Pinoy Pixar Director Ronnie del Carmen Shares His Tips for Aspiring Creatives

Ronnie del Carmen

Ronnie Del Carmen is photographed on August 6, 2014 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

What do Batman: The Animated Series, Inside Out, Up, WALL-E, Ratatouille, Finding Nemo, and The Road to El Dorado have in common? Apart from being some of our favorite animated movies and TV shows, they are tied together by the genius of Ronnie del Carmen. Del Carmen is a Filipino animation writer, story artist, story supervisor, and production designer who has worked on these titles and more. As someone who has made waves in animation, we were curious, what tips does he have for aspiring creatives who want to make it big in the entertainment industry?

Del Carmen was the guest speaker at a virtual film class hosted by Rebelde, a diverse community of aspiring filmmakers from different parts of the country. Rebelde is known for the Rebelde Film Camp, a unique jamboree of filmmakers in a secluded area to learn filmmaking and to celebrate the magic of cinema.

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In the exclusive panel discussion facilitated by Pamela Reyes (producer of Birdshot) and actor and musician Mikoy Morales, del Carmen shared his tips on the art of storytelling:

Make stories all the time

Del Carmen believes that you should be making stories all the time because he believes that one day, you’re going to make an amazing one and everyone will pay attention to you. So don’t stop even when you’re bad because “you’re going to get a little better and a little better.”

You need to have a calling card

According to del Carmen, it is a fallacy that you need an agent to get somewhere. He says, “what you need is to make something that becomes your calling card. It’s your movie, your book, graphic novel, album, music.” If you create something good, agents will come to you.

Go where the action is

Del Carmen believes that you have to go where you can be seen by the right people. Geography plays a big part in how to be seen by the people you want to see you. The animator believes that if you’re good, you will meet people who will want to take you out of your own country to go somewhere else.

Be open to learning experiences

When del Carmen was hired to be part of Batman: The Animated Series, he admits that he didn’t have the experience. He says, “Bruce Timm, the producer, was tired of hiring very experienced people who had very bad habits who could not be taught. He hired me based on potential.” Through his work there, del Carmen learned cinematic language, staging, and storytelling.


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Get over being a lone wolf

Del Carmen advises that you need to learn how to collaborate. He says that you need to get over being a lone wolf or a lone genius because collaborating keeps you from stressing out. He says, “collaborating means you get to share the love.”

Take an acting class

Similar to his advice on collaborating, del Carmen believes that taking acting and improv classes will help you as a creative. According to him, the craft of writing stories and other related fields like drawing, producing, writing, comes through your body. He says, “whatever you write comes from you, inside your body.”


For del Carmen, failure is a way to get better. He says, “failure gives you a license to be more natural and not be precious. You will get it right.”


Be a part of the Rebelde community by joining their exclusive workshops to get a chance to meet established filmmakers as your mentors. For inquiries, you may reach them at rebelde.classph@gmail.com or visit their Facebook page @rebeldeph.

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