What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Mike Geiger and just finished up a pilot for a pre-school show called “Napkin Man” with a company called “Little Tugboat”.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Not that it was really a “job”, but I was an amateur skateboarder for the majority of my teens.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Wow, there are lots. I spent some wonderful time in Vancouver animating under Bob Jaques on the Ren and Stimpy show which definitely helped me develop as an animator and artist early on. We had a blast making episodes of a series called “Yamroll” up in Sudbury Ontario, and more recently, Ive had the pleasure of working with Chuck Gammage on a project that we are developing together. I feel Ive been really lucky to have worked with some unbelievable mentors.
How did you become interested in animation?
I would actually attribute the majority of that to being involved with skateboarding. The skateboard culture is heavily rooted in art and graphics, so it seemed like a pretty natural progression into animation.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from Vancouver B.C.. After graduating from the Vancouver Film School I got my first job at a Flash studio doing web series and E-cards and internety type things like that.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Currently, I’m spending the majority of my days going over scripts and outlines and so on, so oddly a lot of reading and writing as of late. It’s not really the norm for me at all, but it’s been surprisingly rewarding to be working on the creative process from the inside out.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
My favorite thing about working in this industry is that I know that every hour I spend working, I am improving my skill set. It makes every day, even the frustrating ones, worth while.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Ill admit to having a hard time with the work/life balancing. It can be really easy for me to forget that there is a world outside of my little studio space that’s worth visiting every now and then.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Possibly the moving and the unknown of whats coming next. I’ve done 9 cross-country moves over the past 11 years in this business which can become pretty taxing, although I’m admittedly getting pretty good at them. After that many moves you start to avoid collecting “things” and learn to live with only the essentials. In hindsight its probably taught be a lot about wants and needs.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
I use Flash CS3 for most of my drawing and animation.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Richard Williams popped in to visit Chuck Gammage once while I was there. That was pretty cool, although really Chuck Gammage himself can easily fit in that category as well. So yes!
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
I had some heart issues a few years ago which kinda sucked.
Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
I’m always working on my web series “County Ghost” when I have the time. I have a few things in development right now, so I’m having a lot of fun trying to get them off the ground. I also have an I-Phone game that I designed with a company called Industrial Bros. being released pretty soon, and am actually recording some audio just this week for another new web series that I’m hoping to get going in the near future. Lots on the go!
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I have a feeling I can eat more cupcakes than an average human, but don’t really have any solid proof of that other than the lack of cupcakes left in my kitchen after I pick some up.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
I once interviewed a student for an animation position and asked him “So what did you think of the pilot” (of the show I was interviewing him for), to which he replied “Well, I would of done a lot differently. That scene with them in the elevator was sooo stupid”. So I guess my advice to any students out there would be to specifically NOT do that. The best studios Ive ever worked at have been a collection of really talented artists who were all very respectful and supportive of one another. So especially in the case of a student, I think being humble can go a long way in starting on the right path to a great career.
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Nice to see something like this Insider – and good to “see” you Mike, again! Keep it up; I’ll be watching!
Thanks! It’s been great so far and there are many many interviews to come so yes please stay tuned!