What is your name and your current occupation?
I’m the co-creator, writer, producer, animator, & voice of Daniel the Turtle for the award winning animated series Supa Pirate Booty Hunt. Currently we are working for the charity Music Saves Lives for their national animated PSA campaign to encourage young adults & teenagers to donate blood. Each PSA takes Supa Pirate Booty Hunt characters, Cpt Zack Stevers & Daniel the Turtle paired up with music celebrities such as Nat & Sean from the band 3OH!3 and Dave Mustaine of Megadeth. For more info visit http://www.supapiratebootyhunt.com
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I worked for a special affects company and out of no where I was in charge of the vomit rig on this movie set. It was crazy!
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I used to co-owner a clothing line called Level 27 Clothing that was sold in Hot Topic and I also worked with Disney about having our new line launch at Disney’s Vault 28 store at Downtown Disney. It was a lot of work and I was very proud of it.
How did you become interested in animation?
I’ve always been into animation my whole life. Love watching the Disney classics as a kid and Saturday Morning cartoons. Overall it was my passionate love for The Simpsons that made me want to get into animation.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m originally from Severna Park, Maryland but now live in the Los Angeles, CA area. Back in college at American University in Washington, DC I had a internet college radio. I did this skit on the radio show called Storytime inspired by the old radio shows they had like War of the Worlds. It was about a pirate & turtle and the skit became very popular. The summer of 2004 I went on the Vans Warped Tour having a booth for my clothing line. It was in the Vancouver, Canada date that a fan of the skit asked me to do her cell phone voice mail greeting in the Daniel the Turtle voice. It was at that point that I knew I had to do something with this skit. I turned it into an animated series for my thesis project at Grad School. After graduation I moved to Los Angeles and teamed up with talented artist/animator Dahveed Koldony-Nagy on the project.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Depends on what stage we are in animation. Could be writing, working on animatic, working with animators, animating myself, sound design, sound mixing, working with musicians on score, recording voice actors, recording myself doing character voices, promoting SPBH at events, promoting SPBH online, or all the above.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
When the animation is finally done and you get to see your creation come to life. It is the best feeling in the world.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
The headaches that come with being an independent animator.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
We use Flash, After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Final Draft, & Pro-Tools.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Defly not a lot of money in the animation field.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Oh yes! When Bill Plympton remember my name and said “Hey Steve, how are you?” at the Burbank International Film Festival, I felt like I made it. Supa Pirate Booty Hunt took home six awards at the film festival.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
High School, enough said.
Any side projects or you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
I also work for Hollywood Today News Magazine and got to interview the great Stan Lee couple weeks ago.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
So we made a Daniel the Turtle costume to help promote Supa Pirate Booty Hunt and I’ve become very good at entertaining a crowd with it. Check out our event reel video featuring The Daniel the Turtle costume.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
If you love animation, you got to never give up and just keeping clawing away and stay positive.
Links to animated episodes:
Supa Pirate Booty Hunt Episode “Love Bites”
Supa Pirate Booty Hunt Episode “Yo Ho Hooo”
Supa Pirate Booty Hunt Episode “Holiday Fight Club”
Supa Pirate Booty Hunt Episode “Nurse Boobies Please” Animated PSA for charity Music Saves Lives and features the band 3OH!3 Winner of six awards at Burbank International Film Festival.