What is your name and your current occupation?
Director / Executive Creative Director: Nitrous, Ltd.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I drove a pickup truck at the model shop at R/Greenberg Associates (R/GA , RGA) as my first job put of school in the late eighties just to get my foot in the door there. I’d go to a sketchy area in Newark to pick up painting supplies, and I never drove anything so big before. No shock; so it was like a ship on the open sea. When you hit the brakes the headliner would fall down on you and the visor would swing down and out and hit you squarely in the face. You’re “paying dues” to get into the industry, but it still sucked.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Main titles for 25 feature films (Home Alone, Goodfella’s, Silence of the Lambs, etc..). Directed and worked with The Beastie Boys, Bouncing Souls, Flogging Molly, Michael Jackson, etc… Helped to open a shop in Dubai, lived there for 6 months, and while there Directed a Full CG Real-Flo water piece beating out both the Mill and Framestore for the job, and executed it in Spain and South Africa.
How did you become interested in animation?
Grew up watching the original King Kong, Jason and the Argonauts, Mighty Joe Young with my father who was a HUGE FX fan. There was no hope for me to have a real life or career. : )
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
East Coast. Grew up with it, literally.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Either Executive Creative Director managing multiple creative teams and projects in house / virtual, or Directing on location.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
Working with clients and taking their spark of an idea, putting my spin on it and carrying it straight through to completion.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
working endless hours, but when the piece turns out the way you envision; it is all worth it! : )
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
N-E-V-E-R working 9-5 (or “normal hours”); in early out late. I don’t sleep, ever.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis
Everything, camera and program wise, but its becomes less about the tools and more about the talent i Direct on the box. All the newest, fanciest, and brightest toys don’t mean jack if you don’t have the guys working them that understand timing, overlapping action, squash & stretch, etc…
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Ray Harryhausen, multiple Directors I worked with when doing main titles for their films (—John Turturro, Kevin Hooks, etc.)
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
A company that i had opened failed. I poured my life’s sweat, blood, (—and finances!) into it; but it wasn’t meant to be… Whatever. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move on… What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
Always working on my own personal projects (!), been trying to develop a friend’s Eisner Winning graphic novel into a character animation, toon shaded series for quite some time..
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
Double jointed, weekend contractor, custom high end motorcycles (–not LLAMO theme bikes!!!), my two pitbulls. Trying to sleep.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
NO ATTITUDE. Pay your dues, learn to crawl before you can run. Mentors are here to help you but once you think you are a “know it all”, you’re dead to me. Did I mention NO ATTITUDE????!!!!!
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