What is your name and your current occupation?
Suze Datz, Instructor at Gnomon School of Visual Effects and freelance fx recruiter.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Handling the Paramount Pictures Corporation advertising for 10 years. Best job, though? Lifeguard on Long Island when I was 16.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Babe, the Coca-Cola Polar Bear commercials, a Tiffany commercial, Seafari (a motion base ride in Japan.
How did you become interested in animation?
I have always loved cartoons!
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I grew up on Long Island in NY, and got into the biz quite by accident. Saw an ad in Adweek for an advertising/publicity director (or Head Cheerleader as my biz cards said) for Rhythm & Hues and the rest is history!
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Constantly emailing and calling artists for their availability and negotiating rates, etc. and when I’m teaching, it’s a class called Career Realities that covers the good, the bad and the ugly of working in the FX industry.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
Dealing with people because I am fascinated by all kinds of people.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Having to tell a potential candidates they didn’t get the job. Sucks.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
Basic computer technology word, excel. FilemakerPro and other applicant tracking systems.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Dealing with giant egos.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Absolutely. Bill Kroyer, George Miller, Bill Westenhofer just to name a few.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
Trying to hire 100s of artists during a year when both my parents were ill and taking turns in the hospital. Trying to balance that was very difficult. Fortunately it all worked out great!
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
Yes, I design and make one of a kind greeting cards. I have done many birth announcements, party invitations and wedding invitations.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I’m a pretty swell swimmer and stunt diver which is loads of fun. And I nuts for skydiving.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Yes!!!! Check your ego at the door, follow directions and communicate, communicate, communicate. And network, network, network.