Cartoon Saloon, Mercury Filmworks Partner for New Animation Studio

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Kilkenny, Ireland-based animation studio Cartoon Saloon — the studio behind Oscar-nominated animated features The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea — and Canada-based animation studio Mercury Filmworks are partnering to create a new 2D-focused, Kilkenny-based animation studio to develop children’s and family TV entertainment, for multiplatform global distribution.

Dubbed Lighthouse Studios, the joint venture will have its own not-yet-announced management team, reporting to a board of directors comprising executives from both Mercury Filmworks and Cartoon Saloon.

It plans to announce more information about its first development and production projects, as well as hiring details, in the coming weeks. The venture was revealed on Monday with support from Ireland’s Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland and intends to create at least 140 jobs in the next three years.

Both partners also continue their own TV and film operations. Mercury Filmworks’ projects have included Disney’s Tangled animated series, Mickey Mouse Shorts, Wander Over Yonder as well as the upcoming Netflix original series Hilda.

Read the entire article here.

Will Kistler


What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Will Kistler and I’m currently a character animator.

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
For a while I was a tour guide at Mammoth Cave National Park, where I led tours through the cave.  I also did a brief stint as a substitute teacher.  Turns out, 9th and 10 graders are not especially keen to learn algebra.  After college I spent a year teaching English in Japan.  That was a great time, since it let me travel for an extended period.  I was doing animation school online at the time, and I hate to admit it, but my studies suffered.  When faced with the option of animating all day, or going to check out a temple I might never get to see again, I wasn’t going to NOT go see the temple.  I tried to do both, but the animation got ignored a little more than it should have.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
My most recently released project was Life of Pi.  I was extremely happy with how that came out.  We spent a lot of time making sure the tiger moved as realistically as possible, which meant a big part of my day was getting to watch and study videos of tigers.  That makes for a pretty great work day.  I’ve also gotten to work on the Alvin and the Chipmunk movies.  Realistic tigers are great, but there’s a different kind of fun in getting to animate more anthropomorphic animals singing and dancing.

 

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from Kentucky originally.  My break into animation was being accepted into Continue…

Nickelodeon Creates Original Movie In-House with Dell Workstations

Did you spend as much time watching television over the holidays as I did? If so, then you might have caught Nickelodeon’s first original animated TV movie, Albert. In the film, Bobby Moynihan (from “Saturday Night Live”) is the voice of a little Douglas fir tree named Albert who wants to become the Empire City tree.

 A Nickelodeon employee works on the Albert movie using Dell Precision workstation and Dell monitors

Albert’s 3.1 million total viewers in Live+7 (which in TV ratings talk means the number of viewers within seven days of first showing) helped Nickelodeon finish 2016 as the number-one kid’s network for the year, according to numbers released last week.

Even if you were one of those millions of viewers, I bet you likely missed the story about how Dell Precision 5810 workstations helped them bring their first 45-minute movie to life, though.

“Using the Dell Precision with NVIDIA Quadro M6000 graphics cards has allowed us to stay competitive with overseas studios because we’re able to turn around results much faster and we’re able to keep a smaller team longer and be more efficient,” said Jason Meier, animation director at Nickelodeon, in the video below.

And if you missed it, or just want to hold on to that Christmas spirit and watch it again, the full Albert movie is available on Nick.com!

Nelson Recinos

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Nelson Recinos I am an animation producer, line producer, director, creative director, art director, and creator. I also clean my home office and take care of everything that’s needed on the projects I am working on.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
One of my first jobs was painting motorcycle helmets. I thought that, because of my art background, I was going to be able to do the job, but it was not as easy as I thought. I got training and after a few days I started working on production…which didn’t go very well. I messed up a few helmets, paint spilled everywhere, and nothing was evenly painted. The manager was understandably pissed, but moved me to another department instead of firing me. What a nice guy!

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I had the opportunity to work on some amazing shows such a Pinky and the Brain and Animaniacs. I also animated some of the Warner Bros. classic characters such as Bugs Bunny, Duffy Duck, Tweety, Sylvester, and many others.

 

How did you become interested in animation?
I always liked cartoons since I was a kid. I drew all the time. Back in my country, my brother Bill was the one who Continue…

Julio Díez

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Julio Díez, 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 father´s opinion that considered that animation was not a
secured profession.

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 Continue…