What is your name and your current occupation?
Sascha Ciezata and I am an independent animator/producer who shoots my animation with my iPhone.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I was a PA on the show Grey’s Anatomy for a season.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I just finished doing animation for a controversial documentary called The Sheik and I that premiered at SXSW this year. It’s the first time I’ve contributed my animation to a feature film. I’m also proud of the work I’ve done with Funny or Die.
How did you become interested in animation?
As a kid my father used to take me to Spike and Mike’s Twisted Animation festivals in California. That was my first exposure to
non-Disney animation and they were incredibly inspiring. I started making flip books and it kind of grew from there.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m originally from Los Angeles and I got into animation again after taking a long hiatus into live-action filmmaking. My first animated short When Lynch Met Lucas was a big online success and gave me the confidence to continue working as an independent animator.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
I make my own schedule so it depends on whatever project I am working on at the time, but I tend to marinate on ideas for awhile before hashing them out on paper. Some call it procrastination, but I consider it a part of my process. If I have a shot list and clear idea of what I am shooting then I generally start in the morning and work until I’m finished. If I’m on a tight deadline, which is sometimes the case, I will work all-nighters to get things done.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I love seeing my animation come together in the post production process. To me that’s when these drawings on paper become something else entirely.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
It’s very time intensive and can be isolating, which I don’t like as I’m a fairly sociable person. But I work hard and then play hard.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
I shoot everything with my iPhone using the iMotion HD application and I edit using Final Cut.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
As an independent animator there is always panic when a project is finished. Will I work again?
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I got to meet and hang out with Bill Plympton at a film festival in Germany a few months ago. When I got back to NY he gave me a tour of his studio. It was amazing. He’s a great guy.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
I think life in general can be kind of a tough situation. You just do what you do and try to make the best of it.
Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
I’m working on my first graphic novel, which is an interpretation of a classic book. It’s a challenge, but fun.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Don’t try – Do.