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…

David Stephan

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is David Stephan and I am currently a story artist for live action and animation. My real passion is writing and trying to get my own projects made. I started B Positive Fims with another writer/artist (after our blood type) We are working with producer Max Howard on a film project and have interest from the studios on a horror film.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Maybe not crazy but I washed dishes, pumped gas, worked construction just get by through college. Once I got started in the film business I haven’t had to look outside for work but the last couple of years have tempted me to seek other opportunities.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I am proud of my career at Disney. I was lucky enough to be part of Disney Feature Animation and the 14 year arc from Black Cauldron through Lion King.  I also was part of Sam Raimi’s first Spiderman. It was such an unknown. I credit that film’s success with the glut of super hero movies today. But I would have to say story boarding “Simple Plan” is my most rewarding. It was my first live action film and learned so much about film making.
How did you become interested in animation?
I kinda fell into it. I was graduating from highschool and I really wanted to be a painter and go to the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. My highschoolart teacher Ms Venebles was very encouraging me to go into art as a career. Coming from a working class family I was going against the grain. My Dad wanted me to get a “trade”.  On my way to OCA I stopped at Sheridan College outside Toronto to interview with the Illustration faculty but they were unavailable but the Animation course director agreed to see me. Knowing nothing about animation, he showed me a clip of student samples. I was blown away by the level of animation. I was hooked. I can make my drawing come alive. I never made it to OCA. I registered that day in the Sheridan College Classical Animation program. At the time it was a little know program, now Sherdian College Animation and its graduates are know all around the world equal to Cal Arts program.

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I am originally from London Ontario Canada. My goal from the beginning was to go and work at Disney in California. At the time in the early 80’s it was impossible to get a green card and almost impossible to get into Disney Feature. It didn’t stop my determination. My first job was with Steven Lisberger in Boston which was relocating to Venice California. It was a show for NBC called Animal Oymplics. It was my first professional experience as animators Bill Koyers assistant. I was thrilled. After that show ended I Continue…

Liron Peer

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Liron Peer (sounds like “Lee-Ron Pair”) and my current occupation is being a Freelance Animator / Character Designer / Illustrator.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I don’t think I had one, animation was something I knew I would be studying and working in after high school (and the army – that’s what all the people in Israel have to do at the age of 18 – men and women, I’m a women btw). The only 2 jobs I had before animation school where doing tech support in the army and then Quality Assurance for a software. So you could say I came from the computer world, though I always knew I’d be creating Art for a living.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I didn’t get the chance yet to be a part of many projects (I’m only at the beginning of my career), so I guess I can say that I’m most proud of my own “Lady Ice” project and my “The Final Stand” project.

How did you become interested in animation?
As far as I remember I always drew, but frankly not professionally until I was about 18! As for animation, well – ever since I saw Disney’s the Little Mermaid when I was 9 years old I fall in love with Disney movies. As I got older I wanted to be an actor and even majored in Acting during my high school years. But I also Continue…

Ed Bell

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Ed Bell. I’m an animation artist and currently an affiliate director with Special Agent Animation, in the Bay Area. I’m building a short film at the moment. I also teach character design and mentor aspiring animation artists at CCA. Recently, I’ve started painting, and developing a gallery show.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
None. My first real job was in animation.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
“ Bring Me The Head Of Charlie Brown” was a short my classmate Jim Reardon made, that we took around to festivals with Spike & Mike. Awesome experience. Then there was the “Ed” trilogy by Richard Moore, also made at Cal Arts. I think of “Roger Rabbit” and “The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse” from the 80’s. But at Collosal Pictures, “The Big City” for Liquid Television because it was my first short as a director, and “King Tut,” with the great John Stevenson and Jerry Juehl with Quincy Jones helping us pitch, those are cherished memories, (even if Tut never made it to the screen). As a Warner Cartoons fan I’m amazed I got to contribute to some Warner Brothers cartoon shorts with animators I learned a great from.

How did you become interested in animation?
I’m a child of the “golden age” of T.V. or whatever, and grew up glued to the TV set, or glued to movie screens whenever and wherever I could. Every aspect of entertainment seemed to mesmerize me, nearly as much as it entertained me! Animation’s hand-crafted nature, and animation’s rich sense of Continue…

Jorge Vigara

What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Jorge Vigara and I´m working as senior character animator at Sony Pictures.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Definitely when I worked as clown and social entertainer. I did it when a I was a young student for getting some money and I remember that I did so many crazy things as juggling or fire spitting. There was nice, and I learnt then so many stuff that I can use now on my current job.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I’m very proud of working in Despicable Me , 3 years ago, when I did some of the most memorial shots of the show as the ” It´s so fluffy!!” one. Never though that shot could become so famous.  Also, to work in “Alma”, the short film directed by Rodrigo Blaas ( currently director in Dreamworks ) . It was my very first project working very closely to high talented and old school artists. Such and amazing project that I’ve like a treasure in my memories… simply wonderful.
How did you become interested in animation?
I always been interested in animation. Since I was a child I’ve been drawing and loving movies, so it’s always been Continue…

Michael Jantze

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Michael Jantze, owner of Jantze Studios and professor at SCAD. Prior jobs include: Newspaper journalist. Syndicated cartoonist. Visual Effects Art Director at ILM.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Co-directed Joe Murray’s “Frog in a Suit” and directed the animation for a dream sequence in Lawrence Kasdan’s 2012 feature “Darling Companion”.

How did you become interested in animation?
I was born. I was interested in animation.

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
Born in New York, grew up in Illinois, I’ve been in California on and off since 1981 (film school at Cal State Northridge). I got out of college, applied to Disney the week “Black Cauldron” came out. So I went into documentary filmmaking the following week. That lead to art directing, that led to Continue…