What is your name and your current occupation?
I am Keith Alcorn and I am an animation Producer/Director.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I worked in a Women’s clothing store as a janitor. I also poured concrete. I remember that day very well.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
There are so many wonderful projects, but I am most proud of “Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius”, “Santa vs. the Snowman”, “Planet Sheen” and “Nanna & Lil’ Puss Puss”.
How did you become interested in animation?
I’ve always loved to draw but started experimenting with stop-motion during high school and thought, “Wow! This is a lot of work! I should do this for a living!”
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I am from Fort Worth, Texas (Cowtown) and began my animation career at Bill Stokes Associates shooting horse nostrils on the Oxberry animation stand.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
When I’m in the throws of production my days are filled with approvals sessions for writing, storyboards, animation, lighting, FX, music, etc.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I love collaboration. It’s great fun working with talented artists.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
I hate political posturing. It’s not great fun working with people who are more interested in sticking their thumbprint on everything instead of just making something cool. Fortunately, that doesn’t happen very often.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
It’s just me and my laptop.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
During my career I’ve had the great honor of meeting the fantastically resplendent Ray Harryhausen. I’ve also worked with the great Matt Groening and gave Mike Judge his first animation job.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in the animation business was shutting down our animation facility after 20 years. Saying goodbye to 250 friends is tough. I don’t recommend it.
Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
I am developing several things at the moment. I am also working on a web series called, “Nanna’s Fun Chest” which you can find on Facebook. Please “Like” it! It’s loads of fun, as the name implies.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metalurgy?
Nothing that awesome, but I’ve loved Martial Arts for many years. I’m also not bad at Red Dead Redemption on Xbox Live. I go by the name, “Mister Nanna”, so if’n you figure on comin’ to Blackwater, better buckle up missy!
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Don’t come to Blackwater… no wait, sorry. My advice is to do something everyday that makes you better and never, never, never, never, ever, never, never, ever, never, never, never, ever give up your dreams.