WSU Instructor Pursues Animation and Marketing for DreamWorks – The Daily Evergreen
Angie Howard is working on ‘Puss in Boots’ marketing this fall
By day, Angie Howard lives in a world of “Puss in Boots” and “Trolls”. At night, she gives back to her alma mater as a WSU Global Campus instructor.
After dipping her toes into the world of animation, Howard said she fell in love with it.
Howard began her marketing career out of college after graduating from Portland State University with a marketing degree in advertising management, she said.
“I decided to go out and start my own thing because I was really interested in hanging out with creative agencies and creatives and so I started representing a bunch of different companies,” Howard said. “Some of them were web design and documentary footage and one was a small animation studio in Portland, Oregon called Animation Dynamics.”
Her husband, Chris Stover, also worked at Animation Dynamics as a cinematographer, where they and the people of Portland got to come together and create a short film, she said.
“We went to film festivals and Intel actually sponsored it,” Howard said. “So that was my next step in producing animation, and really, from there, it just grew.”
After being in Portland for a few years, Howard packed up her life and went to work for a company in Los Angeles on an animated short. After that, she worked for PlayStation on the franchise console game “God of War,” she said.
Howard then moved into visual effects and worked as a production manager at Rhythm and Hues Studios, she said. After swinging between Sony Pictures Imageworks and Disneytoon Studios, she ended up at DreamWorks Animation, where she is now vice president of custom animation.
She oversees a group that helps market DreamWorks animated films and TV releases, she said.
“We do commercial work where we might do a McDonald’s commercial or a Target commercial with our characters,” Howard said. “It could be in the environments that the characters in the film are from, it could be a lot of different things.”
“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” is set for release in December, and Howard is working closely with the film’s producers and directors to ensure it matches the look, feel and tone of the feature. footage in its marketing productions, she says.
While at DreamWorks, Howard was also completing his MBA through WSU. She graduated in 2019 and immediately began teaching as a section instructor for WSU’s online MBA courses, she said.
“I kind of try to have classes at the start of the week in the evening, and then I try to do a lot of my notes and stuff over the weekend or in the morning. It’s funny because that’s kind of how I was doing my MBA too,” Howard said.
After studying together in Portland and then moving to Los Angeles 15 years ago, Howard and Stover continued to work together in the animation industry and develop their careers, Stover said.
“We both know what we’re going through career-wise, the challenges, the ups and downs, and so it’s great to have that support mechanism built into your life,” Stover said. “It’s good to experience this with someone you know so well and you can support each other through the career challenges that everyone is facing.”
Although the power couple work for a global brand that can push hard, both work for a company that values a healthy work-life balance, Stover said. After 15 years with DreamWorks, Stover and Howard can still spend time outside the studio with their daughter.
“We also have an Airbnb business that we run on the side that are basically properties or places that we like to go,” Stover said. “Not only is it another business opportunity, but it allows us to get away from LA, get out of our own bubble a bit, and just enjoy our downtime.”
Some might say it’s too difficult to balance DreamWorks and synchronously teach WSU Global Campus courses, but for Howard, it’s nothing less than a representation of his professionalism and ability, a Stover said.
“When you’re working professionally, I think you come to a point where you’re looking for an opportunity to give back and share some of the things that you’ve learned, and I think she really appreciates that aspect,” Stover said. “I think it’s just an opportunity for her to expand her repertoire of things that she brings to the table and I think she enjoys giving back plus it makes her a stronger leader with the ability to communicate concepts to very intelligent people.