What is your name and your current occupation?
Eddie Mort. Occupation? Well I animate, storyboard, design and composite. Sometimes for shows you may actually see. I work with Lili Chin under the name Fwak! Animation.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I only had two jobs before I got into animation. Filing Clerk at the Department Of Veterans Affairs, and pumping gas.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Mucha Lucha! for Warner Bros Animation because we were able to bring an awareness of Lucha Libre to US broadcast television. I am also proud of the feature film Lili Chin and I did together – Los Campeones de la Lucha Libre. Though we only had the budget equivalent of just over two TV episodes, we managed to produce a theatrical feature.
How did you become interested in animation?
Animation was always something that really super talented people did and I never considered It was for the likes of me. It was through watching Ralph Bakshi’s films I realized it didn’t all have to be slick and polished. His films – and the original Ren & Stimpys – showed me you could do things on your own terms.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I was born in Manchester England, and emigrated to Australia when I was 10. I answered an advertisement for animation trainees at Walt Disney TV Animation in Sydney, in 1991. Although ‘animation trainee’ turned out to mean ‘trainee inbetweener’.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
I now have a 21 month-old, high-need daughter, so I work while she naps between 1.30 and 3.30 PM and then start work at 10.00 PM after she finally falls asleep. I work until around 3AM. Thank heavens for Miyazaki, because My Neighbor Totoro helps her to transition to sleep every night!
I’m currently working on a funded pilot, and a self-produced series idea.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I like it all because I insist on doing it all (with help from Lili Chin). One of the biggest drag in the past was trying to make someone else’s script or storyboard work. Now I try to make sure I take care of both of these whenever possible.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Inconsistency. Not being part of a major studio means you constantly have to be grafting for work, with no safety net.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
Flash, Toon Boom ‘Animate’, AVS Video Editor, pencils, paper. Adobe Audition if I am editing or composing any music.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I’ve worked with some really gifted people. A lot of our storyboard artists on Mucha Lucha were talented directors in their own right.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
I spent a lot of wasteful, frustrating years before I finally realized I was destined to make animated films. I was 31 when I finally became an inbetweening trainee. Since forming my first studio in 1996 I haven’t wasted a minute.
Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
I compose and play/perform music whenever I can, and I am actually going into the studio to record some new tracks next month. Animation wise, there are two projects I really would like to see through; ‘Dead Ringo’, which is a feature idea (Lili and I have completed a 6 minute pilot and written the script), and ‘Skaville’ which is basically putting my love of Ska music into animation.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
All I can do is really just state what I did. I really wanted to make animated films and realized no-one else was going to animate them for me. So I just kept drawing, watched and paused animation I liked, and learnt how to animate that way.
I dig Dead Ringo! Good luck with it and I hop you sell it!