What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Julio DÃez, I am character animation director/supervisor, as well, animators team coordinator.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
When I was fourteen I worked in a printing works as apprentice, but it was not my path, so , when I was seventeen I decided to work in an animation studio in Madrid as traditional animator, against my fatherÂ´s opinion that considered that animation was not a
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
As traditional animator I enjoyed working in “The Flinstones”, “Tom and Jerry”, “The Jetsons” ( Hanna Barbera), and in a lot of american and british Tv series and specials, the feature film “Asterix” (Gaumont) ,etc., as production manager and co-supervising animator in ” Count Duckula”, ” Foxbusters” (Cosgrove Hall), “Captain Star” (Filmworks), “Rhinegold” (Hibber Ralph). After some years working in traditional animation, in 2000, I was hired as character animation director to work for CGI productions in several 3D feature films such as “The Living Forest”, “A Midsummer Dream ” (Dygra Films), etc.
How did you become interested in animation?
From I was a child, I remember that I used to draw inÂ the corners of my school books for them to become inÂ “flip book”, so I consider that animation to me isÂ absolutely vocational.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I am from Madrid. I got my first animation jobÂ through a newspaper ad, I was very lucky because withÂ seventeen years old, and not much experience, I wasÂ selected between 200 people for a new animationÂ studio in Madrid as character animator. At that time
animation in Spain was not very advanced andÂ everything was new for me, I had to face with lotsÂ of errors that I had to solve myself, but thatÂ teached me very much.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Early in the morning I revise the work of theÂ freelance animators from several parts the world thatÂ collaborate in each film as a support for theÂ production. I communicate with them through theÂ internal messaging system of the company or mail, it
takes long time to revise the animation and indicate,Â if necessary, instructions for the retakes, or inÂ its case the approval. Also, I send all theÂ necessary stuff, scene files, characters files, etc.,Â via FTP folders. After, I start to revise theÂ animation of the in house animators team, that takeÂ much more time since, depending of the film, I haveÂ had teams with an average of about 20 animators.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
When I supervise animation and find how to improveÂ it, also, to explain to the animators the necessaryÂ corrections trying that they understand perfectlyÂ what I want, getting finally a good result.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
When an animator does not get with the right resultÂ and I have to supervise the scenes ten times, beingÂ the production schedule too tight. Also, when anÂ animator is against the indications of the animationÂ director and works according to his preferencesÂ instead of the correct instructions.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
PC, Maya, Playblast, FTP, and frequently a pencil forÂ drawing thumbnails as an indication for animators.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
When the producer ask for the best animation of theÂ world within a very tight production schedule, to be obliged toÂ hire beginners due to a limited budget, instead ofÂ experienced animators, become a teacher for theÂ animators, more than an animation director, andÂ always, be compared with the major studios.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Yes, I have worked for years for animation celebsÂ such as William Hanna, Paul and Gaetan Brizzi,Â Brian Cosgrove and Mark Hall, Jimmy Murakami,Â Jose Luis Moro, and also I had some meetings with Joanna Quinn,Â Bill Plymton…and many more.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
When the work in the movie ends and the team startÂ to go looking for other productions once we haveÂ become friends.
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
After my last project already finished , a 3D feature filmÂ titled “Holy Night”, not released yet , and severalÂ small collaborations, currently I have been asked toÂ read a script for a new animation movie of a veryÂ important american film company, but by the moment,Â I can not speak anything about that , it is top secret.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
They are not unusual, even I think they are very simple ones, sorry,traveling in exotic countries, editing my own traveling videos,
drawing, cooking, enjoy of good restaurants,Â movies, the making of musical video clips…..
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
The best advice is to be prepared as much as possible.Â Today the competency is huge and when a company ask forÂ modelers, animators, concept artists, vfx, etc., lots of peopleÂ apply for these job positions at the same time, and many ofÂ them are really good, so you have to be very good in yourÂ speciality to be competent. There are some good animatorsÂ that never have studied in animation schools, they are autodidacts,Â but in general this is a minimun proportion . If possible, it is necessaryÂ to learn from the best animation specialists, they can guide you onÂ the right way to become a good professional according to your skillsÂ and can teach you the basis of the profession over a shorter pathÂ and with better results.