Joe Croson

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Joe Croson, Director for Creative Production at BItTorrent and the Creator/Writer/Voice for Transfurter.


What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Ooof, when I was 15 I used to clean dorm-rooms at the University of Oregon. I’m pretty sure all of the deep cleaning chemicals made my brain the slow mass of ooze it is today.


What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Aside from creating and producing Transfurter, writing for Superjail season 2 was definitely a highlight. The team was extremely talented and I had a great time learning a lot from each of them.


Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
Originally I’m from Eugene, Oregon.  I got into animation through an internship working on the Venture Bros. for [adult swim], back when World Leaders Entertainment was Noodlesoup Productions. I was working on some animated shorts in college with a group of my friends. From there I developed my passion for writing, specifically for animation.


What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
At BitTorrent – it’s a mix.  I track all of the internal creative projects running at any given time and try my best to make happen what my team wants.  We work with an awesome crew of artists for all of the new BitTorrent Bundles.  For Transfurter, the average day is now spent reading and writing responses to people who love the show and then copying and pasting those little emoticon butts for people who hate the show.  I don’t blame them for hating it.  I just love copying and pasting emoticon butts.  When we get in to production on the second batch, though, a lot of time will be spent trying to refine the ‘humor’ of the show, making sure we don’t rise above our low-brow standard.


What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I’ve built my career and life around collaborating with talented creative people.  I love being a part of the creative process in any way I possibly can be.  In fact, my favorite moments are when I’m surrounded by people who are far more talented than I. Unsurprisingly enough, that’s about 99% of every room I’ve been in throughout my career.  The animation community is a fistful of super talented folks.


What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Well, every job can feel like it’s just a job at different points in time.  Whenever I find myself not liking something about what I’m doing, I identify the root issue and I work to find a way to change it.


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?
BitTorrent Sync is pretty damn awesome.  Being able to Sync files between your different devices without having to go through a central server means no one accessing your files that you don’t want accessing your files.  Like the NSA.  Basically what I’m getting at is that the NSA can’t see our Transfurter project files.


What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
I’m lucky enough in that I operate across a multitude of businesses: Animation, Technology, Advertising and Marketing. Having access to so many talented folks with different perspectives on their professional lives makes it fresh and easy.


In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Well, yes.  There’s a ton of concentrated animation greatness in the places I’ve had the honor to work with:  Exit73, Titmouse and World Leaders when it was still open. So many of those talented folks are so great at what they do that I can’t try to list them all here without shamefully leaving someone out.


Describe a tough situation you had in life.
Being a ginger is a tough life.  The endless feud I have with the sun has only worsened now that I’ve moved out to California.


Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
Transfurter!!  Check it out. It’s not for everybody, so I do apologize if you’re offended. We had a lot of fun making it and we hope it shows.


Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
Oh no, no, no.  Aside from work I don’t do much else. Although I have been blessed with the ability to suck in mass amounts of air and burp very loudly on cue. It was HUGE in middle school, but I have not used that super power in public in many, many years.


Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business? Take an internship with someone whose work you admire. Be eager, be able and be willing to help them and then soak in as much information as you possibly can. Work hard, ask for their feedback on your work and use their feedback to improve what you’re doing. Show them that you can take direction and then begin to establish yourself as someone who can also contribute to the conversation.  Turn yourself into the best protégé you can envision and use that opportunity to grow yourself into a solid professional and finally become a mentor for another aspiring animator in the future.

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