Pat Giles

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Pat Giles, and I am a Creative Director and co-founder (with Manny Galan) of Pat-Man Studios in New York City. We have several big Agency/Advertising clients. We currently run the creative assignments for several General Mills kids brands like Lucky Charms, TRIX, GoGurt and Honey Nut Cheerios for Saatchi & Saatchi. We partner with animation houses like Calabash and Laika, and cartoon gods like Sergio Aragones and others to make commercials, video games, short films, etc. We are also working on several series projects with Classic Media that aren’t announced yet, and we are in production on a project called “Captain Cornelius Cartoon’s Cartoon Lagoon” that will be out by the end of the year, whether it kills us or not.

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I worked in children’s clothing for many years (not wearing it to work, but designing it). I designed tons (literally) of licensed products for Disney, Lucasfilm, Marvel, DC and Warner Bros., among others. The oddest was the line of “Hunchback of Notre Dame” pajamas I designed. While I am not knocking the artistry behind that film, Quasimodo made for some very odd pajamas.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I’ve been extraordinarily lucky to work on a lot of awesome projects. Back in the day, I started out as a designer on “Disney’s Doug,” art directed the Disney Channel series “Stanley,” was the Design Supervisor on MTV’s “Daria,” and worked on several other series in various capacities. I started a comic book company called “Monkeysuit Press” with Chris McCulloch (aka Jackson Publick), Mike Foran, Miguel Martinez-Joffre and Prentis Rollins. That was really fun and liberating. Several years ago everyone thought I left “animation,” but taking an ad agency assignment only got me deeper into it, since all of my assignments were for these beloved American brands with animated characters like Lucky, the Trix Rabbit, Buzz, and Sonny the Cuckoo Bird. The craft applied to these commercials is magnificent. I get to work with animators, directors, CG artists, painters, composers, orchestras, engineers, voice actors, and a lot of live action/animation combos with great directors, actors and cinematographers. It’s been a blast.

 

How did you become interested in animation?
“At Conception,” hahaha…I was just hard wired for animation and Continue…

Jesse Soto

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What is your name and your current occupation? 
My name is Jesse Soto. Currently, I’m a Freelance Storyboard Artist/Animator. I was fortunate enough to intern for Disney Consumer Products as a Artist/Animation Intern for their Blue Sky Think Tank a few months ago.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
This isn’t crazy, but I taught a 9-year-old how to animate her first film for a School District Competition. The girl, Ariana, had a piece where a young girl uses friendship to clean the beaches, one helping hand at a time. I felt like a school teacher because her and her best friend were the voice talents and I had to do parent/teacher conferences to make sure she did her animation work. She had to go through a little crunch time for not doing her homework, and fell asleep during the final composite 10 P.M. the night before. She won 1st place and gained a bit of confidence for kicking butt.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I was very proud to be working on a secret development project during my time at Disney. Our group, the Blue Sky Think Tank was comprised of 7 talented individuals with their own points of view and completely different backgrounds (Artist/Animator/Social Media/Writer/Filmmaker/Marketing) and locking them in a room for 6 months. Our project involved a lot of awesome ideas coming from Anime, Old School Disney, LA Culture/Counterculture, and our favorite TV shows which we learned a great deal from. Over the course of a few months, we saw a simple concept grow into flushed out characters, a strong and meaningful story-line, and great artwork/animation. The creative impact made would not be possible without the guidance of the excellent and talented storytellers/artists that reside within Disney.  Another favorite was the Black Dynamite Pilot that was featured on Adult Swim. On my first day interning at Titmouse, I was thrown into clean-up animation and color along with a few other interns. The studio was in the final push to completion. Every animator was working tirelessly, often through the weekends. Great fun came in each scene where it had either some neck-breaking karate chop or possessed puppets whipping out their machine guns and Desert Eagles.  Dailies had a lot of funny shots and high level of violence that was being animated. Also, artists were open about sharing what they know, and tag-teamed the production work very well. The end result made everyone very proud of their work.

How did you become interested in animation?
As a youngin’, I grew up always interested in art and sketching cartoon characters. In middle school, I found out that my favorite TV shows, movies, and video games were Continue…

Kali Fontecchio

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Kali Fontecchio and I currently work at Walt Disney Animation as a designer.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Well nothing too crazy, my first job out of high school was actually as an art director on a cellphone massive multiplayer game. It was before anyone was doing that in the US so it didn’t really take off.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
My favorite projects have been here at Disney, but I’m not allowed to discuss them. Of the ones I can mention, probably The Looney Tunes Show, Yo! Gabba Gabba, Rick and Morty and various John K. projects. I’m proud of every opportunity I get, but whatever the most current project I’m on becomes my favorite.
How did you become interested in animation?
Watching Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny growing up inspired my love of cartoons, also Continue…

Jeff Wamester

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What is your name and your current occupation?

My name is Jeff Wamester, and currently I am the Lead Character Designer for Ultimate Spiderman at Film Roman. I also do a lot of freelance storyboards for various studios.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Before animation I was a freelancer doing projects for comics, gaming and movie studios. But before that I was a code monkey.  Mostly database design and data integration. Ya pretty dry stuff.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I would say the my favorite so far is the one I am now… Ultimate Spiderman.  Spiderman is a favorite of mine.  If my 12 year old self saw what I was doing now, he would probably faint from the excitement.
 How did you become interested in animation?
Always loved it… Looney Toons, Dungeons and Dragons, Thundercats and Silverhawks really solidified my Continue…

Tony Santo

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What is your name and your current occupation?

Tony Santo and I am a Freelance Storyboard Artist.

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
When I got out of college I cleaned apartments in Manhattan for a short time. It was actually fun work, getting got see some very cool apartments around town. I also did paste-up design, which is crazy in a sense of how tedious it was. For those who don’t remember life before computers, “paste-up design” was how magazines and newspapers were put together by hand, with columns of type, a t-square and several pinched neck nerves. I was also a bartender part time for a year.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I loved all the Disney films I worked on, like Mulan and Brother Bear. I also had some exciting and rewarding cycles as Art Director on “Madden NFL.” Recently I enjoyed working as storyboard artist for Dan Riba on the upcoming “Ben 10: Ominiverse.”

How did you become interested in animation?
I loved Fantasia and how the Disney designers interpreted the music so imaginatively. I really got into animation for the storytelling and development approach. Shows like “Batman: the Animated Series” gave me extra inspiration to break in.

 

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I am from Staten Island, New York. I had been drawing for years, and did freelance illustration fore a few years. It was a struggle to get work and to keep growing as an artist. Eventually Continue…

Narina Sokolova

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Narina Sokolova
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Hmm. Never really had a crazy job, worked as an art teacher in art school, if you can call dealing with 20 kids and make them draw crazy..
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
one of my very first animations jobs, Jonny Bravo(Hanna Barbera), was an awesome show! Rugrats (Klasky Gsupo) was a great one.My Gym partners is Monkey(Cartoon Network) . Most recently 1st season of the Looney tunes show was rally great gig, and turned out fantastic !..I mean i am really proud of most of projects i was on .. Got a chance to work with some incredibly talented people.
How did you become interested in animation?
Was always fascinated by animation. Just a magic seeing images come to life and tell a story through pictures… 🙂 And of course some animated films are such an amazing pieces of art ,It moves you in so many levels .  I always thought it is the future of visual arts, but now Continue…