What is your name and your current occupation? Elliot Blake, and I’m an animation producer and sometimes writer. I just wrapped up a lengthy gig with the fine people at Six Point Harness.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation? I’ve kind of been lucky in that I haven’t had to do a lot of crazy jobs before getting into the animation business. Certainly the most unusual job I had was helping to wrangle pigs one day when I was a p.a. on a low budget family feature called “Gordy.” And when I was in high school, I worked at a Cinnabon for two or three weeks. To this day, I can’t eat those things.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of? Well, I got to work on the original run of Futurama, all 72 episodes, as the design coordinator; that was fun, and I’m definitely proud to have been a part of it. Working on that series was really the foundation for my animation production education, and it was great to get to see it all come together, from the initial design phase, all the way through to the final original episode. I think my favorite projects were two I produced: Re\Visioned: Tomb Raider and Re\Visioned: Activision, both of which were web series
for GameTap, which was originally owned by Turner Broadcasting. I won an Emmy for the Tomb Raider series back in 2008, which was a thrill, and also got to voice-direct Minnie Driver, who played Lara Croft. For a web series, the Tomb Raider project was obscenely well-funded, but unfortunately, not as widely-seen as we would have liked. A few episodes are up on my website now , but at the time, the management thought putting the videos on YouTube would mean no one would come to watch them on GameTap. The videogame company that publishes the Tomb Raider games recently put the episodes on YouTube, so now Continue…
While animation is a visual medium it still can’t be done without a story to guide us through the visual shenanigans and since more and more shows are using the outline method instead of the traditional script, storyboard artists are increasingly being called upon to write. Well, Amanda Lin over at Global English Editing.com has created quite a comprehensive list for writers naming over 100 sites to visit that will help you in your craft! Check out the article via the link below!
Jeffrey Scott has some great tips up on AWN about writing good screenplay outlines. As you know an outline is essential to getting a good script. It’s the backbone of the film. And yet, many young writers don’t bother to write one before they begin their screenplay which is a rookie mistake. Check out the tip below and click the link for the rest. If you’re at all interested in being a good writer, read this article. Oh and while you’re at it go buy Jeffrey’s book too.
One way to know if your outline isn’t up to snuff is if you find yourself having a hard time writing the script. In my experience, when the outline wasn’t tight I’ve struggled with the scripts. And when the outlines were well structured, the scripts were a breeze. They practically wrote themselves.
What is your name and current occupation? Joelle Sellner, freelance animation writer.
What are the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation? When I was 15, I worked on the assembly line at a sweater factory. I didn’t realize I was illegal child labor, I just thought I had an awesome job where I could buy cheap sweaters. I also worked the night shift at a financial printer on Wall Street where I ordered “dinner” for investment bankers at 3 AM.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of? This year I had the opportunity to write an episode of BEN 10: OMNIVERSE, Cartoon Network’s reboot of the franchise. Everyone involved is so incredibly talented it was an honor to be included. Since most of my writing has been action for boys, I loved writing comedy for girls on Mattel’s MONSTER HIGH webisodes. I also was a writer/story editor on the upcoming SAMURAI! DAYCARE web series for Smosh’s Shut Up! Cartoons channel on YouTube. We all worked hard to make it the first WGA-covered animated series created for the web. And as the only girl on staff, I was proud to write the grossest, most offensive jokes.
How did you become interested in animation? As far back as I can remember, I watched cartoons. I watched them while I was getting ready for school. Then I’d come home and watch them until dinner. If the cable channels had been around then, Continue…
What is your name and your current occupation?
Matt Wayne, animation writer and story editor. I have exactly one producer credit, which nobody will ever find. Recent work includes being story editor of the Marvel Super Hero Squad Show, co-story editor of something I can’t talk about till July, former co-story editor of Justice League Unlimited. What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I’ve done things for money that a gentleman shouldn’t discuss. And I sold newspaper subscriptions door-to-door. And I was a cook at Big Boy. I know, it’s crazy, right? What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Justice League Unlimited, Ben 10: Alien Force, Tom and Jerry Tales, Batman: Brave and the Bold. I’m especially proud of my shared credit with Joe Barbera on a Tom and Jerry cartoon. It doesn’t get cooler than that! I also was Managing Editor of Milestone Media, which made a lot of comics and sold the Static Shock! cartoon. The first years of that were one of the best times of my life. And it turns out that comics are the entertainment industry in miniature, so I learned a whole lot about “gatekeepers” and the like. How did you become interested in animation?
I always loved cartoons. When I was 3 or 4, I wanted to be friends with Pixie and Dixie. I hatched a plan to break them out of the TV with a hammer, which my parents fortunately got wind of and thwarted. Rich Pursel, story editor onSpongeBob Squarepants, and writer of many of the good Ren and Stimpys, grew up across the street from me. We’ve been pals since we were toddlers. His interest in art and animation rubbed off on me. I’m not a writer/artist like he is, so I make up for it by being extra wordy. Rich and I watched all the terrible 70s cartoons on Saturday morning, and would do the kids’ version of critical analysis afterward–it always began Continue…
What is your name and your current occupation?
Ken Pontac, animation writer.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?I was a bartender in a place called Roxanne’s in Arcadia, California. The guzzlery had gone through several incarnations before I worked there, when the new owner decided to make it a “New Wave” bar (whatever the hell that means). He had a big screen that played an Abba laserdisc on endless rotation and he made me dress as a clown while I poured beer and wine. Roxanne’s had been a motercycle bar in its previous life and on opening day a pack of bikers came in, happy to see that their old watering hole was back in business. They were the funniest bikers I’d ever seen, right out of Central Casting: furry vests and Prussian helmets and studded leather everywhere. They were like Get Smart bikers, and they came to the place every night. On New Years Eve I was dancing on the hood of my Gremlin in a jester suit, holding a sign that said “DRINK HERE!” A couple of cute girls pulled up and decided that they’d get the jester drunk, and they escorted me to the bar (somebody else was pouring that night). As midnight approached I had a babe on each arm, both holding a bottle of bubbly that they were pouring down my throat. Continue…