Benson Shum

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What is your name and your current occupation? 
Benson Shum. Animator at Walt Disney Animation Studios.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation? 

Mmm, I don’t know if its crazy haha, but I was a sweeper at the local fair during the summer, griller/cook at a restaurant and burrito maker 🙂

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of? 

Some of my favourite projects are most recently Frozen and Wreck-it Ralph.  I feel very fortunate to be able to work on such compelling stories and characters.  Hotel T and the Smurfs were also something I loved working on.  oh, and Harry Potter and the goblet of fire, because I’m such a fan of the books!

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I was born and raised in Vancouver, BC.  When I was starting to do research on Animation, Capliano College just opened up a Commerical Animation program in North Vancouver.  I remember seeing Continue…

Patrick Stannard


What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Patrick Stannard, though most people refer to me as “the Kilted Animator” or “that guy in the Kilt”. I currently work at Powerhouse Animation as an Animator.

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Ho boy, I’ve worked some pretty nasty jobs before getting into my art career. My favorite one to tell people about is when I worked as a raisin dumper. To your quirked eyebrow and inquisitive expression I say, a raisin dumper is exactly that, someone who dumps raisins, frozen blocks of raisins, eight hours a day. I performed this simple task at a grain factory in Michigan that supplied grain and fruits for cereal companies to box and ship. Extra Extra Raisin Bran was the worst, the conveyor belt never stopped moving, and you’d come home smelling like boxes, and boxes, of raisins. The smell never really washes out.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
There’s so many. I’ve been lucky enough to have a career of varied experiences. Epic Mickey 2 and Stoic Studios: The Banner Saga are my two biggest go to projects currently. Both have taught me a lot about how to animate well and efficiently, as well as allowed me to really explore and have fun. There is of course my internship at Disney when I was a Junior in college, I can say that I learned more in that year than I have any other in my life, and I’ll always cherish that summer as one of my best. The job I’ve been proudest to work on however has got to be a little video game project titled, Downfall Aftermath.  If you’ll permit me to reminisce, Downfall Aftermath was a glorious experiment. At a community college in Kalamazoo, we put together a 6 man team to pitch an idea for a new video game production class. To prove it’s worth we were tasked with producing a working video game in 13 weeks, from scratch. The final product wasn’t what you would call a AAA title, nor even a B or C game, but it had functioning levels, a multiplayer server, working character models, animations, items, and above all we finished it on time. It made the local papers and was played at the school for a couple years beyond that. It helped spur the animation and game courses in my home town. It was a risk when I hopped onto the project, and it required more sleepless nights than I prefer to remember, but it was a rewarding adventure and opportunity to explore my passion.

 

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from Kalamazoo Michigan, and ever since I was reprimanded at a parent teacher conference for drawing on my homework, I’ve known that art was the career for me. Animation specifically Continue…

Darren Kiner

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Darren Kiner – CGI Lighter / Compositor / Supervisor.

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Optical Effects for a surf film, before moving to LA. I also worked my way through college as a busboy. Sorry, not very crazy.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Aladdin, Iron Giant, Fantasia 2000, Thirteen Days, Charlie Wilson’s War (the last two being somewhat historically relevant).

 

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
Escondido, CA – UCSD Film School – Lucky to Continue…

Cedric Hohnstadt

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Cedric Hohnstadt. I own an illustration studio where I specialize in character design.

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I’ve driven school bus, worked in a canning factory, and even done medical studies. Fortunately I’ve been able to make a living as an artist now for about fifteen years.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I’ve done advertising concept work for brands like Coca-Cola and Walmart; designed toys for Hasbro and Disney; designed characters for VeggieTales; and supervised the animation of Mr. Potato Head for the Hasbro website. I also illustrated a Gospel tract with over five million copies in print. You can read it at www.freecartoontract.com.  Recently I launched a Kickstarter called the Pose Drawing Sparkbook. It’s a tool to help artists put more life into their drawings and I’m getting a lot of great feedback on it. By the third day of the campaign it was featured in Kickstarter’s “Popular this week” section under the “Publishing” category and it received over 800 “likes” on Tumblr. Your readers can check it out here: http://kck.st/12K2otL

 

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m a life-long Minnesotan so all of my animation-related work has been done from my home studio. In 2000 I attended Continue…

Sierra Lewis

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What is your name and your current occupation? 
My name is Sierra Lewis and I am currently an Art Director at Renegade Animation.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation? 
 When I graduated from LCAD in 2009 it was right in the middle of the recession. The area where my family and I lived actually had a higher rate of unemployment than Los Angeles at that time. I couldn’t even get a job as a barista at a local coffee house unless I had one years experience working at Starbucks. In short, it was nearly impossible to secure even part time income.
I ended up having to look out of state for work. I have some considerable experience working with horses and doing various barn chores so I packed up my belongings and moved to Arizona working as a Wrangler on a dude ranch. This was a sprawling working cattle ranch that consisted of nearly 150 horses and around 200 head of Texas Longhorn cattle in the beautiful Sonoran desert.
I had a fantastic and unique opportunity to teach folks from all over the world how to ride horses and guided them through thousands of acres of surprisingly lush desert. I groomed, saddled, doctored and fed these horses while doing all my other chores and activities with guests six days a week, fourteen hours a day (in 111 degree heat). It was very hard work but even harder on the horses. After watching a third horse during the exceedingly harsh summer season die in agony from either a careless accident or (most likely heat or dehydration induced) colic, I quit and headed back to California.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of? 
My favorite project so far has got to be “Attack of the 50 Foot Hero” that I completed last summer (2012) under the mentorship of Eric Goldberg. From concept to completion we had 12 weeks to complete a three minute film. I got to collaborate with some very talented friends and colleagues. It was a great experience to have Mr. Goldberg as our mentor. He taught us some very good production management skills, but more importantly helped us to narrow our focus and become stronger storytellers in all facets of the film making process.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business? 
I’m originally from a little area in Los Angeles called Woodland Hills. I’ve lived in L.A. County for the majority of my life. I believe I got into the animation business first via working on Facebook Social Games. Through that job I was given Continue…