Brenda Chapman

What is your name and your current occupation?
Brenda Chapman – Director/writer Pixar Animation Studios, co-owner, director, writer, illustrator at Chapman Lima Productions.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Walking beans (walking through soy bean fields and cutting the weeds out), working in the kitchen of a retirement home (it’s horrifying what you find in coffee cups after breakfast!), stuffing envelopes for an insurance company (paper cuts!), working the service desk at Kmart (Blue Light Specials!) – ALL were crazy for OH so many different reasons.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
THE LITTLE MERMAID – my first job as a story artist, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST – trying to make Belle a stronger Disney heroine than the ones of the past, THE LION KING – taking the ‘B’ movie and working hard to make it an ‘A+’, all at Disney… PRINCE OF EGYPT – trying to create the first animated movie at DreamWorks – but then ANTZ jumped in before us – it was great putting together all the right people and creating a new studio… and BRAVE at Pixar – creating the first female main character heroines at that studio, completely inspired by my relationship with my daughter, my love of adventure, faerie tales and Scotland! – a true labor of love.

How did you become interested in animation?
I loved to draw all the time when I was a little girl. I watched Bugs Bunny and other Warner Bros. cartoons everyday after school, loved the old Disney films… When I realized Continue…

Thomas Starnes

What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Thomas, and at the moment I am teaching online classes for the Academy of Art University (AAU). I also do freelance illustration and animation (and by animation, I mean 2D animation, as in the old fashioned hand drawn type of animation. I am strictly a novice when it comes to 3D animation).  My specialty is animation layout (basically, I design/draw backgrounds) and most of my screen credits read “Background Layout Artist”.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I can’t really say I had any crazy jobs. I worked in a number of different restaurants. The craziest thing in that regard might have been the prank calls into the pizza restaurant. Typical example: “Hello, Luigi’s Pizza, may I take your order?” “Yes, is your oven running?”“Uhmmm…Yes” “Well, why don’t you go chase it?” (Actually there were far worse prank calls than this, but assume we are trying to maintain a G rating here).

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I never know how to answer this question, because I have thoroughly enjoyed so many of the projects I worked on and the great crews with which I had the honor and opportunity to work. Of all the films I have been involved with, Disney’s Mulan is probably Continue…