Motion Editor
Weta Digital

Dave Preciado

I grew up surrounded by film people.  My best friends father, Hugo Cortina, was a camera assistant (now DP) on many films in the 80s such as Starman, Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Poltergeist.  He and his family (my best friend - we were perhaps 6 at the time) had a cameo in the film Starman and that's when I realized making movies was an actual job!  Hugo eventually helped my father get into the business.  My father was an all around builder, so he got in as an Electrician.

When I was about 12 years old the 1st film set I visited was Adams Family.  They were shooting an indoor scene and took a break, when my dad and Hugo came over to my mom and I to say hello.  Hugo then called Angelica Houston over to meet me and she was incredibly friendly - in full costume as Morticia.  She took my by the hand and showed me around the set, then we went to craft service and she stuffed my pockets with as much candy as they could hold while saying "don't tell your parents I gave you this, say it was Hugo"!  My mom almost passed out when we came back, as she was a huge Angelica Houston fan.

That was one of the 1st experiences I had on a film set and knew from that day on I wanted to be a part of it.  All the huge trucks, the cables, massive lights, the biggest camera I had ever seen, and everyone generally seemed friendly and happy.  I wanted in!

My father continued to work on other films and TV series such as American Me, Baywatch (can you imagine 15 year old me meeting Pamela Anderson?!  She was brilliant and ever so sweet to me, but great Scott!), and his last film was Heat.

In highschool, my father was adamant that I didn't use my back for work, but instead use my brains and develop some sort of craft that had longevity.  I was always a good artist and made silly short films with my best friend as kids, so I figured I'd do something there.  My neighbor further down the road was a guy named Dave - I didn't know his last name as I was still a kid - but he was an incredible artist.  He was a matte painter, and I remember he and his friend were painting 20 foot tall canvas in his backyard for a film set.  Hmmm...I kinda like is where I'll put my focus on.

In Highschool and college I took as many art classes as I could find.  During this time in the 90s there were very few schools teaching anything that had to do with film, animation or games.  I had decided that I wanted to get into video games since I was a huge gamer and film seemed "too big" for me at the time.  After 2 years of studying with no real direction, a new art school opened up in my area and offered a new course in "computer animation".  Sign me up.

I studied there and got my 1st degree in Computer Science in Animation in 1999 and tried interning at a few places.  I did some 3D lazer scanning, but through a friend ended up interning at this "Motion Capture" studio called The House of Moves.  I learned everything I could as this was relatively new technology to the games/entertainment industry, but nothing panned out.  From there I did some storyboarding on League of Extraordinary Gentlemen where I actually got to design a couple shots that were used in the film.

Shortly after that I felt I needed to continue my studies and signed up to Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood, CA..


Work Experience

Weta Digital (current), Giant Studios (LEI), Digital Domain, Frame Machine

Film Credits

Avatar 2, Avengers: Endgame, Alita: Battle Angel, Justice League, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, War for the Planet of the Apes, The BFG, The Jungle Book, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Jack the Giant Slayer, Real Steel, Green Lantern, Thor, Sucker Punch, Mars Needs Moms, Battle: Los Angeles, Hereafter, Avatar 1, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, I Am Legend, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Skills & Titles

Senior Motion Editor, Motion Capture Artist, Motion Capture Animator, Animator, 3D Generalist