Tom Riffel

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation? 
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…

Aaron McGriff

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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…

Bryan Ballinger

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What is your name and your current occupation?
Associate Professor of Digital Media Arts,  Freelance Illustrator, and Collector of Absurd Non-Perishable Food Items.

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Shoveling out chicken coops was probably the craziest.  Between kamikaze roosters and all the airborne particulate matter, it wasn’t the most effervescent experience…
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
One of my favorite projects was doing the artwork the popsicle stick theater segments for some episodes of the VeggieTales Animated series , Another project was doing the art work for an animated TV spot for the National Associate of Broadcasters.   I also did some illustration work for a Finnish Blues Band called The Milk Cows.

How did you become interested in animation?
When I was a kid my dad used to show me the old original Popeye cartoons, which he himself loved. So that’s probably when my interest started. What really  blew my socks off though is when Continue…

Jacques Muller

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


What is your name and your current occupation? 
My name is Jacques Muller. I am presently senior lecturer (Classical animation) at the School of Interactive Digital Media of Nanyang Polytechnic of Singapore.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Waiter for half a day in a Paris restaurant, with no prior experience (I spilled the drinks over 5 customers when I couldn’t keep my tray balanced)

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of? 
Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Space Jam, Rescuers Down Under, Star Wars, the Illusionist.

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I am from the Angouleme region in South West of France, one hour north of Bordeaux. I started at Continue…

Amit Tishler

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Amit Tishler. Aside from being a freelance super-villain I’m currently working on a couple of projects: one as an animator for Hallmark’s new platform: “Feeln'” on a soon to be announced original series and one as an art director for a small team on a comic book called “Tales of Lyla” for 10 Forward Productions, Inc.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I’ve worked for a center for rare diseases, as an information center assistant. I got to see quite a collection of gruesome photos and scary articles I really could have lived without seeing. I did learn quite a lot though, so I’m glad I did it.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?Aside for the current project I’ve been working on, which I am proud of but unfortunately cannot name, I recently worked in the Hothouse Productions animation team for Adult Swim’s “Mr. Pickles”, which I was very proud to take part in. The product is awesome and the studio and its team are some of the best I’ve ever worked with. Watch this show people!  Another notable project is a music video I co-directed with super-artist Luke Ellison (http://lukeellison.com) for the metal band “Menace”, led by Mitch Harris from the band Napalm Death. I’ve never had a business meeting in the backstage area of a Cannibal Corpse/Napalm Death concert up until that point. As a devoted metal fan I’d say that’s a note worthy achievement.

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from Tel Aviv, Israel. I was aiming for this business since I was 12 years old. I graduated with my undergraduate degree in animation from Bezalel- Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem in 2008. I then worked as an animator for Continue…

Erica Pitt

 

What is your name and your current occupation?
Erica Pitt….2D Flash animator.

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I haven’t had too many craaaazy jobs….my first job ever was working in a coffee shop bistro in my home town of Victoria, BC for 3 years. It was there that I saved up the money to go to animation school with. The summer of first year college I worked at a Dog kennel cleaning up dog s*** mostly, and the summer after did renovation work flipping houses. Between 3rd and 4th year though I got to co-direct a music video for a Canadian band called Elliott Brood which was a lot of fun. It turned out OK considering we had about a month and a half to do it in.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Every project I’ve worked on has a special little place in my heart for different reasons. George of the Jungle was the very first show I worked on, and it taught me soooo much not just about animation in flash, but animation in general. Pucca season 2 was really cute and action packed so that was always pretty crazy fun. Seeing how popular My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic got as soon as it started airing was a special treat. We were still working on the episodes as they were coming out, so it was amazing to see how many fans there were and how crazy (in a good way) they were for it. I’ve never worked on anything that popular before. I’ve gotten a couple of marriage proposals from some of the fans who have found my youtube channel so that was a new experience being a bit of a celebrity of sorts. “Roy” a show we animated for Ireland was loads of fun and got me interested in possibly working abroad…which I am currently doing so it was cool that THAT project inspired me to travel and see new places. I never expected that I would get to work on a feature film doing flash animation…but was able to on the Top Cat movie. It was a pretty cool feeling going to the cinema to watch it when it finally came out.

How did you become interested in animation?
I always liked drawing, but I remember discovering the X-Men Animated series on TV one Saturday morning and becoming really obsessed with it. When I found out it was a comic book I started buying every X-Men title there was and started trying to learn how to draw super heroes from them. My friend and I started making Continue…