Paul Thompson

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Paul Thompson and I’m a motion graphics artist.


What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Can’t say I had any jobs you would term as crazy, I was programming before motion graphics and that got a bit boring.


What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I quite enjoy doing assembly instruction videos and as far as I can find on the web it seems I have done more than anyone in the world. I’m quite proud of the fact that this is obviously the future and I was one of the first to be involved in this kind of thing.


How did you become interested in animation?
Since I was a child watching cartoons, especially Spiderman! I got a present for Christmas when I was a child which was a Disney projector that you held to your eye. You turned a handle and it rolled through the frames. I used to enjoy looking at one frame at a time and noticing motion blur and stuff like that.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m originally from Stockport in Cheshire UK but now reside in Macclesfield. I got into the business because I used to create websites and some people asked for flash animated banners and that led to 3D stuff and then eventually all sorts of motion graphics.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
A lot of multitasking and trying to run 2 or 3 projects at once.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
The very start of a new job because of the imagination involved in turning the clients ideas into reality. Also the very end of the job when I can sit back and see the finished result, especially when the client sends nice comments, that always cheers me up.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Waiting for renders and having to redo things because the client doesn’t usually understand the importance of the storyboard stage.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Actually getting the work, I’m not much of a salesman!
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
I have 3 PCs and use 3D Studio Max, After Effects, Flash, Photoshop and Illustrator. Oh and of course, the most important tools a pen/pencil and paper.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Had a brush with a guy who worked for Cosgrove Hall once who created some of the stuff I was into as a child. Danger Mouse, Jamie and his magic torch etc.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
I used to employ 6 staff and run a website business but had to let everyone go and become a freelancer because of the recession and an influx of competition from abroad..
Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
I have written a children’s book that is all in rhyme and have also illustrated it. I have now decided that rather than try and get it published as a book I will turn it into an animation. Just trying to find the time to get it done…
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I’m not bad at beatbox Winking smile emoticon
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Keep at it! Listen to advice from everyone but don’t necessarily take it. Believe in yourself. Watch and analyze as much stuff as you possibly can!
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