Ray Pointer, son of Raymond Pointer and Rowena Manning-Pointer was born July 4, 1952 in Detroit, Michigan, or more appropriately, “rolled off the assembly line at Henry Ford Hospital only to have the mold broken once they saw what they had!
At an early age, he displayed definite artistic skill, and was selected for Special Ability Art classes at The Detroit Institute of Arts from 1962 to 1965. Through his father, a Building Services employee at Wayne State University, he was exposed to the arts through the Theater and Art Departments. He was selected as a candidate for enrollment in the famous college-equivalent Cass Technical High School, graduating with a Commercial Art degree. He received his B.A. degree in Broadcast and Film Production at Wayne State University, and a Post Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California, School of Performing Arts Department of Cinema/ Television.
A self-taught filmmaker, Ray experimented with animation from 1963 to 1973, and began his career at The Jam Handy Organization in Detroit. He received the first Student Oscar 1973 for cartoon short, Goldnavel. He then directed the educational film, Rosa Parks: Modern Day Heroine for Wayne State Urban Studies.
From 1976 to 1983, Ray served as a Naval Photographer/Motion Picture Specialist and Film Editor for The Pacific Fleet Audio-Visual Command where he was cited as Sailor of the First Quarter, 1979 for organizing the film vault and performing beyond his level of expectations.
Ray was promoted to a junior officer’s position as Producer for Navy Broadcasting, Washington D.C. and received The Cine Golden Eagle Award for the documentary, West Africa: A CNO Special. and The Gold Screen Award for animated television spots; Pride and Professionalism and Shore Patrol from the National Association of Government Communicators. Due to his continued performance of excellence, Ray was named Pentagon Sailor of the First Quarter in 1983. Following his Honorable Discharge, Ray was Writer/Director of corporate video programs for General Dynamics Land Systems. In the 1990s, he was active in the Animation Renaissance on the west coast, working as an Assistant Animator, Animator, and Storyboard Artist on 12 television series and 100s of commercials. During this period he worked for Film Roman, DIC Entertainment, Hanna-Barbera, Universal, Disney Interactive, Fred Wolf Films, MGM, and Nickelodeon, becoming an Animation Director. Due to his years of dedicated service to the industry, Ray was inducted into The Animation Peer Group of The Television Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1996, where he served on several committees related to Student Intern Programs and Scholarship awards, Emmy Nominations, Judging, and Voting.
In 1996, Ray founded Inkwell Images as a Special Interest Video Production and distribution company devoted to animation history and instruction through his web site, inkwellimagesink.com, creating a worldwide customer base, supplying educational outlets and museums including The Niles Essenay Silent Film Museum, The Hollywood Heritage Museum, and The Disney Family Museum.
Since returning to Michigan in 2008, Ray produced and directed the documentary, The Mecosta-Morton Video Tour, winner of the Silver Remi Award in The Houston International Film Festival. He was also active in regional theater, appearing in 12 shows in two years including the lead in OKLAHOMA! In 2009 and his award winning performance as Rooster Hannigan in ANNIE in 2010. Since coming to Grand Rapids, Ray has been an Animator on the educational program, Charlie and Company for School Zone Publishers in Grand Haven, Michigan and has been an Adjunct Professor in Digital Media at Kendall College of Art and design in Grand Rapids, Michigan.