Friedl Jooste

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Friedl Jooste and I am currently a lead animator at Sunrise Productions.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I was a cashier at a toy shop for a day and then did data capturing for a power company, not the most fun I have ever had.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?I’ve worked on a couple films, especially the ones I got to work on in Canada was a great experience, but the projects I’m most proud of are the smaller ones where I got to have more of a creative roll, for instance Hooked, a short film I wrote and directed for Character Matters animation studios.  I’m also very proud to be animating on the third season of Jungle beat for Sunrise Productions. It is the first Jungle Beat season to be fully created in South Africa and they have managed to put together a very talented group of people. I cant wait for season three to be released it is looking beautiful and the stories are great!

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I am from Cape Town South Africa. I have wanted to be in the animation industry since I was about 10, Continue…

Justin Putney

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Justin Putney. I’m a Creative Technology Manager at Pearson and co-founder of Ajar Productions. I started as an animator, and gradually learned more and more programming in Flash. Then I started automating tasks in Flash, and I now spend much of my time building tools for animators and designers.

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
In college, I had part-time jobs painting houses and doing data entry at a hospital. After college, I started animating in my free time and was lucky enough to break into graphic design pretty quickly as a day job (which overlapped with animation fairly well).

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I really enjoyed building Facinator for Titmouse. Facinator allows Titmouse artists to rotate 2-D character heads as if they were 3-D and updates them on the stage. I also had a chance to build a production tool for The Venture Bros. (also with Titmouse), which was especially awesome because my wife and I have been fans of the show for years. It’s really neat to see what Titmouse is doing with those tools. I also love seeing what people have animated using SmartMouth, our automatic lipsyncing tool, as well as other extensions that I’ve developed.

How did you become interested in animation?
I drew constantly when I was younger. I finished college with a really broad Liberal Arts degree and didn’t really know what to do with myself. My wife suggested that Continue…

Todd Hampson

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What is your name and your current occupation? 
Todd Hampson, Founder/CAO of Timbuktoons, LLC, a 2D animation and IP/concept development company.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I grilled and/or burnt many steaks at a cafeteria style steakhouse in the 11th grade and delivered food to (and occasionally had food thrown at me by) elderly patients at a hospital during my first year of college. Good times.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Character Design room murals for 3 episodes of Extreme Makeover Home Edition (2 episodes will run the week of Christmas).Visual development and animation production on 9 DVD’s for Phil Vischer’s (Creator of Veggie Tales) latest DVD series “What’s In the Bible?”.  Action Comic Illustrations and Animation for a National Archives traveling exhibit.  Animated commercial spot for Myth Busters.  Production of Addy and Telly Award winning animated commercial series for an automotive company.

How did you become interested in animation?
I’ve always loved film, animation, story, etc. I saw Jungle Book and Pinocchio as a kid and it blew me away. I never realized I could be an animator, but loved character design and film. If anyone has Continue…

Robb Pratt


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.