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Employee Spotlight: Melissa Marmol

This month’s employee spotlight is from our very own Melissa Marmol, an Animator here at Harmonix. Take it away, Melissa!

My name is Melissa Marmol and I’ve been an animator at Harmonix for 2 years. I was first hired as a contractor to work on Rock Band VR, and after a few months, I was fortunate enough to land a full-time position! Since then I have been working on multiple prototypes in house and I am currently working on an unannounced title.

As an animator, my main focus lies with bringing characters to life. Lip-syncing audio dialogues, animating body mechanics and cleaning up motion capture data are some of the ways that I have been able to help create believable characters at Harmonix. Recently, I have been working heavily with motion capture, and we are lucky enough at Harmonix to have our own motion capture studio right down the hall! This convenience is invaluable, as it allows the animators here to quickly implement new animations into our games.

Before Harmonix, my industry experience first started as an intern at PDI Dreamworks while I was in college. Like most starting animators, I wanted to work in film, so I was really excited for this opportunity. During my internship however, I realized that I was massively unprepared for professional work and felt like I still had a lot of learning to do. After college, I decided to get more training by taking courses online with Animation Mentor.

Eventually I got my first animation job at a small company called IPKeys Technologies in New Jersey. At IPKeys, I worked on a game called I-Game (IED Gaming and Modeling Environment) which is played by US soldiers to train and learn how to use IED devices (and much more!). This is where I really fell in love with game animation and all the technical aspects that come with it.

Later, I found a position that looked interesting in Boston, and that was how I found my way to Harmonix!

What is your favorite Harmonix game and why?

My favorite Harmonix game would have to be Rock Band. My brothers and I used to play this game all the time when I was in college. There is something magical about Rock Band that really brings people together and I have many fun memories thanks to this awesome game.

What Rock Band instrument do you play?

My favorite Rock Band instrument is the Bass. When I play with my brothers, one would take the drums, and the other would take the guitar, and I always preferred the bass, so it worked out well!

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

If I could have any superpower, I think I would want telekinesis, but like super powerful telekinesis. Like Jean Gray/Phoenix!

Would you rather be a pitch perfect singer, flawless dancer, or skilled musician?

Definitely a flawless dancer. I think people who can dance are amazing, and I think that dancing and confidence goes hand in hand and I really admire that.

What’s your go-to candy bowl candy / drink fridge beverage?

My candy bowl go-to are the very rare Crunch bars. We need more crunch bars! As for my go-to drink, I would say it’s a tie between ginger ale and vitamin water.