Pierre De Celles

What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Pierre De Celles, I am (Senior) Animation Director, illustrator, designer and traditional artist. Co founder of Crashdownstudio.com

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
When I was young I was scrapping safety tape from giant windows (Ogilvy store), washing the windows clean, and then put new tape over the windows. (I was coughing for a month doing that.) Worked in a pie factory, had to mix the Jam, Brown Sugar, etc. with a special essence, a really sticky experience it was. Then got promoted to put pies in boxes, and run down to the end of the rolling carpet to catch the sealed boxes and put them in a box but I broke too many pies and got fired.
Maybe,it needed two people for that job ?!!

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I loved everything I worked on,did not matter if it was a commercial for a cheese product,it was always a new challenge whatever the project was…I do love Feature Films a bit more then TV series, a series is like being involved with a bunch of featurette Films. Doing the Simpsons is much easier then doing a tv show like Spiral Zone, but it is hard work never the less.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I am from Montreal, Canada. I just wanted to draw and one day I saw a job ad in the newspaper, brought my drawing samples and got hired ,it was an animation studio so that was the start to my craft.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Depends on the job,the schedule,and the complexity of it. Directing 65 half hour tv shows in a year is hard work but doing a feature Film in 5 months and a half may be a bit harder. It often was a 14 hours a day routine, 7 days a week. Got to check exposure sheets,layouts,animation,pencil tests,color B.G.`s,work print final scenes, etc. One does not get bored.

What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I like every step of production , but I do enjoy specially designing characters, props and locations, as well as storyboarding sequences. It is fun to use one’s imagination and try something different.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis, how has technology changed in the last few years in your field and how has that impacted you in your job?
Well there is less work in 2D, which is sad because I do prefer to animate on paper and using an animation disk.3D is nothing but a tool (for the tv / big screen medium), the 2D films of the past still look way better then the 3D films in terms of fluid animation. Anyway the’Kung Fu Panda’movie’s opening sequence was visually so much better, then the rest of the 3 D movie. In the case of ‘Zootopia’, I was looking at the pre-production Art, fantastic drawings and designs, but it all gets lost in the final 3 D rendering, that has been the case for so many films. A 2D Film like ‘Sleeping Beauty ‘is pure magic to watch,not that 3 D hightech shit….’El Dorado’ was a perfect example of 2 D and 3 D Animation Marriage….The Art direction was beautifull,something pretty lost with 3 D Movies these days,the great pre-production Art gets lost in the final stages.

What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Surviving !! It is hard to get money to create and produce great things.

If you could change the way the business works and is run how would do it ?
Kill all the studio C.E.O.’s, {,half kidding } Fellows like ‘Eisner’and co’. are criminals that robbed or still rob the whole Industry, the’re should be a cap on the salaries they can make, artists should have a bigger share of the money generated from movies. After all they are the real producers of the art, they create the final package. The artists never collaborated well enough to protect themselves, instead they competed against each other for bread crumbs, while the greedy big heads stuffed their pockets, it is really insane.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I met and chatted with ‘Chuck Jones’, ‘Frank Thomas’, ‘Ollie Johnson’, ‘Hanna & Barbera’, used to hang around with ‘John Kricfallucci’. I did 4 animated scenes for Brad Bird’s “Family Dog”, he was a nice guy and for many years, I had great friends such as ‘Jack Dunahm’, ‘Wally Gentleman’, ‘King Hu’, and ‘Ed Benedict’.

Describe a tough situation you had in life
Who wants to share that kind of shit ? HA,HA, I guess everyone gets pretty much the same bad experiences, losing a loved ones, getting cheated in bussiness, a love affair breaking up, getting a divorce, being out of work. Ahhhh. . . .Steve Jobs ?! No my name is Pierre Jobbless !!!

Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
Check our site: ‘www.crashdownstudio.com’, while ideas are easy to get, getting the money to produce them is not so obvious and we are trying to generate a following for our work.

Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I love making character voices, and sound effects, read, draw, paint, listen to music, watch films, drink red wine, watch ‘Desiree Cousteau’, etc.

Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Do not expect too much, specially now, times have changed. Better have a passion for drawing and draw, draw, draw!!! Anyone can claim to be an artist, but if you want to be an illustrator or an animator, you better be a damned good artist. Invest in yourself, learn all you can about all forms of art, all kinds of artists and their style, old and new. Don’t copy but try to understand why a ‘Frank Frazetta’ or a ‘Dean Cornwell’ are so good, what makes them so special. I am self taught myself, but I have invested in my education all my life, books on art, music, cinema, CD’s, D.V.D., L.P.’s, you name it. Must have passion first and work hard. Happy trails!!

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *