LinkedInLisa Forssell

Lisa Forssell

MS/MBA Candidate at Stanford University

San Francisco Bay Area
Environmental Services
  1. Pixar Animation Studios,
  2. NASA Ames Research Center,
  3. Microsoft Corporation
  1. Stanford University
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Stanford University

Stanford University

Computer Science

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Experienced technical director and manager at Pixar Animation Studios; now a student at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and School of Earth Sciences en route to career change.

Goal: impact on climate change.


MS/MBA Candidate

Stanford University
– Present (2 years 2 months)Palo Alto, CA

Pursuing an MBA at the Graduate School of Business as well as interdisciplinary MS in Environment and Resources. Dual degrees expected June 2015.

Director of Technical Artists

Pixar Animation Studios
(4 years 4 months)Emeryville, CA

Oversaw 80-200 technical directors (TDs) working in Pixar’s technical production departments.
Managed casting & deployment to feature films and short projects. Determined and delivered salaries. Hired 100+ TDs and TD interns during significant growth period. Transformed casting process for TD leadership roles. Mentored TDs seeking a career path and advised executive team on TD issues.

Film credits: Up, Toy Story 3, Cars 2, Brave

Matte Paint Supervisor, Cars

Pixar Animation Studios
(2 years 9 months)Emeryville, CA

Led team responsible for all painted backgrounds and skies in the film, as well as all sets for Mac's cross-country driving montage.
Film Credit: Matte Paint Supervisor

Ocean Unit Supervisor, Finding Nemo

Pixar Animation Studios
(2 years 6 months)Emeryville, CA

Led team responsible for sets, camera, lighting, shading, effects, and simulation on all open ocean sequences, including the jellyfish sequence and "turtle drive."
Film Credit: Ocean Unit Supervisor

Lead Technical Director, Toy Story 2

Pixar Animation Studios
(2 years 2 months)Point Richmond, CA

Led team that modeled and rigged background humans. Also implemented visual effects including Buzz contrail and clouds in opening sequence.
Film Credits: Human Team Lead, Visual Effects.

Technical Director, A Bug's Life

Pixar Animation Studios
(2 years)Point Richmond, CA

Rigged characters including PT Flea and Manny the Mantis. Shaded Gypsy the butterfly/moth and various set pieces. Lit exterior shots.
Film Credits: Software, Modeling, Shading, Lighting.

Technical Director, Toy Story

Pixar Animation Studios
(1 year 9 months)Point Richmond, CA

Lit shots in Andy's room, the Dinoco gas station, and Sid's house. After the film was released, wrote GUI lighting system which was used for the next five feature films.
Film Credits: Lighting.

Resarch Intern

NASA Ames Research Center
(1 year 7 months)Moffet Field, CA

Results of my flow visualization research project can be found in:

Lisa K. Forssell, Visualizing Flow Over Curvilinear Grid Surfaces Using Line Integral Convolution, published in IEEE Visualization '94. Awarded Best Paper.

Program Manager Intern

Microsoft Corporation
(2 years)Redmond, WA

Summers '90, '91, and '92. Program Manager for the Windows Entertainment Pack, Volumes 2, 3, and 4. Shepherded volunteer programmers through the process of turning their games into a final product. Set up testing process. Wrote online help.


  1. Swedish

    Native or bilingual proficiency
  2. Spanish

    Elementary proficiency


  • Visual Effects
  • Film
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Computer Graphics
  • Common Sense
  • Feature Films
  • Entertainment
  • Lighting
  • Leadership
  • Computer Science


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