What is your name and your current occupation?
Eduardo a.k.a. Eddie Brito, I am a Writer / Director / Producer at arlequín STUDIOS.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I used to own an exporting business from Miami, Florida to South America. I used to freight forward appliances and cargo for a living.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
As a General Producer of the Television Show “Buscando Amor” (“Looking for Love”, the Latin version of the “Blind Date” reality show), I added the first Computer Generated Images (with Maya, autodesk) in a Latin American Television Show. We created 3 different characters, a Mouse, a Teacher, and a Scientist that would make humorist comments during the show. We did this during sweeps in 2003, and kept the format until 2004, on Estrella 62 Television, in Burbank, California.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I was born Venezuela, but raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I spend many years going back and forth between the two cities before I moved to Los Angeles around 1998 and lived there for about 10 years. I got into the animation business after I worked on “Save Virgil” in 2001, written and Directed Brad Ableson. I worked for Quality Films at the time, the production company that produced the short film. Though I didn’t work on this Project as a creative artist, I was really proud to have had the chance to meet Mr. Ableson and work on one of his projects. And since that day, I realized that not only did I want to make movies for a living, I wanted to make animated movies even more.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
I’ve incorporated my own animation studio now a days, and It WAS typical for me to sit with my storyboard lead artist, Elías Martínez, for the last few months designing shots for a feature length animation we are working on. We just finished sketching 1196 shots last Friday, and now I’ll have to make the animatic for the Executive Producers. Then, I’ll be Directing and animating for next two years…
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
The part of my job that I like the best has to be: the moment we get funded. I’ve seen way too many great ideas and creativity go to waste because they could not get someone interest in financing the project.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
I’ve been working with artist for many years now, and as an artist myself, I know that most of us are truly sensitive people. We don’t show up to work just for the money like regular employees; our input really comes from a place of inspiration. I’m generalizing of course, but in that sense, the part of my job that I like the least is to shoot someone’s’ idea down, or even have to let someone go because of a budget.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis, how has technology changed in the last few years in your field and how has that impacted you in your job?
We’re old school Traditional animation studio. Toon Boom animate Pro 2, and Harmony Licensed. In order to grow, in our business, you have to learn to optimize your equipment and modernize at least once a year; and in order to keep up with the latest programs, you usually have to make a large investment upgrading or buying new equipment, licenses etc. If you don’t somebody else will. So what ever you can keep, KEEP! For example, our old computers are moved down to the writing department, or used to scan our drawings. We don’t get rid of our old drawing tables either: we refurbish or add new ones to our department. Like Walt Disney would say, “Just keep moving forward”!
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
I think everything about this business is difficult, everything from getting the ideal scripts, creating characters, storyboarding, scanning thousands of drawings, getting funded, partnering up, keeping up with the latest technology, working with artist, producing content that satisfies executives partners and audience, having to draw the same characters thousands of times, but much like other businesses, the hardest part is getting in the door, and getting started!
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I’ve meet many great animators from different parts of the world: From Vancouver, down to Buenos Aires, but in my opinion, my partner from La Habana, Cuba with 52 years of experience, Félix Rodríguez, is the greatest animator I’ve ever met.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
Toughest situation I’ve ever had to live thus far was, hands down, the death of my father. It happened in 2010, and though the hurting calms down, it never ever leaves. It even hurts when good things happen since you can’t share the moments with him. But you do grow from the pain, and you actually become a lot more conscience about everything once you understand that everything you do, you really will leave behind!
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
At the moment we have two projects on the works. We got funded by the CNAC, which is The Venezuelan National Cinematography Autonomous Center, to animate a short film: “El Duende Verde”, directed by my partner and produced by me; and we are waiting for the results for a Feature length, titled “Las aventuras de los Chimichimitos” (The adventures of the Chimichimyths) that I wrote and that I’m Directing at the time. It’s an adaptation of a book that I published about a tribe of gnomes from the Island of Margarita, in Venezuela. These gnomes are part of the Venezuelan culture, and were introduced in the early 1900s to the Venezuelans through a popular school song: “The Tamboreé Dance”, yet no one had ever published literature about these gnomes until I did in 2009.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
After I graduated from UCLA film school, I also worked for another TV show called “Gana la Verde” (A lot like the “Fear Factor” show) as the UPM, so part of my daily job description was to make or recreate games with stuntmen that required some type of talent. So, I actually learn how to do many different things, from bull riding, to pin juggling as part of my job! Recently, I worked with a screw of puppeteers for an event I produced, and I have stayed in touch with them and even read two of their books in order to keep learning new tricks. In my opinion It’s very important to surround yourself with talented people in order to keep the creativity bug alive.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business? First and for most, make sure you really have the vocation for it! 3-D animation is more about numbers, equipment, and rendering then it is about drawing. It takes thousands of individual drawings to make a 2-D animation, and you need to take thousands of pictures to make Stop-motion feature. All of which, require a lot of budget to produce. So, in my opinion, and regardless of the animation style you like best, learn to animate in 2-D first in order to master the craft. Don’t think because you can model or draw beautifully you can animate, it’s not related!!!