Gerry Mooney

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My current name is Gerry Mooney, and my occupation is Director of Motion Graphics for a litigation graphics firm in Westchester, New York.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I designed slot machines for a tiny outfit in Charlotte, NC, for a year. It was moderately interesting, in that there is some amazingly sophisticated graphic and animation work being done for slots and their related displays these days, but the downside is that the gambling industry is not that interesting. So it was fun to do the work, but what you were selling was not very challenging.
In between my magazine illustrating days and animation, I did web design for a few years. One temp job I got was with a pretty major NY ad agency where the entire web staff had walked out the day before, so they were desperate for freelancers to jump in and take up the slack. I worked there for a month and the odd thing was that since everyone had walked out, I never knew for that whole month who exactly I was supposed to report to. I handed in my work to a guy across the hall, but he wasn’t my superior or manager, he was just a guy who was still there.  I’ve always managed to make my living as an artist though. I worked in a framing shop after college, assisted Joe Simon in his home studio back years ago, and did layout and pasteup for a physics journal, “The Physical Review” at Brookhaven National Laboratory.  I spent most of my professional career as a magazine illustrator for pubs like Forbes, Parents, The New Republic, Cruising World, Medical Economics, The NY Daily News, a Consumer Reports magazine for kids called Zillions, and American Express, clients like that. One of my favorites was doing a regular humor feature for Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, called “Mooney’s Modules”. That ran for three years and was the first place the Gravity Poster was seen by a large audience.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Certainly that Asimov’s gig would be at the top of the list. I would submit a bunch of sketches, and I’d be surprised at some of the ideas they signed off on. I wondered sometimes if they actually got the jokes or if they just didn’t want to appear that they didn’t.
I completed an animated music video last year where I was given complete creative control. It was for Shawn Letts, an American musician who lives and works in Singapore. It was a dream job! I was just told, “Call us when it’s done”. I really felt free to explore imagery and effects that I could just play around with, without having to “sell” a client on the concepts. And then of course there’s my graphic novel, “Sister Mary Dracula”, which is currently being shopped around to publishers. It originated as a Flash animation that I did in 2001 and put online. It got accepted as an entry in the San Diego Comicon’s Independent Film Festival in 2004, which motivated me to expand it into a graphic novel that took me four years to complete.  These are all one-man projects, not strictly speaking things that I was “a part of”; I WAS the projects!

How did you become interested in animation?
I’ve always been interested in animation and dabbled as a kid with both clay and cel animation, but Continue reading