What is your name and your current occupation?
Kieron Seamons. My first paid job was actually illustrating a book for my old Head Master of my school. It was all a great learning experience, as I was only about 16 years old. I thought I had hit the big time, a star in the making………then I left school, and dug foundations for house extensions. Digging holes for six months sure brought me down to Earth. After that, I was determined to stay in animation and I have now been in animation since I was around 17 or 18………very lucky indeed. My current occupation is that I am the proud owner of Sandman Animation Studio. We work on many of the TV shows that you watch on TV today and have produced many award winning shows and cartoon classics over the past years. I have the best job in the world.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
‘Roger Rabbit’ was an amazing project to be a part of. I rememeber going into a small viewing room and being shown a ‘trailer’ for it, in the very early stages of the movie. I walked out dizzy, it was just amazing. It insipred me and pushed me to be the best I could be for the Disney company. I was there 3 years, ……loved it. I worked on many great Animated Features and TV shows after that, including American Tail, Dennis and Gnasher’, ‘Cramp Twins’ and ‘Horrid Henry’ but one of my favorites was a show called ‘Treasure’ by Cinar ( now Cookie Jar ) a fantastic show, with one of the funniest scripts I have read. I used to listen to the audio tapes like it was a radio show. Fantastic! For some reason that show has vanished off the face of the Earth…….I don’t know what happened to it. Great show ! I sure would love to see one of those episodes again…..anyone? ‘When the Wind Blows’ was a movie that I worked on many years ago. It was created from the wonderful books of Raymond Briggs. It is a real tear jerker, but such a wonderful movie. These days I am driven by my new show ‘Little China’, it is my first step in to CGI animation and it has been a wonderful experience and the results have inspired the studio to become the best that we can be. We have won our first award ‘ The Crystal Star’ for best animation and it has been featured on the cover of ‘Teddy Bear International ‘ magazine as well as many magazine features. A very exciting time. Too many shows to mention, more below
How did you become interested in animation?
I remember as a kid being told by my Father that animation was a series of still images. I didn’t believe a word of it, but when he handed me a roll of movie film and I could actually see all the still images………….I was hooked, totally addicted. I drove everyone crazy. I ran around with my super 8 camera, moving cups, toys and my Sister inch by inch as I pushed the single frame button. I would wait a week for it to be developed and watch the results. I was addicted ! My poor sister is
in hundreds of movies sliding magically around the room and other animation tricks. The idea of single still images moving together at speed to produce a movie…….it blew my mind as a kid ……….It was wonderful, magical and I knew that is what I wanted to do. After seeing my first animation linest, wow…………….I am still hooked today !
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I was actually born in Ireland. My Father moved us to England when I was about 8 years old. I was introduced to someone who worked in animation and they were so impressed with my love for animation, that they brought me to their house to help them on some of their freelance projects. He would travel to London and return with a large box of artwork. I loved the excitement of waiting for the large cromocolour box to open and reveal what new project we would be working on. At that time it was a lot of TV commercials. Everything from chocolate to hair shampoo. Everyone one in a different style, it was such an amazing time for a young animator to work on so many different styles and projects.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Right now, I have my own animation studio called SANDMAN ANIMATION STUDIO and a typical day revolves around checking storyboards, designs and scripts for our own project ‘Little China’. I love to be surrounded by such a great team and see the project grow and develop to the final show. I also work with the voice actors and the music composers to finalize the show. It is a beautiful and fullfilling day……….I have the perfect day !
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I love the storyboarding and story developing stage best. It really is such an exciting stage to build and create stories and characters that can really create emotions in the audience. Sometimes watching the audience’s reaction to a story and characters that you created is an incredible feeling. Like a proud Father or Mother showing off their new baby…..heart warming !
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
When a story doesn’t connect with an audience. When a dramatic or emotional sequence doesn’t work, ………that failing feeling. I don’t like that.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
That is a tough question. I guess the ugly answer is the same for anyone one in business…..Money ! Having the money to do bigger and better projects, having the money to hire better and more exciting artists, the money to promote and distribute a show for the whole world to see………..I would love the money to make Sandman Animation Studio a great name for making the best child friendly animation shows in the world………….
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
For me personnally, I still love paper and pencil…….better than all the technology out there. But for the studio we use a lot of technology to produce animated shows, especially in this multi formatted TV world we have today.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I have meet many GREAT animators and GREAT artists on my travels. Many of those I have been lucky enough to hire in the company. There are some great people out there, in every country…….and I look forward to meeting everyone of them.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
I think the toughest time was before setting up my own studio. I had worked in animation for around 17 years constantly and worked in many countires and all of a sudden, I was out of work. I had worked on crazy schedules, and some very tough cartoons and then suddenly nothing……..that was very tough. I also had a new baby on the way and I needed to look at my life carefully. After a year of no work, I decided I would set up my own animation studio. Sandman Animation Studio was born and it was one of the best decisions I ever made……I also had a beautiful baby girl !
Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
I am always working on something new. I am very often working into the night, or weekends on some crazy new idea. We have two new projects in development now……more later on that. We have actually started working on developing Kid’s Books for IPAD and this is definitely a very exciting stage for the company. We have our first book moving through now, so very much looking forward to that. Hobbies……Musical Instruments, I collect instruments…….love it.
Any unusual talents like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
You mean accept the above? …….hhhmmmm?
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?Just love what you are doing. Enjoy every drawing and every project and life will be wonderful. If you can do a job that you love every day………you are VERY lucky ! GOOD LUCK !