Mark Medernach

What is your name and your current occupation
Mark Medernach, Executive Producer/Partner at DUCK Studios

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I was a PA on a shoot for KFC.  My job was to ferry the chicken between the store where they were making it and the location.  I came home each night smelling like fried chicken

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
We’ve done a few United Airlines spots which I am really proud of.  I think the campaign is brilliant.  They choose filmmakers tomake their animated spots and the artistry of the entire campaign is just top notch.

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I grew up in Pennsylvania and went to college in San Francisco. I was out of work and was looking for a job.  I got hired as the editor at Duck Soup.  Even though I was not really an animation aficionado, over the years, and the name change to DUCK, I’ve come to really love and admire animation.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Here at DUCK we represent a wide variety of artist/filmmakers for advertising and other short format work.  The days are spent touching base with the different artists.  Making phone calls to advertising agencies to look for more new work and overseeing the productions we have in the studio.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I love it when a young director gets their first project to direct.  It is always fu to see them mature as filmmakers and become successful.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
I wish I were able to start more directing careers.  I also hate to tell the directors that they did not get a job that they pitched on.  I know a lot of times they pour a lot of themselves into the pitch and for whatever reason they did not get it.  It is difficult to give them the bad news.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
The constant search for new work.  Once you book a job for the director there is no time to sit back and enjoy the fact that the job is in.  It is on to the next project and trying to get everyone working.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
I am on the internet all day long.  Looking for new artists, looking at work that is out there and just looking.  For production we use a wide variety of software, but i don’t work on that side of the business.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Well we represent Eric Goldberg, who I believe is one of the most talented 2-d character animators in the world.  We also represent Jamie Caliri who I think is a genius.  Whatever he works on ALWAYS seems to turn out brilliantly.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
I tell most of the young filmmakers I talk to the same thing, try to find a style that is yours. I think all of the successful animation directors have a signature style, which is what draws people to their work.  Try not to be a jack of all trades, try to master one.
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