Igor-Alban Chevalier

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Igor-Alban Chevalier or “The Black Frog” which is the nickname most people use in the industry.  As for my occupation, depends… I am a creative tool box I guess… or as I like to call myself: a mercenary world builder. Sometimes Director, sometimes Animation Production Designer, most of the time VFX Art Director, Concept Artist or Storyboard Artist.  And in my free time I sculpt, write and draw graphic novels.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?Nothing crazy really, I just survived until I got to get the jobs I was looking for.  So, I struggled a bit but not by killing chickens in a nugget factory, or by being a caretaker at the morgue or by working on oil rigs in the middle of the ocean like some of my friends. But more by just doing way lamer versions of the job I do now… or by sleeping on good friends couches a lot.  I must say, that I would have wished having tried other things, but where I grew up wasn’t really the kind of place where one could be adventurous.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?Well, there is a big ongoing project called “Tusk” with Whisper Pictures. It’s a high profile 3D animated feature on which I am co-writer and Production Designer. We’ve been working on it for years now, developing it with my good friend and Director/VFX Supervisor Tim McGovern (Tron, award on Totall Recall). It is a bit of an adventure in itself and I’ve had a lot of creative freedom on it, which is great.  There’s also a gritty Sci-Fi muppet TV series I wrote and designed Called “Boom Spectrum Space Pilot”.  I directed the trailer for it and the production pulled the plug without real logic. This was a bit devastating since I really went hard into it, sleeping 4 hour per night for 7 months straight, preparing all the infrastructure for what would have been the following show.  It’s a shame, I am still convinced that this thing could have become cult. The good thing is that it was my first job at directing and it taught me I could actually do it. And not too badly too. I had a wonderful time on set with a very talented crew and we kind of found ourselves a new family if you will. I know that If I want to direct something else one day, I just have to call them and they will all jump on it again in a breeze. I’m considering calling them soon for a live action feature this time.

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I am from France Originally. Champagne. Except for the Boom Spectrum episode that took me back to Lille (North of France) for seven months 4 years ago, I didn’t really go back there in the past 20 years.  My background is 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…

Francis Glebas

What is your name and your current occupation?
I’m Francis Glebas and I am a storyboard artist and author. I’ve also been a director, vis dev artist and teacher.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Newspaper delivery. It got crazy with the dogs. I taught cut-out animation at a summer camp. I built models for a model building company, like architectural models and airplanes. It gets old when you’re on your 100th airplane. I also designed and painted
stage sets. I’ve probably painted more square footage than most background artists. After getting into the business I once ran a brainstorming session at Los Alamos Laboratories that was surreal.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Aladdin was a magical time, the studio was buzzing with excitement but we were still under the radar of the money people. I remember seeing the Whole New World that I storyboarded with crude drawings at the premiere and every department took it and
made it better. It was incredible. I also poured my heart into the ending of Pocahontas. Lion King and Ice Age 4 were also really great to work on. Space Chimps was really fun too. Sometimes it’s more about the people you work with. In pre-Pixar days, getting Ed Catmull’s TWEEN system to work at NYIT was exciting. It created automatic inbetweens and we used it on hundreds of commercials. Well, maybe we reached 100.
How did you become interested in animation?
To work out traumas from watching Continue…

Chuck Maiden

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Chuck Maiden—color designer on American Dad! at Fox Television Animation.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Crazy, huh? Well, I don’t know about crazy, but I’ve worked at a lamp factory, delivered Dreyer’s ice cream, worked at a 7-Eleven, delivered pizzas for a half of night, played in rock bands, colored comic books—I could go on, but you might fall asleep.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Well, definitely, this one, American Dad! and also King of the Hill, which I worked on for 12 years.

How did you become interested in animation?
When I was a kid, I watched Popeye, The Flintstones, Bugs Bunny, as well as a lot of others. There was one old cartoon, where it showed an artist’s hand drawing the character, which then came to life. It made me realize Continue…

Luis María Benítez

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What is your name and your current occupation? 
My name is Luis María Benítez and currently I work as a background artist and as a freelance illustrator.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I had the misfortune of working at a call center. I had moved to another city and I didn’t know how to get started. A real nightmare.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of? 
I’m relatively new in the business so I wouldn’t be able to say that yet.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business? 
I was born in Lobos, Argentina. I got into the animation business after I moved to Buenos Aires, the capital where after a while I recovered my dream of studying animation so I Continue…

Arthur Loftis

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Arthur Loftis, Background Design/Painter and Prop Design at Six Point Harness
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Axe murderer.  Next question.What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
My first job out of college was BG clean-up artist on The Goode Family.  It was a Mike Judge show on ABC that few people seem to remember, but it was genuinely funny and I learned a lot while I was there.  Way more than I did from the murdering.
How did you become interested in animation? 
Like a lot of guys my age, I grew up watching The Simpsons.  I think we all know someone who can seemingly recite any quote from the first nine seasons of that show from memory.  In my group of friends, I’m that guy.  Getting to actually work in.. Continue…