What is your name and your current occupation?
David Trexler. Iâ€™m the Supervising Producer at Soup2Nuts Animation.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Iâ€™ve had a good amount of jobs â€“ installing custom kitchens, waiter (for 3 days), summer rec counselor and above ground pool installer, to name a few â€“ but the crazier one would have to be drilling bowling balls for a sporting good store in Philadelphia. Maybe â€œoddâ€ is more appropriate than â€œcrazierâ€, but thatâ€™s the one that sticks out. The job where you think â€“ what the hell am I doing? I was attending art school at the time and the hours were flexible. I got paid per ball. I also got to etch in peoples initials.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Iâ€™m proud of many of the projects I have worked on, all for different reasons.Â Daria at MTV Animation was a blast to work on. Thatâ€™s where I learned the business. The show was more of an underground hit with a cult following Â (as opposed to their huge hitÂ Beavis and Butthead,Â the series it was spun off of). Fans have been requesting to have a DVD set released since it went of the air and it finally was late last year. We had an amazingly talented team on that show and I still keep in touch with many of them.
How did you become interested in animation?
My dad was an art teacher so as a kid I was always drawing. I would work from his lesson plans to learn shading, color wheels, etc… On top of that
I was a 70â€™s kid so I grew up watching (and loving) Saturday morning cartoons.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I was born and raised in New Jersey. After high school I was jumping from job to job – that got old real quick. I decided to follow my dream of being an artist and went back to school. I chose the Art Institute of Philadelphia because it was a new city that was close to home, but not too close. The summer before I graduated I interned at MTV Animation. I used to take the train from Philly to NY everyday so the commute was draining, but that was easily canceled out by how excited I was to be there. Once I gradatedÂ DariaÂ was green lit for one season. MTV called and asked me if I was interested in a PA job. Although it wasnâ€™t the coveted artist position I wanted, I saw this as a foot in the door and jumped at the opportunity.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
A typical day involves multiple projects. We average 5 projects at all times. Those projects range from an animated series (all done in-house) to commercials, demos, network pilots, web shorts and now a broad band series. I oversee all productions â€“ staffing, scheduling, managing the budgets, client contact, etc…
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I love the completion of something â€“ not the wrapping of a project, but hitting the projected milestones and deadlines. I love that we accomplish what we set out to do.Â Another aspect I love about this job is being able to watch an idea grow from a conversation in a conference room to a completed animated episode. Itâ€™s a pretty amazing journey.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
The lack of stability in this industry scares me. We experience a lot of peaks and valleys. Animation is much more expensive to produce than live-action so when the economy is down so are we.
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, After Effects, Photoshop and Illustrator. We are starting to train in Toon Boom software â€“ if that goes well maybe we make the switch. Aside from keeping up with the evolving technology we are also always looking for ways to expedite the animation process.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Iâ€™ve met some amazing writers, artists and producers working in animation. Greatness, hmmm letâ€™s see – Seth MacFarlane (for 2 minutes) Van Partible, Bill Plymptom…
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
About six years ago I transferred from Scholastic in NY to Soup2Nuts in MA to work on a show that was imploding called Time Warp Trio.Â I left my family, girlfriend and friends. That was challenging â€“ new job, new team of artists, new apartment, new town… It all worked out for the best though. Strangely enough I ended up being nominated for my first Emmy award for work on that show.
Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
We animated an original pilot for PBS Kids a few months back. Itâ€™s a little different than most PBS shows. Weâ€™re hoping that gets picked up.Â I also have a few fun ideas for apps and mobile games. Iâ€™d like to explore that business more.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I actually CAN tie a cherry stem with my tongue!
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
This business is tricky â€“ itâ€™s all about timing. Be persistent, donâ€™t sit back and wait for the job to come to you â€“ chances are it wonâ€™t. Itâ€™s OK to work you way up. Keep updating your site/ reel/ portfolio.
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