James Wood

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is James Wood.  I am currently employed as a freelance animator under contract with a major Canadian animation studio creating character animation for a tv show.


What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
One summer I got a job working in a hospital as a photographer’s assistant.  One of the duties required me to take photos in the operating room during surgeries – usually done on Fridays.  On the day when I was “indoctrinated” into that task, I was assured the surgeon was doing “just a little operation on someone’s hand.  It shouldn’t be very extensive” he said.  Little did I know, they were doing an elbow reconstruction.  When I walked in, I thought the patient was lying on their stomach with their elbow bent out behind them.  Then I realized the patient was lying on his back, and their elbow was opened up and bent (urp) the wrong way.  I didn’t hurl, but I was mighty shaky – not a good state for taking pictures.  Every Friday for the rest of the summer… I hid out in the darkroom!

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I was fortunate enough to work with the highly-skilled, very clever, fun, very hard-working people at Weta Workshop animating Dragon and other animals on the tv show “Jane and the Dragon”.  It meant I got to spend a year in New Zealand which was pretty interesting.  The work was quite demanding, but I think the end product was pretty darn good.  Also, in the summer of 2012 I did a  short for an animation contest.  We were given sound tracks and six weeks to animate whatever we wanted.  Just a few weeks before the contest I’d finished programming an autorigger, so I whipped up a character model, rigged it, modeled and rigged props and created a location, animated like crazy, added sound effects to the audio and posted the thing about two and a half weeks after starting it.  Sure the model is crude, and the animation is far from wonderful, and even though I didn’t win the contest (no comment) I feel very proud of my work.  The autorigger worked great (it took about an hour to fully rig the character), the animation is serviceable, and the whole thing tells more story than what was conveyed by the audio.  I realized how do-able it was to create a reasonably good short and it was great to hear how well it was received.  I’m eager to do more.

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business? 
I’m from London, Ontario in Canada.  When I was a kid, I was always drawing and making Continue reading