Chris Savino

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What is your name and your current occupation?
MY NAME IS CHRIS SAVINO. CURRENTLY I SERVE AS THE PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR OF DISNEY XD’S ANIMATED TELEVISION SERIES: KICK BUTTOWSKI SUBURBAN DAREDEVIL.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
BOY, I DON’T KNOW IF IT CRAZY, BUT ONE SUMMER I TARRED THE ROOFS OF INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS. IT WAS GRUELING AND BACK BREAKING WORK, BUT MY FARMER’S TAN WAS PRETTY AMAZING!

 What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I FIND PRIDE AND LEARNING IN EVERY JOB I HOLD. I HAVE BEEN FORTUNATE (LUCKY) TO WORK ON SOME REALLY GREAT PROJECTS WITH SOME EQUALLY GREAT AND TALENTED PEOPLE. I ALWAYS LOOK FORWARD TO MY NEXT PROJECT BEING MY
FAVORITE!

How did you become interested in animation?
I WASN’T REALLY “AWARE” THAT ANIMATION WAS A CAREER CHOICE UNTIL LATE HIGH SCHOOL. WHEN I REALIZED THIS I TOTALLY IMMERSED MYSELF IN CARTOONS AND THE PROCESS OF MAKING THEM. I MUST HAVE CHECKED OUT EVERY
DISNEY RELATED BOOK IN MY LOCAL LIBRARY. BEFORE THAT I WAS MERELY A FAN OF CARTOONS. MY REAL DESIRE (WHICH STILL EXISTS) WAS TO BECOME A SYNDICATED COMIC STRIP ARTIST.

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I AM FROM ROYAL OAK, MICHIGAN. AS I SAID EARLIER, I TOTALLY IMMERSED MYSELF IN ALL THINGS CARTOON RELATED BY LATE HIGH SCHOOL. I WAS A HUGE FAN OF RALPH BAKSHI’S NEW ADVENTURE’S OF MIGHTY MOUSE. THERE WAS
SOMETHING RADICALLY DIFFERENT (YET FAMILIAR) GOING ON WITH THAT SHOW. IT WAS UNLIKE ANY OTHER CARTOON ON TELEVISION AT THE TIME. I RECORDED ALL OF THEM AND EVEN FREEZE FRAMED THE CREDITS TO SEE WHO THE ARTISTS
WERE. SHORTLY AFTER GRADUATION, I SAW REN AND STIMPY’S BIG HOUSE BLUES AT AN ANIMATION FESTIVAL AND FELL IN LOVE WITH IT. IF THIS WAS THE NEW TREND IN CARTOONS I HAD TO BE A PART OF IT! A SHORT TIME LATER I READ
IN ANIMATION MAGAZINE THAT NICKELODEON WAS GOING TO PRODUCE REN AND STIMPY AS A SERIES. I MAILED JOHN KRICFALUSI A  DRAWING THAT I HAD DONE (IT WAS A SPOOF ON THE CLASSIC GONE WITH THE WIND POSTER CALLED
“GONE ON A BINGE” AND FEATURED A SKINNY RHETT BUTLER STRUGGLING TO HOLD UP AN OBESE SCARLET O’HARA WHO WAS SHOVING FOOD IN HER MOUTH). I ALSO ENCLOSED A VERY GUSHING LETTER ABOUT HOW MUCH I LOVED WHAT JOHN
AND HIS TEAM WERE DOING. TO MY SHOCK AND SURPRISE JOHN CALLED ME PERSONALLY ON THE PHONE. HE WANTED ME TO SEND COPIES OF SKETCHES FROM MY SKETCHBOOK. I COULDN’T WAIT FOR SNAIL MAIL SO I FAXED THE DRAWINGS
OVER (AT THIS TIME FAXES WERE DONE ON THERMAL PAPER AND YOU HAD TO GO TO A SPECIAL BUSINESS TO HAVE IT DONE) ABOUT A WEEK LATER JOHN CALLED AND SAID IF I WANTED TO COME OUT TO LOS ANGELES, THAT I WOULD HAVE A
JOB. I REMEMBER HANGING UP THE PHONE AND JUMPING UP AND DOWN. FOUR WEEKS LATER AT THE AGE OF 19 I WAS DRIVING OUT TO LOS ANGELES TO START MY CAREER IN ANIMATION. THAT WAS 1991. I OWE MY ENTIRE CAREER TO JOHN
GIVING ME A CHANCE. I DON’T THINK I ULTIMATELY IMPRESSED HIM, BUT I WILL FOREVER BE INDEBTED TO HIM.

What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
BECAUSE RUNNING A TV SERIES INVOLVES INTERACTING WITH EVERYONE IN EVERY FACET OF PRODUCTION, I TEND NOT TO HAVE MUCH TIME AT MY DESK DOING THE WORK THAT I NEED TO DO. I TYPICALLY GET IN AROUND 8 AM BEFORE MOST OTHERS AND SPEND A SOLID HOUR AT MY DESK DOING WORK. AS PEOPLE START TO ROLL IN, I MAKE MY ROUNDS CHECK IN ON EVERYONE TO SEE THEIR PROGRESS. MY SCHEDULE FOR THE DAY IS LAID OUT FOR ME. IT RANGES FROM GOING OVER STORY BOARDS, CHECKING AND APPROVING MODELS, BACKGROUNDS AND COLOR TO STORY MEETINGS, EDITING, RECORDING AND MIXING. BECAUSE WE OVERLAP EPISODES (ONE A WEEK), EACH ARE IN VARIOUS STATES OF PRODUCTION. I COULD BE GOING OVER A STORYBOARD FROM EPISODE 3 ONE MINUTE AND THEN HAVE TO SWITCH GEARS TO TALK ABOUT THE STORY OF EPISODE 13 THE NEXT. MY DAY ENDS BY SIX. I HAVE A WIFE AND 3 SONS THATI LIKE TO SPEND TIME WITH SO I MAKE SURE MY WORK IS DONE SO I MAY GET HOME AT A DECENT HOUR.

What part of your job do you like best? Why?
AS I MENTIONED EARLIER, THE DAILY JOB CONSISTS OF WORKING ON MANY EPISODES AT ONCE IN VARYING STAGES OF PRODUCTION. I LOVE SWITCHING GEARS AND MOVING FROM EPISODE TO EPISODE WITHOUT MISSING A BEAT. I
THINK IT TAKES A CERTAIN TYPE OF PERSON TO RETAIN ALL OF THIS INFORMATION AND TO RECALL IT AT A MOMENTS NOTICE. WHEN I CAN DO IT WITH OUT MISSING A BEAT IT MAKES ME FEEL GOOD AND GOOD AT MY JOB.

What part of your job do you like least? Why?
BECAUSE A LOT OF MY JOB CONSISTS OF DEALING WITH OTHERS I FIND THERE IS NOT MUCH TIME IN THE SCHEDULE TO GET MY PORTION OF WORK DONE. STILL, THERE IS A SCHEDULE AND IT MUST GET DONE. SOMETIMES THERE JUST AREN’T ENOUGH HOURS IN THE DAY AND THAT CAN BECOME FRUSTRATING AT TIMES.

What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
THE MOST DIFFICULT PART IS HAVING TO CONSTANTLY BE LOOKING FOR YOUR NEXT GIG. I HAVE BEEN VERY FORTUNATE WHEN IT COMES TO FINDING WORK, BUT THE IDEA OF KNOWING THE SHOW I AM ON WILL EVENTUALLY END AND THERE
IS A VERY REAL POSSIBILITY I WON’T LINE UP A JOB HAUNTS ME ON A DAILY BASIS.

 What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
A LOT OF STUDIOS ARE TRYING TO GO PAPERLESS. MANY HAVE PURCHASED CINTIQS WHICH ARE COMPUTERS THAT YOU CAN USE A STYLUS AND DRAW DIRECTLY ONTO THE SCREEN ITSELF. I RESISTED FOR A LONG TIME, STATING THAT I LOVE AND WOULD MISS THE TACTILE FEELING OF PENCIL TO PAPER, BUT EVENTUALLY I GAVE IN AND LEARNED TO LOVE THE IMMEDIACY OF THE TOOL.

In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I BRUSH WITH ANIMATION GREATNESS ON A DAILY BASIS! ALL OF MY CO-WORKERS ARE GREAT IN THEIR OWN WAY. BUT IF YOU MEAN, HAVE I MET ANY OF MY ANIMATION HEROES, I HAVE MET FRIZ FRELENG AND HAD AN OPPORTUNITY
TO WORK WITH RAPLH BAKSHI. ULTIMATELY I WAS REALLY LUCKY TO WORK WITH THE FOLKS THAT INSPIRED ME MOST TO GET INTO ANIMATION, THE ONES I KNEW ONLY AS NAMES ON A FROZEN FRAME OF VHS TAPE FROM MIGHTY MOUSE. AS MY
VERY FIRST JOB I WAS WORKING RIGHT NEXT TO ALL OF THESE GUYS. I’D SAY I WAS PRETTY LUCKY.

 Describe a tough situation you had in life. Any side projects you’re working  on you’d like to share details of?
CURRENTLY, I AM WORKING ON A LIVE ACTION PILOT. IT IS CALLED BIGFOOT AND GRAY ON THE RUN. IT STARTED OFF AS AN ANIMATED PITCH. AFTER FAILING TO SELL IT TO ANY OF THE STUDIOS I DECIDED I WOULD TRY TO MAKE
THE PILOT MYSELF, BUT LIVE ACTION INSTEAD. IT’S BEEN A COUPLE OF YEARS, BUT I HAVE FINALLY SHOT SOME FOOTAGE AND AM CURRENTLY IN THE STAGES OF EDITING AND POST PRODUCTION. I HOPE TO HAVE SOMETHING TO SHOW VERY SOON!

Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist  trying to break into the business?
IT MIGHT SOUND CLICHE BUT IF ANIMATION AND CARTOONS IS WHAT YOU WANT TO DO THEN DRAW DRAW DRAW, ALL THE TIME. DON’T BE AFRAID TO COPY THE STUFF THAT INSPIRES YOU. EVENTUALLY YOU WILL DEVELOP YOUR OWN STYLE.
AND WHEN YOU ARE GOING OUT LOOKING FOR JOBS AND A DIRECTOR ASKS YOU  WHAT POSITION YOU ARE LOOKING FOR DO NOT JUST SAY ‘ANYTHING” THAT’S AVAILABLE. CHOOSE A POSITION, BE CONFIDENT IN IT, MAKE SURE YOU ARE AS
GOOD AS YOU CAN BE AT IT AND MAKE SURE YOUR PORTFOLIO REFLECTS THAT. THIS IS NOT TO SAY YOU CAN’T DO DIFFERENT JOBS IN ANIMATION, QUITE THE CONTRARY. YOU SHOULD HAVE A STRONG GRASP OF WHAT EACH JOB IS AND WHAT GOES INTO THEM.

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One Comment

  1. sir,why this program comes only for 10 minutes and once time in a day?
    plz I request you to increase the
    time interval of this program, this will also increase di popularity of your show

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