What is your name and your current occupation?
Hi, my name is Eduard Ersek and I currently work as an animation supervisor.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I’m not sure if I can call them crazy, but I used to be a tourist guide. My job was to take a smaller group of tourist around the place where I live and show them nature and culture. So one day I took them on a trip to the mountains the next we visited towns, castles or museums. For a short period I also worked as a translator.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
There are very few projects I could say I’m proud to have been a part of. Usually when working under a contract time is very short and there is always a compromise between quality and speed. But there are a few pilots and teasers I can say I enjoyed to work on. The project that kind of makes me proud is my own project – which is not finished yet. Anyway I went through script, storyboard, character design and clean-up and am now putting together an animatic. So I hope to finish it soon so as to be able to put it online for everyone to see.
How did you become interested in animation?
I always liked watching animation movies. As a child I drew a lot of characters from animation movies. I always loved to draw but I never thought about the fact that drawing for animation can really be a job.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I live in Brasov, Romania (this is in Transylvania).When I decided to quit my last job (before animation), I was in need of a job and I heard about a company which was organizing a course for 3D animators. I didn’t know what to expect from this, but I always enjoyed drawing so I thought I might as well give it a try. In a short time it turned out that this was a job for me and the company hired me.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
I start work at 9am and usually I have an online meeting with the owners of the company or with an director. Afterwards I talk to the different team leaders in our company to let them know what needs to be done for the day. During the day I am checking character setup, expressions, animation and whatever else is needed. I love animating, so as much as I can I try to take an animation scene from time to time and do some work on it. Many times I find myself tweaking someone elses work. From time to time I have meetings with the team leaders and point out things to them which need to be tweaked. Many times I find myself at work through the late hours of the evening.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I really enjoy animating acting shots and drawing expressions as I find that they give me quite a lot of creative freedom.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Technical stuff gets me bored pretty quickly as it doesn’t allow for too much creative freedom. Also I don’t like convincing people that they have to change something. Many times people are reluctant to changes and go to great efforts to convince me that their work doesn’t need to be changed.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
It is the crazy deadlines which are sometimes part of a project. It is very tireing to work with very tight deadlines.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
Maya, Flash, Photoshop, Illustrator, Wacom tablet, pen and paper.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
It is hard to judge animation greatness. But I can say that I had the chance to work with some very talented people over the years.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
Some years ago, when my daughter was born someone in the company wanted to get me out of his way, so he put a “good” word for me with the company owners. The next couple of weeks were hell on earth with endless meetings and talks and me almost loosing my job. In the end it all backfired on the guy who started it so it all turned out well.
Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
I paint whenever I find the time. The techniques I use are oil on canvas, watercolor or mixed media. I’m also into photography. You can check out some of my work on my two blogs.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I like designing and building furniture. More then half of the furniture at home I built myself. I also like doing mechanical work on classic cars. I used to have a classic VW beetle which I completely took apart and rebuilt.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Draw as much as possible. Look at comic books and animation movies. Be passionate about what you do and ask other people’s opinions. Like what you do and work hard.