Jason van Gumster got into animation when he realized that he wanted to create movies … but that actors are generally intolerant of having pianos dropped on them. Using open source tools at nearly every step in his production process, Jason has produced animations and visual effects for television, film, and video games in his official capacity as a Production Monkey for Hand Turkey Studios, the company he helped start in 2005. A Blender user since 1998, Jason is well recognized in the Blender community for his knowledge of the program and has given numerous live demonstrations and workshops on Blender internationally. In January 2008, Jason worked with the Blender Foundation to assemble the Blender Certification Review Board and led the launch of the Blender Foundation Certified Trainer (BFCT) program.
Based in Richmond, Virginia, Jason can often be found in cafés and diners drawing, espousing the virtues of open source software, or catching confused looks from strangers as he contorts his body to better visualize a pose in a scene he's animating.