50 Notable Alumni

Jason Pethtel

Matte Painting Compositor

Associate in Applied Science

Digital Media


Originally from Robinson, Illinois, Jason works as a matte painting compositor at DreamWorks. He enjoys creating believable environments for film, TV, and games through the use of paint, 3D modeling, animation, rendering, and compositing.

Jason is most proud of seeing his name in the credits for movies; working on a World of Warcraft cinematic; and matte painting for the popular Game of Thrones television series. In fact, Jason worked on the visual effects team that won a 2015 Emmy for the Game of Thrones episode, "The Dance of Dragons."

"I planned to go to Chicago for training in 3D art and design until I learned that Parkland offered a Digital Media Program—and one that was pretty good at that," Jason explains. "Parkland gave me an affordable boost into 3D art without life-altering debt, and the energized environment of a small, adaptable program. I made good friends and developed important skills." In addition to lower tuition and class size, Jason says he appreciated the friendliness of the Parkland staff.

After Parkland, Jason earned a position as matte painting technical director with LA's Rhythm & Hues Studios. He has since worked with several additional studios, including Blizzard Entertainment, Blur Studio, Mirada Studios, and Method Studios, and he has performed freelance TV and commercial work.

Jason's most memorable moment at Parkland "was any one of the random conversations and critiques in Alex Jerez's rendering class. We had great camaraderie in the Digital Media program."

(photo credit: Beth A. Pethtel)