox Television’s animation department as Senior Vice President. She became the Head of Comedy for Paramount Television Studios in 2013, then left in 2016 to become Head of Development for DreamWorks Animation, where she worked on big name film franchises such as “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Trolls.” 

In her hour-long animation and film session, she gave students the opportunity to ask questions and shared valuable advice to those interested in getting their work seen in the animation industry. Her central message was to put yourself out there and to not be afraid of rejection, emphasizing that networking is the best way to get your work noticed and to never stop creating. 

Howell shared that an effective way to find inspiration is to research your favorite television shows and films, analyzing aspects of the animation style and how the cast and crew put it together. She also recommended that the best way to get into the industry is by reaching out to production companies and applying for internships or jobs. 

Overall, Howell’s lecture series at UVU proved to be an invaluable resource to aspiring students on their paths to success within the entertainment industry, from acting to animating and more.