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Dan Lund graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1989. He studied film production as well as interned in the media department of the local Abbott Northwestern Hospital. There he directed a live children’s show, The Wishing Well, for closed-circuit television. After graduation he moved to California and landed a production assistant job at the Walt Disney Company. Being a Production Assistant in the feature animation division on the film Prince and the Pauper (the last cell animated film from Disney) led him into the field of special effects animation. He learned on the job and ended up animating on every major film from Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King through the current Brother Bear and Home on the Range (the latter having been the last hand-drawn film Disney will produce for the forseeable future).

While working at Disney, Dan continued his live-action work by making documentaries about eccentric people that he found charming. The first was Mamma D, a 65 minute documentary about a woman throwing a party for the homeless every Sunday for the past 15 years using only her disability check. The film went on to win numerous film festivals and is now being used by New Light Media as part of their educational curriculum. The film has turned Mamma D into a cult hero and she is now sent out to speak, and meet and greet after screenings of the film on college campuses.

After Mamma D was completed, Dan became part of a new group of filmmakers. Dan found a live -action home in the Foster Film Group. This group of five supports each other’s projects and has numerous films to its credit and in production.

The next film took Dan into the colorful world of drag. WANNABE: Just a Boy and Her Dream was the 90 minute film about L.A.’s leading drag queen/traffic school instructor and his quest to become a sitcom star. The film took a very real look at a very campy world and how one learns to love the process of “trying something” over “achieving something”.

Next was Death Becomes Them: The Musical, a 71 minute musical extravaganza about the couple who owns and runs the Hollywood Museum of Death. Their story is told through song with a singing undertaker and tap dancing body bags. The film mixes all types of media including classic Hollywood musical elements, puppets, traditional animation and CGI animation.

Dan’s current film is the animated documentary, DREAM ON SILLY DREAMER, about the death of Disney’s hand-drawn animated films. On March 25, 2002, 200 artists were told they were being replaced with computers and that Disney was going to follow the money instead of leading with tradition. That day, Dan began interviewing shocked and hurt animators. The film is a surprisingly upbeat valentine to the good old days of Disney and the desire for it not to end. The film was not only challenging to make, from a filmmakers point of view, but also from a personal point of view as Dan was being laid off and trying to deal with his own loss while documenting the loss of hundreds of others.

After the Disney studio was closed in Burbank, Dan’s misfortune of going to the Orlando studio, only to watch it also be closed down, actually had a silver lining. While there, he acquired the right to turn John deHaas’ hit play Theme Park Diva into a feature film. Currently in pre-production, Dan is eager to bring the musical adventures of Suzi Ditty and Amber Crystal to the silver screen. In Orlando, Dan also became part of a new film group, Level 10 Films. Led by former Disney co-worker, Chris Bromby, the groups first film, Gamers, documents the culture of role playing games. Dan is very proud to have met both of these very talented individuals and looks forward to collaborating with them and all his past film making family members.

Who knows? Perhaps someday all these talented people in Dan’s film world and the movies they make will help to bring Disney back to its former happy place!

 
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