What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Mike Blum and I am a director, producer, writer and owner of two boutique production companies, Pipsqueak Films and Blumayan Films. Pipsqueak Films works on animated content of all sorts and Blumayan Films produces live action features.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I waited tables while being a ski bum after college. I couldn’t ski more than 5 feet without falling at the start of the season but was cruising black diamonds by the end. Never did learn to wait tables all that well…And when I was in junior high and high school I worked at this crazy nut, candy, coffee store called The Head Nut. Come to think of it, slinging nuts and candy is a lot like turning the crank in production — head down and scoop away!
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
My favorite projects are the ones I’ve had the biggest hand in seeing through creatively. So, even though I worked on nearly a dozen features with world class artists and technical people while at Disney Feature Animation, none gave me the same satisfaction as working on my first shorts, Oil & Vinegar and The Zit. And while a lot of my colleagues gave me funny looks when I told them I was leaving Disney to direct a series about a pair of talking testicles, The Adventures of Baxter & McGuire (for Comedy Central), got me nominated for an Emmy and took me to great festivals like Sundance and Annecy. And I worked with the amazing showrunners Michael Weithorn and Nick Bakay. But my favorite project so far is the one I just completed, Samurai! Daycare. It’s a 10 part, Flash animated web series I did for the new YouTube channel, Shut Up! Cartoons. It’s the first property I sold that made it all the way to series and it was great fun to showrun my own creation.
How did you become interested in animation?
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’ll answer these 2 questions together…. I was a huge fan of Bugs Bunny growing up. I know, I know I have such unusual tastes. But I really never had any classic artistic skills and grew up so far removed from “the industry” in the Philadelphia ‘burbs, it never occurred to me in at least a conscious way that it could be a career. I did, however, (more…)