Kevin O’Neil

What is your name and your current occupation?
Kevin O’Neil and currently a freelance special effects animator.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Being a bank courier, picking up bank checks from all the big banks in downtown Chicago, for Jet Courier services in Chicago, back in the 80’s. I worked at Midway and O’Hare airports in the middle of the night, 1 am to 5 am. Also before that, I taught guitar for 6 years, and played in a few bands in Chicago. I was a full time musician before going back to art school at age 28. So I don’t know if they were exactly crazy, just jobs.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
One of my favs was Iron Giant at Warner Feature, and Hercules and Mulan at Disney Feature. Working at Disney TV on The Tigger Movie was also a lot of fun, and working with Jun Falkenstein was a great experience. I was glad I got to work at Disney if even for a short time. Brad Bird at WB, John Musker and Ron Clements at Disney. Great people if you ask me. Proud to be a part of those films. The caliber of artists at these places is just great. Actually the caliber of artists at most of the studios is great, it’s just too bad a lot of the stuff we saw in the studios is art that never makes it to the screen.  I also worked at Warner’s Classics back in the 90’s as a character animator. We did a lot of commercials. I worked with Keith Baxter, Jeff Siergey, Spike Brandt & Tony Cervone. The place was fun and I got to draw Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. How could that not be great?  More recently I had a lot of fun on the Priest animated prologue for Genndy Tartakovsy. I did most of the effects on that except a couple of shots. It was fun because it wasn’t your normal efx, there was a lot of blood and guts and I got to blow things up. I finally saw an unedited clip of the whole thing online. I guess for the movie, it was tamed down.

How did you become interested in animation?
I guess just watching and growing up with the usual cartoons like everyone else. I leaned towards Warners. But I got into rather late, in my late 20’s. I was undecided in art school whether to pursue Continue reading