New Smurfs movie has local tie to Mesa man

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Brandon Jeffords is an animator from Mesa who worked on the latest Smurfs movie. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Brandon Jeffords is an animator from Mesa who worked on the latest Smurfs movie. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
As one of the storyboard artists, he and his team drew the entire movie. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) As one of the storyboard artists, he and his team drew the entire movie. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Jeffords also got a small acting part in the movie. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Jeffords also got a small acting part in the movie. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

"I remember the first Disney movie I saw in the theater, 'The Fox and The Hound.' I was probably about 8 years old," said Brandon Jeffords.

After seeing those illustrations come to life, Jeffords had one question.

"How do I get a job doing that?" Jeffords said. "Fascinating to me that someone could get paid to do that."

The budding artist picked up a pencil and began to draw.

"My first illustrations were cards I made for my mom," said Jeffords.

Jeffords attended Rhodes Junior High School where his love for acting and singing led him to the theater. 

At Dobson High School in Mesa, he was student body president and fell in love with illustration.

"I paint anything that comes to mind. It's mostly fantasy type illustration," said Jeffords.

His lucky break came more than a decade ago with Nickelodeon, which led to jobs with Disney, Warner Brothers and now Sony Pictures.

His latest project was the new Smurfs movie.

"I worked on all the characters," said Jeffords.

As one of the storyboard artists, he and his team drew the entire movie. A labor of love, it took them three years to create “Smurfs: The Lost Village”.

"We did the drawing and then took those drawings and put that to music and temp sound effects, temp voices and everything and build the entire movie. It was so exciting," said Jeffords.

But that’s not the only big budget blockbuster he’s worked on. His credits include Hotel Transylvania 2, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, The Lonely Tunes Show and Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness.

But the Smurfs movie has been his favorite. He even got a small acting part.

"I actually do a voice in the Smurfs movie, the magic cauldron. He's kind of a commanding voice. A voice that comes from above booming out of the cauldron," said Jeffords.

His next big project is top secret, but Jeffords hopes to inspire the next generation of illustrators to believe that dreams do come true.

“It’s not easy. My biggest advice is to be patient, work hard and follow your dreams. I mean something I dreamed as a kid and was able to realize as an adult, it does happen" said Jeffords.

If you want to see more of his work, visit his website at www.brandonjeffords.com.

?Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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