Photographer. Filmmaker. Storyteller.
David’s interest in film started in 1988. While David spent time at his Grandparents place a special came on the tv. The Special was produced by Nova. The title was “Movie Magic” . This special was hosted by Mark Hammel. It took the viewers behind the camera and showed some of Hollywood's secrets. David’s life was changed from that point, now when he watched films he spent more time trying to figure out how they did the special effects in the films.
David grew up in a small town that had a population of nearly 5,000. The town was a small farming community that had trouble believing someone from the small town would be able to make it in the far off land of Hollywood. Most of his teachers would come to think of him as a dreamer and one who wouldn’t amount to anything. That is something that has stayed with him and still gives him the most ambition to make his dream come true. David’s love for the movies eventually got him interested in other areas of art, from photography to traditional painting, drawing, and the performing arts. Throughout high school David took as many art classes as he could searching for the knowledge that would take him to Hollywood. After graduating David took a year off from school to take a job at a local Stage theater working as a stage technician and set artist. During this time David would find a local college that would set him on a creative journey. Bradley Academy for the Visual Arts. It is here that David found his calling as a Compositor/ 3D artist. David had the great fortune of winning an internship not based only on skill, but also based on his drive, and the willingness to go the extra mile. When the internship ended he took a job back at the theater in the media department where he honed in on his skills as an artist. He also got to work on his first real film shoot. He worked as the dolly grip and key grip on the non union shoots.
“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.”
Jesse Owens (1913-1980)
After two years at the theater David felt it was time to embark on the 3,000 mile cross county trip to Los Angeles. David’s plan was to drive across the country, show his reel to a studio and get in and start making movie magic. It didn’t happen that way after rejection after rejection, David’s dream of working in the film industry started to look like an unreachable goal. David had a car crash that would eventually force him to head back to Pennsylvania a defeated and poorer man having spent all his savings and maxing out his credit cards in the move. David spent two months trying to figure out what he did wrong. He spent many nights up reworking his reel only to throw it away and start over. He started to think those teachers were right, maybe he wouldn't amount to anything. After Christmas of that year he found his second wind. He saw the bonus material of the first installment of Lord Of the Rings, and the fire and passion came back. He set out to find a school who could train him up in 3D computer graphics. He decided to attend Full Sail University. David found his creative passion again. He would go onto be one of the top artists in his class. He was known as the person to go to for help, if there was a lab open at 1 am you could bet it was David running the lab. After graduation David took a deviation from his film path,and became a teacher for the Compositing and Scene Finishing Class.
“ With each failure I become stronger as long as I learn from my mistakes and believe in myself...”
David Wolgemuth (2010)
David found that he enjoyed teaching, and he was good at it. He moved through the ranks very quickly. Within 1.5 years David was the Associate Course Director. During this time he would make major changes to the class to make it the class he wished it had been while he was a student. He pushed the students and staff to learn the latest techniques not only in the compositing packages but also in the 3D camera / object tracking. He didn’t stop at just the 2D side. He also helped with what he dubbed as a texturing and rendering for compositors. In the first year of teaching he was awarded “Top Gun” The award given to the best teacher of that school year. The longer David taught the more he felt the film industry called him. After 4.5 years of teaching he decided to leave teaching behind and move out to Los Angeles again. This time he would have a much different story.
David has been working as a Freelance Compositing Artist out in Los Angeles Ca, since 2010, he has worked on features such as Harry Potter “The deathly Hallows part 1 and part 2”, Mission Impossible “Ghost Protocol”, Star Trek “Into the Darkness”, “Argo”, ” American Hustle” , and many more. He is currently working on “Guardians of the Galaxy”. His love for films grows each year, and hopes he can continue to contribute to the film industry and inspire other artists to strive for their goals, their dreams and to never quit.