What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Tom Riffel, and currently I am working freelance, in addition to being a co-founder / content creator of the Toonocracy collective.
Most of my non-animation experience was either slinging coffee or slinging data. Well, entering data. Neither one super crazy, but I did have one data entry job where I was inputting the personal information of women prisoners into what was supposed to be a prison pen-pal website. Needless to say, some of this information was, ah… Highly inappropriate, despite their surveys specifically saying not to include anything R-rated. Also, at the coffee shop, people liked using the walls as toilet paper. Not really sure how that works.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I’m very fortunate to say that I have been pretty consistently happy with most of the projects I have been on, but my absolute favorite job was working on The Problem Solverz at Cartoon Network. Cartoon Network is my goal, and being able to work on a series produced entirely in-house and with really great people was a dream come true. A close second would be the last non-freelance job I had, which was at Hot House Productions, working on a pilot. Like The Problem Solverz, it was all done in-house with a small crew of great people.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I grew up in South Florida, but didn’t do anything animation-related until I moved to Chicago. Initially I wanted to be a director, so I went to Florida Atlantic University for film studies and ended up with a useless BA in communication. After an aimless year, I went back to school for animation. Post graduation (Part 2), I was able to get a job doing animation for an internet startup company, and then moved on to doing some digital animation and traditional clean up for Calabash Animation. A few years later, I took the plunge and moved to Los Angeles.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Currently, I wake up, make the long trek from the bedroom to my office, and get crackin’ on work in silence. When I’m working at a studio, Continue…