What is your name and your current occupation?
Craig Bartlett, creator and exec producer, Dinosaur Train, PBS Kids.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Matt Groening used to say that you need to do 10 years of awful jobs before you get to the good ones. I washed dishes, washed cars in the Northwest in winter, waited tables, worked in a pea cannery – that one was the worst. It was hot, steamy, deafeningly loud. And we were canning peas! Who eats canned peas?
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I worked for Bob Rogers on several special-venue films, for worlds fairs – I made two short 360-degree films, one for Basque Spain and one for a Korean worlds fair that shot in seven locations around the world. We also did permanent installations like Mystery Lodge at Knott’s Berry Farm, and the Shuttle Launch Experience at the Kennedy Space Center for NASA. Those jobs were always fun because they got me out of town and out of our little entertainment bubble. Also I got to get intensely into subjects I was interested in, like the space program and Northwest Indian art.
How did you become interested in animation?
I grew up wanting to be an artist, so I went to art school in Portland for a traditional art education. But it seemed to me that the whole fine art world was too serious. Then I saw the “Tournee of Animation” that played in our art museum’s theater, and the short films I saw there seemed to combine fine art with storytelling, and they were just weirder and funnier than the stuff I was studying. So….. (more…)