What is your name and your current occupation?
Joe Molinari – Animation Editor/Animatic Editor
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Worked in a supermarket fish department and wrote driving safety radio plays for truck drivers.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I’ve worked on a lot of different shows/movies, but I think the most gratifying and fun project was working on the Kim Possible series.
How did you become interested in animation?
I never really was interested. In fact, I entered the animation business with no prior experience or knowledge. However, that is where I landed and it has been a great blessing to be a part of it!
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I was born in the Bronx, grew up in New Jersey, attended CSULB, and out of desperation wanted to take any job that would get me into the entertainment industry. I got an interview for a production assistant job at Hyperion Studios. During the interview, producer John Lanza popped in and asked if I knew anything about editing. I didn’t, but told him I would do whatever it took to learn. I started the next week and the rest, as they say, is history.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Much of it is spent alone as I assemble and edit various episodes, sometimes juggling three or four at a time. Depending on the schedule, I may have an edit session with the director and producer. That then results in me addressing their notes and then rendering a movie of the episode to be screened by executives.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I think editing in itself is what I enjoy the most. This is especially true when I have established a relationship with the director/producer who trusts me to make my own pass on episodes. There is a great deal of creative freedom in that. Then reviewing the work and collaborating on how to make it better is always a great learning experience, which is really important. When you stop learning from the work you do, I think it is easy to lose your enthusiasm for the job.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
When I have to record my own voice for temp dialogue. I hate the sound of my voice!
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Honestly, as a Christian and a father of 7, it is often difficult navigating around stuff that I may find offensive or wouldn’t allow my kids to watch. I’m not in the business to be a censor, but I think there are times when we forget who our audience is – children – and we are more inclined to produce content that makes us laugh as adults or entertains us, and it is often, I believe, not appropriate for kids.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
I edit on an Avid Media Composer.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
That depends of course on what you mean by “greatness.” In terms of big names, I have chatted with Roy Disney Jr, Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera, and, of course, edited the voices of many famous people. In animation, though, there are so many talented people! I’ve worked with some really talented guys – Bobs Gannaway, Tony Craig, Steve Loter, Chris Savino, Ciro Nieli, just to name a few.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
There are so many ways to get into this business and everyone’s story is different. Schooling or some sort of training is certainly the first step. Sure there are many talented artists who don’t need to be “schooled” on how to be an artist, but school and training offers you discipline and important tools that will help you succeed in the “business.” Not everyone sees animation as “business” and I think that is a big mistake. Don’t try to get in on the merit of you just being an “artist.” You can always find a job somewhere and try to sell painting on the side. If you want to work in animation, it really is important to know something about the trade in order to survive on some level. As for editors, definitely get some certification. I entered without it and it took a while before I became a film editor. That took certification. Lastly, don’t give up. Remember, God has a plan for each and every person. Find out what that is and go for it.