Todd Sheridan Perry

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Todd Sheridan Perry and I am currently CG Supervisor at Prime Focus in Vancouver, B.C.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I have never had a crazier job than working in the visual effects industry.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I’m most proud to have been part of Lord of the Rings:The Two Towers, The Kite Runner, The Mist, 2012, Speed Racer, Chronicles of Riddick and Jeepers Creepers.  In that order.
How did you become interested in animation?
I’ve always been interest in animation, visual effects, and filmmaking in general.  Every since I can remember.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from Tacoma, WA.  And I got into the animation business because it was my goal to do so.  I loved, studied, and created animation from when I was a kid.  Every decision I made had an end goal to be working in the film industry, and most specifically in the animation or FX industry.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
I’m a supervisor now, so it basically getting into work, checking e-mail to see the state of the project, meeting with the other supervisors and department leads to make sure that everyone else knows whats going on.  And then throughout the day working with the artists to answer questions or guide the shots, frequently reviewing things in the theater, giving notes, and then following up.  I also participate in meeting with the studios or clients to get THEIR notes, and then help distribute those notes to the artists.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
Creating — and creating something that will be widely appreciated, and maybe inspire the next generation of artists like I was inspired by the people before me.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Long hours.  This is a very high-stress job filled with long days, long weeks, and long months.  It takes you away from living a normal life with family and friends.  As I get older I’ve learned to balance out those priorities a bit better.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
See above.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
Mainly 3D and 2D software ranging from tools for tracking cameras and objects, animating, modeling, lighting and rendering, and compositing.  We will also use old school photography (even though its digital rather than photochemical now).  We also use paper and pencil.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Ray Harryhausen, John Dykstra, Dennis Muren, John Knoll, Douglas Trumbull, Chuck Jones, Randall Cook, Ken Ralston — are all people I’ve worked with, for, or just simply had the pleasure of meeting.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
Choosing between my career and my partner.  Its happened twice in my life.  It won’t happen again.  At this point, career is second.
Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
I frequently help friend filmmakers who are trying to develop shorts or films, or attempt to secure financing for them. A couple I’m trying to get out of the way right now.  I’m also a screenwriter, so I try and do that on a daily basis — even if its for 15 minutes.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I can spin a half dollar across my knuckles.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Joseph Campbell said “When you follow your bliss…doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn’t be a door for anyone else”   I try to live by that every day, and I believe in it completely.   Don’t let anyone dissuade you from doing what you love.  I work with an animator who loves puppetry and doing puppet shows.  Its a little out of the ordinary for a 20-something guy to be into that.  But whose to say that he’s not the next Jim Henson?

 

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