What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Dale L. Baer, and I’m a supervising animator.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
None really. I started at Filmation right out of art school.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Pretty much all of them for one reason or another, good or bad. There was something to gain by them all. But my favorite one because of its place in film history would have to be “Roger Rabbit”.
How did you become interested in animation?
It was something I just wanted to do since I was 8 years old.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I was born in Denver Colorado in an army hospital and after I got into Chouinard Art School, I had a teacher try and get me a job at Filmation. But he couldn’t make it happen. A few years earlier I had met Lou Scheimer, and so I called him, he remembered me, I asked him for a job, and he got me started in the Layout Department. That was in 1970.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
I usually get in at 5 a.m. and start in on what I have to accomplish till meetings or whatever start to interrupt everything and I leave around 1 or 2 and head home to take care of my animals.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I like all of it. Every part of it has some creative germ to it that keeps me going. You just need to keep a good attitude about things.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
The only thing I guess I don’t like is lack of communication, which wastes a lot of time.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
There’s a lot of competition these days. Trying to keep up with new technology as well. It’s a faster pace these days.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
A lot of us are doing the old fashion 2D, drawing on paper. But I did animate on the cintiq for a while. Have done CG. So it’s what ever is the going thing. You just have to learn to adapt.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Eight of the Nine Old Men, Richard Williams, Art Babbit, Mike Lah, Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera, Irv Spence, Ralph Bakshi, to name a few.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
Nothing really tough. The only thing I found frustrating is no one in my family supported me in wanting to get into the business.
Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
No hobbies. Just fixing up my house and taking care of the 15 animals I have.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Learn everything you can. Don’t be afraid of the technology. Be inquisitive about everything. It’ll keep you working. Ask lots of questions. Richard Williams has always been a student of animation. He would pick the brains of every legend out there, taking notes, which is how he was able to write his book. And while you’re drawing and or animating, keep things loose. Don’t weigh yourself down with detail. And keep an open mind for other ways of doing it, plus keep things simple. Have fun exploring what it is that you’re animating.