What is your name and your current occupation?
Chris Ross, Overseas Supervisor.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I’ve had some odd jobs splattered between animation gigs. The oddest might be during college, in the summer, working for a company that made heat exchangers for nuclear power plants. We had to go to the power plant to clean the inside of them them with high pressure water (We didn’t actually crawl inside, they had a a more humane way of completing the task). We were able to go on a tour of the plant. Each section of the plant is designated a safety level according to its proximity to actual radiation. We went to the giant pool where the spent fuel rods are stored, and as we left that area, a #3 Zone, back to a #2 Zone, we stepped onto the devices that check for contamination, so none is passed to the other zones. Apparently, my right foot sparked off an alarm, and our guide calmly washed the radioactive dust off the sole of my boot with some Windex and a paper towel hehe.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Ren and Stimpy for sure. The original and the new ones, but the original ones definitely.
How did you become interested in animation?
As a kid, watching the Bugs Bunny/ Road Runner Hour every Saturday evening.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from Ontario, Canada. I got into animation as a fluke. When it came time to pick 3 courses for college out of highschool, I just went down the list alphabetically.. first pick was Advertising Arts, then Animation, and to round it out I applied for Announcing hehe.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
A typical day would be watching a bunch of linetest and commenting on it. Not very often having any actual contact with the animators, or layout artists, if I were to check layouts. I would also redraw some scenes when I found it was too difficult to explain in words in an easy enough way for the translators to understand and then translate.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
Watching and drawing cartoons all day.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
To be honest, there isn’t much I don’t like, except maybe the tediousness of doing the actual animation itself sometimes.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
The most technological piece of equipment I use on a daily basis is a technical pencil sometimes, to fill in dope sheets hehe. Other than that, just old fashioned pencil on paper.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
The most difficult part is the freelance aspect. Not knowing when or where the next job will be.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I’ve had the pleasure, and will again, of working with a lot of great talented people in Vancouver that worked on the Ren and Stimpy Show. I learned a lot from them, and continuously try to inject that knowledge into whatever project I am working on.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
I can’t really think of anything overly tough.
Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
I am doing some graphic design work on the side. Mostly just for friends for now. I also like to play golf, a lot. In fact, one of the jobs I had when I wasn’t animating was as an assistant golf pro at one of my local courses.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
Nothing really…. quite boring… I know hehehe
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Just to keep learning and to have fun.