Frank Forte

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What is your name and your current occupation?
I’m a storyboard artist at Bento Box on Bob’s Burgers.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Ha! I was a Tatto Artist, A line cook at a number of restaurants, and I got paid to watch movie screenings.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
It was really fun to work on Despicable Me 2 doing storyboards. I really got to flex my creativity and have fun. the director let me add gags and take the action in crazy directions just to see what I would come up with. LEGO:Star Wars The Empire Strikes Out (at Threshold Animation) was really great because I got to finally work on a Star wars project AND we got to make fun of it.

How did you become interested in animation?
I grew up on classic Warner Brothers and Tex Avery shorts. They used to show those on TV. Then in college I would Continue…

Pablo Navarro

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Pablo Navarro; I’m an Animation Director and Senior Character Animator.  Right now I’m animating for the movie titled “The Congress”, the next project from Ari Foldman, director of Waltz with Bashir.  Besides that I teach animation as a part time job, and I do tutoring to students here in Barcelona and other cities of Spain.  Also I give lectures and conferences about animation and acting around the globe.

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Well, I work since I’m 8 years old, I used to work on orange and watermelon plantations helping loading the trucks, after that I was a waiter for many years in the family restaurant……although I am a formerly electro-mechanic technician, I never worked as such, I jump into animation right after finishing my studies.I wasn’t fond of those other activities to continue with them 😉  Don’t know if they’re crazy enough jobs…..but surely they don’t have anything to do with animation.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
The project I am most proud it is a movie called Nocturna. That is my favorite project so far.  I really enjoy working with the same Directors of that movie (Adria Garcia and Victor Maldonado plus Alfredo Torres), they create a studio called Headless and I collaborate with them often for new projects and development.

How did you become interested in animation?
Well, I think that all my life I was interested in animation, but when you’re a kid it is difficult to find out, or to put it into words like say “I want to be an animator!!”  My mother found out that the only way to keep me quiet and not doing too much trouble around the house was giving me a paper and a pencil and I could Continue…

Mike Blum

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Mike Blum and I am a director, producer, writer and owner of two boutique production companies, Pipsqueak Films and Blumayan Films. Pipsqueak Films works on animated content of all sorts and Blumayan Films produces live action features.

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I waited tables while being a ski bum after college. I couldn’t ski more than 5 feet without falling at the start of the season but was cruising black diamonds by the end. Never did learn to wait tables all that well…And when I was in junior high and high school I worked at this crazy nut, candy, coffee store called The Head Nut. Come to think of it, slinging nuts and candy is a lot like turning the crank in production — head down and scoop away!

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
My favorite projects are the ones I’ve had the biggest hand in seeing through creatively. So, even though I worked on nearly a dozen features with world class artists and technical people while at Disney Feature Animation, none gave me the same satisfaction as working on my first shorts, Oil & Vinegar and The Zit.  And while a lot of my colleagues gave me funny looks when I told them I was leaving Disney to direct a series about a pair of talking testicles, The Adventures of Baxter & McGuire (for Comedy Central), got me nominated for an Emmy and took me to great festivals like Sundance and Annecy. And I worked with the amazing showrunners Michael Weithorn and Nick Bakay.  But my favorite project so far is the one I just completed, Samurai! Daycare. It’s a 10 part, Flash animated web series I did for the new YouTube channel, Shut Up! Cartoons. It’s the first property I sold that made it all the way to series and it was great fun to showrun my own creation.

 

How did you become interested in animation?
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’ll answer these 2 questions together…. I was a huge fan of Bugs Bunny growing up. I know, I know I have such unusual tastes. But I really never had any classic artistic skills and grew up so far removed from “the industry” in the Philadelphia ‘burbs, it never occurred to me in at least a conscious way that it could be a career. I did, however, Continue…

Leo Antolini

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Leo Antolini, and I´m currently an illustrator and character designer.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I´ve been very lucky that I went straight to working in animation after I graduated (although it took a while) I actually got one of my first illustration gigs while applying for a telemarketer job: the company found out I was an artist and they asked me to do some character design proposals for their new website.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I´ve done a lot of projects for Leapfrog, and since I love what they do (educational children´s books and toys), I´ve been proud of pretty much everything I´ve done for them, but I´d single out Sing Along Read-Along (a really fun, cool project) and the “If I Were…” book, which was the first time I got to do an entire book by myself. As far as animation goes, I was super proud of all the work I did (character designs, storyboarding and directing!) on the “Brock O´Lee” shorts for PepperMelon studios: it was a big learning experience to wear all those hats, and the final product turned out awesome, I thought.

 

How did you become interested in animation?
I´ve been obsessed with cartoons since I can remember. I watched everything (and I mean everything) I could all throughout my childhood, from toy-centric 80´s tv shows and Disney movies to weird, artsy European animation. I loved to draw and create my own characters. When I got to the age where people usually stop caring about cartoons and move on to other interests, I pretty much just kept going. I was really into Continue…

Animation Mentor podcast interview with Enrico Casarosa

Here’s a  great little interview on Animation Mentor podcast interview with Enrico Casarosa who directed La Luna for Pixar back in 2011. Check it out below.

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…