What is your name and your current occupation?
Kurt Weldon. Line Producer. In the past, I’ve been a Producer, Director, Story Editor, Writer and even once in a while a Voice Actor.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Stand up comic. Short order cook. Silk screen printer.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Kim Possible. Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
Canton, Ohio. It’s the town Hank Williams was on his way to when he died. I’ve always thought that was a pretty good call on Hank’s part. I got into the business more or less by accident. After about six years as a standup comic, I decided to
focus on writing. I took day job – messenger – that I figured would leave me free to write. Well, after three years of doing that all I had to show for it was three years as a messenger. So I thought maybe it’d be a good idea to take a job where three years might put me somewhere else. That turned out to be DIC’s mailroom. Then about six months later, I moved into Production. Turned out I liked it.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
There isn’t one – that’s what’s great about this job!
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
When you get right down to it, I get paid to watch cartoons. That’s the what and the why.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
I have to watch all of them at least 15 times. And if they’re bad, I have to watch them even more…
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?
That’d be Word, Excel, and occasionally Final Draft. I’ve also had to contend with various production and tracking databases that seem to get less efficient with every generation. (None of them, needless to say, are designed by people who know how they will actually be used. But that seems to be the case with computer software generally.)
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Other people’s ignorance. I interviewed for LP on a Disney show that shall remain nameless. The creator and executive producer was 26 years old – and good on him for getting a show green lit! But he had no idea what a Line Producer did. So he made his hiring decision based on whether or not the prospective LP had worked on a show he considered ‘cool.’ I, apparently, had not. I understand that production in question was not very well managed. But the guy who mucked it up had worked on a cool show, so it’s all good.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I once shared an elevator with Friz Freleng. How great is that????
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
I got a splinter the other day. Oh, and at one point I went three and half years between paychecks.
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
Nope. I’ve made peace with the fact that linear thinking is no longer in vogue when it comes to pitches. So I’ve stopped coming up with any.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
Um, not really. I’ve been working on the cherry stem thing, but so far no luck. I was actually thinking of switching to metallurgy, but I sense you’re mocking it. So now I’m not so sure….
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
1) Be Canadian.2) Give serious thought to metallurgy. Really. Unless you’re Canadian. Wait – did you mean helpful advice???