Vito Viscomi

 

What is your name and your current occupation?
Vito Viscomi – Writer/Story Editor and Partner at Slap Happy Cartoons.

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I used to walk around in women’s shoes as an assistant Foley Artist. Oh, and I used to stuff animals.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Jackass, The Tom Green Show, The Vacant Lot, Fin shorts for the Vancouver Canucks, Kid VS Kat, League of Super Evil… and a few other future projects.

How did you become interested in animation?
I grew up watching Warner Bros. cartoons.

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
Born in Italy, grew up in Toronto. Was into sketch comedy and got a call about the possibility of writing for Studio B productions in Vancouver and immediately fell in love with the freedom animation allows.

What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Usually deal with emails about projects, then collect notes, handle revisions, the occasional conference call with producers/creators/networks, assign scripts and revision notes, edit scripts, write and rewrite.

What part of your job do you like best? Why?
Writing a first outline/draft. As a writer, it’s usually the most fun because there are few notes and limitations, and it’s just you and the blank screen.

What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Trying to make conflicting notes from various parties work within a script. You want to address people’s concerns, but it’s a balancing act when you have notes that butt against each other.

What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Sometimes I scratch my head at new series that get greenlit, but I’ve been in this business long enough to know that there are a number of factors at play including timing, politics, the creators and their relationship with a network, photos of execs with sheep, etc. etc. etc. I’m kidding. They’re usually horses, not sheep.

What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
Laptop, iPhone, iPad, and TV of course.

In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I once met Chuck Jones at a Warner Brothers party back in 1992 or so. It was a thrill for me. I told him that he pretty much single-handedly formed my sense of humor… and he apologized.

Describe a tough situation you had in life.
Unfortunately I can’t answer this question because I lost my memory in a fish cannery accident. I think.
Any side projects you’re working on you’d like to share details of?
Our company Slap Happy Cartoons currently has a show in development with DHX Media and Disney XD. 
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Meet as many people as you can, never give up, keep working hard, always be willing to do anything as long as you’ll learn something by doing it, and get off my lawn.
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