Robb Pratt

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What is your name and your current occupation?
I’m Robb Pratt, story artist.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
For years I made stained glass windows in a little mom and pop shop in Studio City. There were actually some cool moments on that job. I got to meet Julian Lennon when I was installing some windows in his house! I’m a HUGE Beatles fan, so that was something that I’ll never forget! I also got to work for Erik Estrada, and Steven Adler, the drummer for Guns N Roses and future reality show star! What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of? I was very fortunate to be an animator for Walt Disney Feature Animation on every traditionally animated film AFTER “The Lion King”! I got to work directly with Bruce Smith, animating Kerchak in “Tarzan”, and John Pomeroy, animating to Michael J. Fox’s voice for “Atlantis”. After traditional animation faded out out Disney, I was able to work for Eric Goldberg on “Looney Tunes: Back In Action”. I actually got to animate Bugs Bunny saying his iconic “What’s up, doc?” line!

How did you become interested in animation?
Funny… speaking of Bugs Bunny, it was the Warner Bros. shorts that made me want to be an animator! I love the artform of shorts: get in, get a few laughs, then get out before you’ve warn out your welcome! I also was WAY into the Fliescher Popeye shorts. I just recently rediscovered them with Continue…

Steve Hoogendyk

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What is your name and your current occupation? 
My name is Steve Hoogendyk and my current occupation is Creative Director at Geeta Games. We are a small indie game studio working on our first animated adventure game “Lilly Looking Through.”

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
One summer, in my teens, I got a job as an usher at a local movie theater. I thought this would be a great way to break into film and work my way up to lead projectionist. I quickly learned that the job of projectionist was the most coveted of all job, and had at least a 3 years waiting list. My best memories are cleaning up vomit in a dark sold out theater, while the movie continued to play (I guess the show must go on). Ushering an understandingly frazzled older couple out of “Menace II Society” (they thought they were going to see “Denise the Menace”, which was actually playing next door). Seeing “Jurassic Park” (which I probably saw at least 10 times that summer). As the summer ended, I was pretty sure being an usher was NOT the best way to break into the movie business.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Walt Disney’s “Bolt”, It was my first animated feature film, and the animation team was amazing.  “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, as well as Animation Director, Pete Nash gave the animators incredible freedom to create highly stylized animation. This project was just a complete joy to work on.  “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”  I am a big fan of author C.S. Lewis , plus this was the first film I got to work on, so it holds a special place for me.  “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”  My wife and I got to live in London for a year. Plus, during the first part of the project, we worked at Leavesden Studios where they have most of the practical sets. During lunch, we would walk around and take in the wonderful sets. The craftsmanship put into the Hogwarts Castle miniature was breathtaking, and sitting in Dumbledore’s actual chair was kind of magical.

 

How did you become interested in animation?
I had always been interested in animation, acting, special effects, video games and computers. However, the summer I saw Jurassic Park, and then just a few years later Continue…

How Pixar creative genius John Lasseter became the next Walt Disney and built a $10 billion empire

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Business Insider has an article up about how Pixar creative genius John Lasseter became the next Walt Disney and built a $10 billion empire.

No studio can match the creativity, heart, and cleverness found in all Pixar films, and it seems those principles can be traced back to Lasseter

“You want the movies to touch people,” Lasseter said in an interview for Pixar’s 30th anniversary this year. “Make ’em funny, make ’em beautiful, make ’em scary, but in the end you want that heart of the movie to be so strong.”

Lasseter’s and Pixar’s success are linked. He cofounded the animation studio that has now made nearly $10 billion worldwide. He championed computer animation at a time when the technology was still quite infantile. He created and directed “Toy Story,” which started it all (more than 250 computer-animated films have been made since). He kept asking questions that resulted in better animation all around and better Pixar films.

Josh Sobel

What is your name and your current occupation?
Josh Sobel Owner at Josh Sobel Rigs + Freelance Character TD at Psyop

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Not too much crazy. Worked maintenance (painting walls, mostly) and was a cashier in a cafe briefly.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I’m the most proud of the animated Disney short, Feast. It was my first simulation project and also probably the most distinct and artistically-driven.

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
Until I was 12 I lived on Long Island and after that I went to high school in Fort Lauderdale. I fell into both art and technology while there and CG animation seemed Continue…

Ron Yavnieli

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Ron Yavnieli – Creator of “Gorillaville” currently airing on DreamworksTV.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I was a professional Horse’s Ass – Once as teenagers, my brother and I were hired to be part of a 2 man “Horse” costume at a birthday party. Y’know, where one guy is the front legs and head, and the other guy is the hind legs and back. Since I’m the younger brother, I had to be the ass.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Well I’m most proud of my current project – Gorillaville.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I grew up in Miami Fl. My first real job in animation was in 1997 at a Miami studio called Continue…

Eric Dapkewicz

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Eric Dapkewicz, and I am an Animation Film Editor. I just recently wrapped on the movie, “Puss In Boots” for DreamWorks Animation.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I worked in a parking garage at a Post Facility. That kind of sucked. But I got to know Mel Brooks this way.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I’ve been proud of a lot of different things I’ve worked on. In terms of animated movies, I’m most proud of “Lilo & Stitch” and “Puss In Boots”. I’ve made some independent movies and music I’m proud of as well.

 

How did you become interested in animation?
I’ve always loved animation since I was a kid. Watched all the Warner Brother Cartoon Classics and Disney Film Classics. I don’t think I’ve ever really Continue…