Boston, Massachusetts native Jay Francis is a 20-year veteran of the entertainment industry. A graduate of the distinguished Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, Jay's background includes production supervision, recruiting, and teaching.
In January 1997, Jay brought his animation production expertise to Film Roman as the Director of Talent Recruiting. He was responsible for placing the artistic talent behind such well-known programs as The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Mission Hill, The Oblongs, and X-Men as well as hiring staff for the studio's development and digital art departments. During that time, he also established the company's successful Internship program. In 1999, Jay was promoted to Vice-President and General Manager for LEVEL13.NET, Film Roman's internet subsidiary where he acquired hundreds of animated short films for development into television series, direct-to-video features, video games, and internet programming. A co-producer of the 2001 and 2002 DIRECTV - LEVEL13.NET ANIMATED FILM FESTIVALS, Jay worked closely with satellite television giant DIRECTV to create two compelling 90-minute televised presentations.
In 1991, Jay and three partners formed Lil' Gangster Entertainment, a boutique animation studio with offices in Los Angeles and Paris. The company produced traditional animation, live action, graphics, and designs for prestigious clients such as Cartoon Network, Electronic Arts, Interplay Productions, Sega, Canal Plus, MTV, Universal Cartoon Studios, and Warner Bros. Animation. In 1994 Lil' Gangster merged with Strategic Visions to create Vortex Media Arts, a software development company that generated over four million dollars in revenue worldwide. Vortex clients included Hasbro Interactive, Fox Interactive, and Creative Wonders. Prior to this, he spent six years at DIC Entertainment, supervising such animated series as Dennis the Menace, Heathcliff, Inspector Gadget, Madeline, and The Real Ghostbusters.
Jay is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and an advisory board member at the Art Institute of Los Angeles, Art Institute of Phoenix, and Vancouver Film School. He is currently serving on the Board of Trustees at the Illinois Institute of Art Schaumburg. He has served as a judge for the 3D December Conference (sponsored by Alias/Wavefront), Anime21 (Tokyo, Japan), Diversity Film/TV Market, EGO Conference (Chennai, India), Nashville Film Festival, and World Animation Celebration. An accomplished public speaker, Jay continues to give public service presentations to various educational institutions at all levels, including every major art and animation school in North America.