Chris Burns

 

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Chris Burns, Owner and Lead Animator of EXIT 73 STUDIOS (exit73studios.com)

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
The craziest job I ever had, had to be a carpenter/roofer. I worked with a bunch of super manly, blue collar dudes, who’s life mission was to win concert tickets on the radio, and win pick 4 lotto. The money was good, and you couldn’t beat the hours, but I knew pretty early on, that I wanted to pursue a career in art.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
In 2007, when I was lead animator at AUGENBLICK STUDIOS, there was a stint of 3 projects that completely blew my mind. It started with the web series called GOLDEN AGE, which was a documentary style narrative of obscure cartoon characters from different time periods. From there we went on to animate a 4 minute cartoon for the feature film THE TEN, in a segment called THE LYING RHINO. Right after that we started animating the first episode of SUPERJAIL! It was really lightning in a bottle for the whole studio, we had a super tight team of very talented artist, pumping on all cylinders… It actually paved the way for the studio to go all the way to the SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL. THE TEN, and all the webisodes of GOLDEN AGE where proudly featured there. It was very surreal, as an animator, going into theaters and seeing your work so big with an audience.

 

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m originally from eastern Long Island, which made my choice to go to SVA very easy, being it was so close. I interned at a bunch of Animation studios, B3, NOODLE SOUP, WORLD LEADERS, and 4KIDS ENTERTAINMENT. NOODLE SOUP, provided me with Continue…

Aaron McGriff

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Aaron McGriff and I am a Partner and Lead Animator at Walsh Family Media, a small independent animation studio in the heart of NYC doing some big things.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation? 
Nothing too crazy, I guess. I used to bag groceries as a kid, worked the snack bar at a family fun center, worked as a teacher’s aide for elementary art school classes, and worked as an RA in the dorms during college.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of? 
We are currently in production of 2 full length CG feature films Called The Cool Beans:We Need a Hit and The Cool Beans: Humbucket Caper. It has been an amazing experience getting to work on independent features, despite the natural ups and downs that come from trying to produce a high quality project with limited funding. The talent and dedication of our small team creates the kind of work environment most people only dream of. I’ve had the opportunity to wear many hats while at Walsh Family Media and have gotten to do everything from animation to voice-over work. I’m proud of how far we’ve come and I can’t wait for the world to be able to enjoy the content we’ve crafted meticulously with love for so many years. I know the industry will be blown away while simultaneously scratching their heads, trying to figure out how we produced such innovative content at such a high level on such a small budget.

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business? 
My father is a proud 30 year US Army Veteran, and as such, I grew up all over the world. I was born in Panama and lived in probably 12 or more places before I ended up in New York City. So…yeah, Texas, Pennsylvania, Georgia, New Jersey, Washington, Virginia, Korea, Take your pick. I wanted to be an animator for as long as I can remember. I always used to draw characters in elementary school. My family visited Disney World in Orlando when I was eight, and we visited the animation studio there. They were working on Continue…

Ryan Ortgiesen


What is your name and your current occupation? 
My name is Ryan Ortgiesen. I’m a freelance animator and director in Brooklyn, NY. Thank you for this opportunity, Mike.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation? 
I’m not sure “crazier” is the right word. Hmmm, maybe zanier. I’ve had a lot of terrible jobs including foundation repair, digging trenches and evicting people from their homes. I’d say the worst was when I worked on this vineyard in France. I chopped wood for six hours a day, put up scaffolding on a five story castle with no safety equipment and was eventually fired. Longest week of my life. It was just like that one episode of The Simpsons.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Thus far, I’ve mostly worked for clients doing smaller project and some work for Cartoon Network. My proudest work is my own personal projects because I feel most passionately about the ideas and look. Passion will always spawn greatness within yourself.

How did you become interested in animation?
Being a product of the late 80’s-early 90’s, I was inundated with a barrage of fantastically crappy cartoons, particularly “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and possibly a little “Jem” thrown in there (she was, after all, truly outrages). When I was around 4 years old, I would Continue…

Bob Etchingham

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Bob Etchingham, I’m a key poser/lead animator at Magpie6Media in Dublin, Ireland.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
My uncle owns a jewellers and workshop here in Dublin. So I started an apprenticeship at the age of twelve while I was still at school and during college and worked there pretty much up until I got into cartoons. I miss it sometimes. Lots of interesting characters working in that industry.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I worked on a show at Studio B in Vancouver (Now DHX media) called Kid vs. Kat. That was a great show to work on cause it was the first gig I did at a studio that actually owned the show. So If you had any suggestions about a scene, something that might make it better or funnier you could just walk into the next room and talk to the director about it. The more creative input you have into something you’re working on the better it comes out and the happier you are as an animator. Also the Slacker Cats title sequences that I worked on for Seth Kearsley was a great gig cause he was really easy going with how I went about them. Again more freedom means a better end product and a better experience over all. After that then I guess just my own shorts that I make all the time. I did some animation for the podcast Tell ’em Steve Dave on the smodcast network (unsolicited haha) They came out well and got a good response so thats cool. All my own stuff is on the Bobetch Productions Youtube page.

How did you become interested in animation?
I just always drew for as long as I can remember. As a kid I was really into Looney Tunes, then Ren and Stimpy all the usuals. Cartoons were just always there in the background. I used to sit and try and Continue…

David Yarr

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is David Yarr and I am a 3D artist or say a Generalist.

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
This is a funny question and I like it a lot. Well the craziest job I had was in my early twenties when I was a roof carpenter working up high. Everyday working on that height moving fast on a piece of wood trying to keep the body in balance. The chance of falling down was about 99.9 percent. I myself got close to fall three times but somehow managed to keep it in balance. I guess when you work in hard situations your brain develops some kind of intelligence to avoid accidents. I did that job for two years and still love to try it only once.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
In animation I would say none so far because I work in commercial animation and most of the time the deadlines are so tight you don’t even know to laugh about it or cry about it. But in oil painting I am proud that I painted a big version of Mona Lisa Cried on 9/11. It’s 36″x48″ oil on canvas. The idea behind it was when a plane hit the two twin towers in NY city, the tear of blood started to run down Mona Lisa’s chick in Louver Paris. I still have this big painting.

 

How did you become interested in animation?
One day one of my friends gave me a version of Continue…

Luca Fattore

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Luca Fattore , I am a lead animator and a pre production artist .

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
None, I started working in the animation field at the age of 18.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Balto ( Universal/Amblimation) The magic sword ( Warner Brothers) Help i am a Fish ( A.Film ) Asterix and the Vikings ( A.Film) Marco Macaco ( Nice Ninja productions) … the short film “Shark and the Piano” ( Munich animation ) Some “7Up” commercials where I have animated one of my favorite commercial characters , Fido Dido .

How did you become interested in animation?
I drew as a kid , and at the age of 13 I started watching my favorite shorts frame by frame ….. Continue…