Goran Bukvic

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Goran Bukvic. I call myself a Concept Artist.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I directed and hosted a radio show in Sarajevo, Bosnia during the war. I was also a war journalist and a reporter. Before that, my family owned a chain of pastry shops so I was a part time pastry chef for a while.  During the first months in Canada (end of ’94), I did security on movie sets and sold alarm systems door to door.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Some of my favorite ones have either been canned or are still in production, so I can’t really say what they are. I will say that I did some work for Batman, Tron, and Halo and those were all tons of fun to work on. Challenging but fun.

How did you become interested in animation?
I suppose it was a combination of my lifelong love for art and interest in comic books and cartoons. It also seemed like a good career choice in terms of financial stability and finally being able to be a professional artist. Boy, Continue…

Rachel Young

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What is your name and your current occupation? 
My name is Rachel Young and I am currently working as an animator.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
My first job was a short stint as a summer camp/day care assistant and then as a clerk at a mall store, and then as a graphic designer for a while, which is not really something I would have chosen for myself.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I usually enjoy most projects I work on, but in particular, “The Ricky Gervais Show” “The Problem Solverz” and some smaller projects such as animation for the “Phineas and Ferb” stage show.  Mostly I’m pretty proud of the fact that I’ve gotten five 52 page comic books published in three years while doing all this at the same time.

How did you become interested in animation? 
Wasn’t hard, I grew up during the 90’s when there was a lot of really well animated cartoons on TV, not to mention Continue…

Roja Huchez

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Roja Huchez.

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
When I was a kid I used to work in the automotive industry handing out car parts to Mechanics. I realized early in life I needed to go to school to get a better life otherwise I’d be doing that type of work for the rest of my life. A great job, but it wasn’t for me, I needed to do art.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I worked on some characters in the movie Avatar among other films in a studio in New Zealand. It was a humbling experience being part of such a talented team. I learned a lot and hopefully now can share that knowledge wherever I go.
How did you become interested in animation?
Same old story as everybody else I guess. I was one of those kids who stayed in to draw. Mostly copying comic book covers. All the way through school I found Continue…

Rich Dannys

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Rich Dannys. I’m currently working as a Layout Artist at Yowza Digital, here in Toronto.. We’re in production on a new web cartoon series for Nickelodeon.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
My summer jobs during high school, involved working at a pickle factory: shipping, receiving, and (later on) in their “Tank Farm”. Smelly work, but at least you could work on your tan!  After college, I worked for a time at a comic-book distributor called “Andromeda”. Distribution nights, involved making very early-morning drives to both a nearby bus terminal for accounts in Montreal, Ottawa, and the Maritimes. And to Toronto Airport for accounts in Calgary, Edmonton, and Victoria, BC..

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I’ve enjoyed most of the stuff I’ve worked on.. Layout on ‘BEETLEJUICE’ holds a lot of happy memories for me. My start in the business, and not a bad cartoon either.. When I started work in Design, I got to work on ‘CADILLACS & DINOSAURS’.. A very small, tight crew. I think we did good work, that was helped by a solid Japanese overseas studio..  Working on ‘RIPPING FRIENDS’ at Red Rover was also pretty great.. We had a lot of freedom on that cartoon, and Andy Knight had a genuine respect for all of the artists working at his studio..

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business? 

I’m from Scarborough, a suburb in the east-end of Toronto.. Went to Sheridan College for ‘Classical Animation’ from ’83 to ’85, but dropped-out before finishing. Was working retail at a comic-book shop when a buddy suggested I take the Layout Test at Nelvana.. They seemed to like the work I did on it, and hired me to do Layout on their ‘BEETLEJUICE’ cartoon in 1989. Later, I did some Design work at Nelvana, for their action-adventure cartoons.. And in the mid-90’s, I began freelancing full-time under my own corporate identity: ‘Flying Dutchman Studios, Inc.’

What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Get into the studio around 10am.. Get my Scene list and check it against the current animatic. And then either begin roughing-out or cleaning-up my individual scenes. This also usually involves designing some stuff that hasn’t been designed yet.. Lunch around 12.30 pm. And a mid-afternoon coffee run around 3.15 pm, or so. Head home around 6.30 pm.. Lots of kibbitzing with fellow in-house artists, throughout the day, etc.

What part of your job do you like best? Why? 

I get a lot of satisfaction purely from the act of drawing.. I really love drawing. Particularly, when I have a good idea of what each scene requires. The art of composition and making things “read visually” is also enjoyable. The staging, etc.. And when you get those rare moments when you can sneak something into a cartoon that you find funny or amusing, on the Design or Layout end. That can be a lot of fun, too..

What part of your job do you like least? Why? 

Working from poorly-executed storyboards can be a real drag.. Trying to “fix” stuff that just isn’t working, but has somehow already gotten past layers of approval.. That, can be a frustration. But you always do what you can, to “plus” things. And hope that the phenomenon won’t materialize again, or continue throughout the duration of the production..

What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis, how has technology changed in the last few years in your field and how has that impacted you in your job?
Right now, I’m using Photoshop on a cintiq.. I still prefer the old analog pencil-and-paper. But realize that it isn’t coming back anytime soon, and that’s a shame. The hardest thing for me to get used to now, is no longer having a nice thick storyboard that I can leaf thru at my leisure and make my notes, etc. Having to log onto a computer just to check an animatic, is annoying. And nowhere near the same experience.. I don’t read my books digitally. And would prefer not to “read” my storyboards that way either, given the chance..

What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Keeping pace with new software and new methods of production.. Each studio invents it’s own production pipeline. Some are good, some not so much.. The changes in the industry are happening so fast now, that it’s hard to keep pace with it all.  Working contract-to-contract can be difficult, too. Though that aspect does seem to be improving lately, to a degree. Working full-time as a freelance artist will always be a challenge, I think.  And having a regular gig is something that we all dream of..

If you could change the way the business works and is run how would you do it?
It’s always nice to have bigger budgets with longer production schedules.. But my entire Animation career has been in TV production. So that equation doesn’t seem to materialize very often.. More money to make cartoons, and more time to create them? That would be a nice improvement..

In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I don’t really have Animation heroes, per se.. I had Kaj Pindal as my Animation History teacher at Sheridan. He’s a bit of a local legend here, I suppose.. And I enjoyed working alongside Jim Smith when he came up to Red Rover studio, during production on ‘The RIPPING FRIENDS’. Looking over his shoulder as he storyboarded, proved insightful.. Most of my artistic heroes come out of the Comic-Book field, I guess? I got to meet Mark Schultz, when we did ‘CADILLACS & DINOSAURS’.. Later on, I got to know Dave Stevens pretty good.. He’s famous for creating ‘The ROCKETEER’. But he actually started out as an Animation Layout guy; working at both Filmation and Hanna-Barbera. So, we were always able to discuss Animation on that level.. Boy, I really miss that guy!

Describe a tough situation you had in life.
I’m currently seperating from my wife.. Does that qualify? hah   In the past 10 years, I  also spent a good deal of time caring for my aging parents.. That too, posed it’s share of challenges.  But for the most part, I’ve been very fortunate in my life. For which, I’m very thankful!

Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
I’ve been talking it up for years, ad nauseum.. But one day, I AM going to publish my own comic-book project! I self-published a sketchbook in 2003, and loved the entire process.. Taking control of one’s own artistic destiny, can be a tremendously satisfying endeavour..  I heartily recommend it!

Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
As a younger man, I used to take stairs (both up-AND-down) two steps at-a-time.. I’m a short, stocky guy. with very strong legs. I inherited my Dad’s physique, I guess. Dunno, if I’d try it now though. I’m a lot older. Perhaps, wiser?.. Some, would argue that point. So, I guess the Jury is still out on that one!

Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Draw, draw, draw.. And draw some more.. I’ve taught a little bit. And always tell my students that drawing is the very foundation of the Animation (or Comic-Book) business. Storytelling too, certainly. But without learning fundamental drawing skills, you’ve really crippled yourself from the very start.  After that, Humility is a pretty good tool to have, too!.. When you stop learning in Life, you get old very quickly. So make a point of learning something new each and every day!

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Dan Fraga

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Dan Fraga. I’m the director of The Ricky Gervais Show.

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
There have been a few. Comicbook artist, Storyboard artist, Set Designer, Visual Effects Supervisor, Second unit director. Burger King.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
One of my favorites was being part of the launch of Image comics in 1992. Designing the sets for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2008 was a hoot as you might imagine. I’m really proud of the work my crew and I did for The Ricky Gervais Show Season 3.

 

How did you become interested in animation?
When I was a kid, my parents took us to this discount store. In it I found this Fisher Price Movie Viewer  and it came with a cartridge for Disney’s Lonesome Ghosts.  I’d seen the cartoon before, but I never had the ability to step through it one frame at a time like you can now with a dvd player of quicktime clip. This was the late 70’s early 80’s, so for me to see that animation was 24 drawings making up a second of movement was like learning the secret to the greatest magic trick. Of course afterwards I made flipbooks and what-not. I eventually discovered comics and took detour from animation. After working as a storyboard artist in feature films, I started noticing the changes and compromises being made from board to final shot and it was kind of a bummer. When I started working on The Hard Times of RJ Berger for MTV, it was the first time that I got to see what I boarded translated near perfectly to final shot. It’s intoxicating. I felt that magical feeling that I once got as a kid with that toy. I love all things animation and made it my mission to learn all that I could about the different kinds that are out there and the histories behind the masterpieces we all love.

 

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from North East Bay Area by San Francisco. I got into the animation business through working on The Hard Times of RJ Berger. I was storyboarding the show and providing on camera artwork for the main character who was an aspiring comicbook artist. The creators of the show asked if I could Continue…

Daphne Hong

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Daphne Hong – I’m currently Animator and illustrator in Paris. I work for animation features, TV series, video games and edition.

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Nothing crazy, I always had jobs in the artistic industries.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
To be proud is not the right word, but I have for of all my projects a special feeling because I learned a lot each time and my dream to be a part of animation industry became more and more true. My most personnal work is a book I illustrated, which was released in March 2012. Being a author is also very rewarding.

 

How did you become interested in animation?
It started with children’s books, TV series and animation features. I drew very early in my childhood and did it everywhere on anything (for example, the walls of my parents apartment), I loved to draw princes and princesses, fairy tales impressed me very much. I also liked make Continue…