Disney Television Executive to visit GVSU

November 10, 2017

Disney Television Executive to visit GVSU

On Monday, November 13th, Jay Francis will be visiting GVSU for a candid discussion about the state of the animation industry today, how to go from concept to cartoon, and insights into careers in animated entertainment (with advice to break into concept art, visual production, storyboarding, animation, and more). This will take place at 1:45 pm in LMH 114.

In his creative role as Executive Director of Original Series, Jay was instrumental in the development of Disney XD’s first original animation series, Kick Buttowski as well as creatively managing the Disney Channel hit series Phineas and Ferb. Jay has provided his creative insight on Disney XD series such as Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja, Motorcity, and Packages From Planet X and currently leads the creative on Disney XD’s Future Worm, Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero, Country Club, and Milo Murphy’s Law. Additionally, Jay works extensively with the casting, legal, marketing, media relations, social media, music, digital, and programming divisions of the Disney Channel and Disney XD. 

Prior to joining Disney Television Animation, Jay held the position of VP and General Manager of LEVEL13.NET, Film Roman’s internet subsidiary. In addition to his duties as VP, Jay also handled all of the company’s artistic and production recruitment for The Simpsons, Family Guy, and King of the Hill. He has also given lectures at many of the most prestigious art and animation schools in the country including Cal Arts, School of Visual Arts, University of the Arts, RISD, Pratt, Academy of Art, SCAD, Ringling, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Art Center, and College of Creative Studies and Columbus College of Art and Design. 

He co-founded two independent entertainment companies, Little Gangster Entertainment, a boutique animation studio with offices in Los Angeles and Paris, and Phuuz Entertainment, a creative IP development and production studio. He got his start as a line producer with DIC Entertainment, leading production on such series as The Real Ghostbusters, Inspector Gadget, Dennis the Menace, and Madeline. 

A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Jay received a B.S. in TV/Film Production from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Jay is a member of Disney’s Leadership Learning Advisory Board, ATAS, and ASIFA, as well as having served as an advisory board member at several schools. He is also a former member of the Board of Trustees at the Illinois Institute of Art. 

Outside of work, Jay is an avid football lover and unabashed New England Patriot fan but most importantly, a husband and father, enjoying every waking moment with his wife and four children.

For more information, please contact Professor Guin Thompson at

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Page last modified November 10, 2017