Chris Burns

 

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Chris Burns, Owner and Lead Animator of EXIT 73 STUDIOS (exit73studios.com)

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
The craziest job I ever had, had to be a carpenter/roofer. I worked with a bunch of super manly, blue collar dudes, who’s life mission was to win concert tickets on the radio, and win pick 4 lotto. The money was good, and you couldn’t beat the hours, but I knew pretty early on, that I wanted to pursue a career in art.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
In 2007, when I was lead animator at AUGENBLICK STUDIOS, there was a stint of 3 projects that completely blew my mind. It started with the web series called GOLDEN AGE, which was a documentary style narrative of obscure cartoon characters from different time periods. From there we went on to animate a 4 minute cartoon for the feature film THE TEN, in a segment called THE LYING RHINO. Right after that we started animating the first episode of SUPERJAIL! It was really lightning in a bottle for the whole studio, we had a super tight team of very talented artist, pumping on all cylinders… It actually paved the way for the studio to go all the way to the SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL. THE TEN, and all the webisodes of GOLDEN AGE where proudly featured there. It was very surreal, as an animator, going into theaters and seeing your work so big with an audience.

 

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m originally from eastern Long Island, which made my choice to go to SVA very easy, being it was so close. I interned at a bunch of Animation studios, B3, NOODLE SOUP, WORLD LEADERS, and 4KIDS ENTERTAINMENT. NOODLE SOUP, provided me with Continue…

Aaron McGriff

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Aaron McGriff and I am a Partner and Lead Animator at Walsh Family Media, a small independent animation studio in the heart of NYC doing some big things.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation? 
Nothing too crazy, I guess. I used to bag groceries as a kid, worked the snack bar at a family fun center, worked as a teacher’s aide for elementary art school classes, and worked as an RA in the dorms during college.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of? 
We are currently in production of 2 full length CG feature films Called The Cool Beans:We Need a Hit and The Cool Beans: Humbucket Caper. It has been an amazing experience getting to work on independent features, despite the natural ups and downs that come from trying to produce a high quality project with limited funding. The talent and dedication of our small team creates the kind of work environment most people only dream of. I’ve had the opportunity to wear many hats while at Walsh Family Media and have gotten to do everything from animation to voice-over work. I’m proud of how far we’ve come and I can’t wait for the world to be able to enjoy the content we’ve crafted meticulously with love for so many years. I know the industry will be blown away while simultaneously scratching their heads, trying to figure out how we produced such innovative content at such a high level on such a small budget.

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business? 
My father is a proud 30 year US Army Veteran, and as such, I grew up all over the world. I was born in Panama and lived in probably 12 or more places before I ended up in New York City. So…yeah, Texas, Pennsylvania, Georgia, New Jersey, Washington, Virginia, Korea, Take your pick. I wanted to be an animator for as long as I can remember. I always used to draw characters in elementary school. My family visited Disney World in Orlando when I was eight, and we visited the animation studio there. They were working on Continue…

Ryan Ortgiesen


What is your name and your current occupation? 
My name is Ryan Ortgiesen. I’m a freelance animator and director in Brooklyn, NY. Thank you for this opportunity, Mike.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation? 
I’m not sure “crazier” is the right word. Hmmm, maybe zanier. I’ve had a lot of terrible jobs including foundation repair, digging trenches and evicting people from their homes. I’d say the worst was when I worked on this vineyard in France. I chopped wood for six hours a day, put up scaffolding on a five story castle with no safety equipment and was eventually fired. Longest week of my life. It was just like that one episode of The Simpsons.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Thus far, I’ve mostly worked for clients doing smaller project and some work for Cartoon Network. My proudest work is my own personal projects because I feel most passionately about the ideas and look. Passion will always spawn greatness within yourself.

How did you become interested in animation?
Being a product of the late 80’s-early 90’s, I was inundated with a barrage of fantastically crappy cartoons, particularly “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and possibly a little “Jem” thrown in there (she was, after all, truly outrages). When I was around 4 years old, I would Continue…

Seth Kearsley

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What would you say has been your primary job in animation?
I’ve mostly been a Director in my career.  I was lucky enough to start Directing really young.  I was 23 when I got my first job as Producer/Director of Mummies Alive.  I’ve been fortunate enough to remain as a Director pretty steadily since then.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I mostly worked in construction with my Dad but I did work as the assistant to the ice cream maker at Swenson’s when I was 13.  That was an awesome job and I ate a lot of cheap ice cream.  Still, to this day, I make some pretty good ice cream.  I delivered pizzas for Domino’s for a while in college and worked the graveyard shift at a toy factory.

How did you become interested in animation?
In 9th grade, I was in an art class and the first assignment was just to do Continue…

Temple Mathews

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Temple Mathews, owner of Temple Mathews Prods. Inc. Currently a screenwriter and author.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Roofer, clerk, shoe salesman, film producer.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I wrote “RETURN TO NEVERLAND” an animated feature for Disney that did over 100 million worldwide. Also “THE LITTLE MERMAID II”.  My YA trilogy, “THE NEW KID,” “THE RISING,” and “THE SWORD OF ARMAGEDDON” was published by Benbella Books and continues to sell.

How did you become interested in animation?
A friend called me up and said hey would you like to write for this show, and I did, and Continue…

Ron Doucet

What is your name and your current occupation?
Ron Doucet, Animation Director.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I harvested fish eggs for a couple summers when I was a teenager. Thousands of fish come in on a water-fed conveyor belt, you grab the females, slice open their bellies, remove the sack of eggs, slap them in a box, and repeat a million times. Not so much crazy… but incredibly boring.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
So far I have a few.  The very frist production I ever directed holds a special place in my heart because we had so much creative freedom, the series was Olliver’s Adventures, a little cartoon that aired on Canadian and Australian television from 2002-2006.  It was a lot of fun to produce, the crew turned out to be a well-oiled machine by the 3rd season, and we were creating our own stories and scenarios and having a blast doing it.  I made an independant short film back in 2005. Me and a few others got together for a few weeks to create it, it was fun and spontaneous, and even though it was brief and made with no budget, it was pure fun.  Another cool one was the MSTRKRFT music video for the track ‘Work On You’ I sort of played the roll of Producer and FX Supervisor for it. Again, the enjoyment came from plenty of creative freedom, from developing a story, designing characters, to animating the whole thing. We were pressed for time (as always), but had lots of laughs creating it. The only direction the client gave us was “Make it feel like Astroboy, transformers and Akira.” — we were in heaven.

How did you become interested in animation? 
My parents say I was drawing since the age of 2. But as far back as I can remember I was always drawing the cartoons that I’d see on TV. I had a chalkboard when I was 8 years old, and I’d draw scenes as Continue…