Paul Griffin


What is your name and your current occupation?
Hi, I’m Paul Griffin and I’m currently an animation director. When I was seven, I was planning on being a firefighting astronaut who flew jets on the weekends, but animation director is pretty close. There is an element of firefighting some days, I get to fly spaceships and puppeteer aliens to pilot them, but weekends I mostly just kick back around the house.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I used to work for this couple, one summer in Toronto, who ran a ceramics business out of their basement. They had a tortoise who would eat the leaves of the large marijuana plant growing in the back yard, then he would crash into the fence over and over as he stumbled around. That was entertaining. I guess the turtle was happy for the most part.  I also painted structural I-beams for a summer and had one job where we were working next to the Welland Canal and could look down the smoke stacks of ships as they were passing several hundred feet below us on the water. That’s how I developed my Kung Fu Grip©. Man, the crazy, dangerous stuff you’ll do for $9/hour…
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
That’s a tough one. My favorite project is usually the one I’m currently working on, but have to say some of the memorable ones have been, The Fly, Magnolia, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, King Kong, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, four Superbowl commercials and the cinematics for Star Wars: Bounty Hunter (VG). Working with the gang at Dr D Studios in Sydney on Happy Feet Two last year was really a lot of fun.

How did you become interested in animation?
Growing up in Ontario Canada, before the advent of cable TV, the town we lived in had one single broadcast TV channel from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Every Saturday at 5 p.m. my family would gather around the TV and we’d watch the Bugs Bunny Road Runner Hour and it was Continue…

Olga Stern

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Olga Stern. I mostly work as a visual development artist. So, sometimes I create visuals for feature films, sometimes for children’s television, and sometimes for illustrated magazines or children’s books.  I love constructing worlds in my mind and translating them into visual images.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Hmmm….I am not sure if I would describe the jobs as crazy. I worked in a sportswear store, I worked in a restaurant as a hostess, I worked a camp counselor teaching swimming, diving, synchronized swimming and arts and crafts, and I taught children art for a few years in a small private art studio during college.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I loved working on “Justin Time” with Guru Animation. I think that the message conveyed by the show is great for children, the visuals of the show directed by Brandon Scott and Keith Lee are stunning and I loved working with Brandon Scott, Harold Harris and the rest of the guru crew.

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I was originally born in Kaliningrad and then lived in Odessa Ukraine, (still part of the Soviet Union at the time) until I was about 8 years old. Our family then moved to Toronto Canada where I grew up. I was lucky enough to audition and get into Claude Watson School for the Arts located in North York Ontario. Claude Watson is an amazing school for young minds. It combines drama, jazz, mime, art, choir, orf, and musical theatre classes with a regular academic curriculum classes. The program spans from grade 4 until grade 13, in grade 9 you choose what subject of the arts you would like to specialize in. I chose art. I was not sure what I wanted to specialize in when I was Continue…

Lyndon Ruddy

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Lyndon Ruddy. I’m a story artist currently working at Paramount Animation in Hollywood.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
 Nothing too crazy, mostly art related jobs, although I did work at an industrial laundry mat when I was 15. The ones with the giant washers and dryers. If I fell in, that’d be it.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I loved storyboarding on Gnomeo and Juliet, The Legend of Tembo ( the project was shelved) Tinkbell and Planes Franchie movies.  The Pramount project I’m currently storyboarding on is going to blow people away. Its going to be really good.

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from Toronto Canada. I went to Sheridan College and studied classical animation. My first job was as a layout artist on Ewoks and Droids for Lucasfilm. It was Continue…

Brad Goodchild

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Brad Goodchild and I’m a Storyboard Artist currently looking for a new gig.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Some jobs before I got into Animation included a summer job as a “corn detassler”, pizza delivery guy and working on the line at Fiberglas Canada.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
My first job out of Sheridan College was working at H&B doing Saturday morning stuff as an assistant and then working on “Rock and Rule”. Then I guess being the director on “Pepper Ann” series and “Class of the Titans”

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from Sarnia, Ontario Canada and I guess drawing cartoons came natural to me so after high school I worked a year in construction and then Continue…

David Boudreau

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What is your name and your current occupation?
David Boudreau, Animator/designer for Other Ocean.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I scooped ice cream and did peoples laundry at a ice cream shop/Laundromat called the “Dairy Clean”… I’m not lying … it was actually called that. Needless to say I did not last at that job for very long.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Well, first off, I would have to say Kroyer films, “Ferngully, the Last Rainforest” in Toronto back in 1991. It was my first job and introduction to the business where I met and worked with some of the best animators, such as Darlie Brewster, Charlie Bonifacio and Chuck Gammage to name a few, as well as working for Bill and Sue Kroyer, who I eventually worked for in California, two years later. Years later, in 1998, I animated for Dreamworks on such films as “Prince of Egypt”, “Eldorado”, “Spirit” and finally “Sinbad”. I cherish my experience on all of these films and worked along side of some of the most talented artists. I’m very proud and humbled to have worked among them.

How did you become interested in animation?
To be quite honest, I was never really interested in animation as a career. It wasn’t until a family friend suggested I consider it because of my love for drawing (plus I had very little options that I was interested in).  As a kid, I dreamed of Continue…

James Caswell

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What is your name and your current occupation?
James Caswell. I’m a freelance storyboard artist in Toronto (the GTA.) I also occasionally instruct at Sheridan College in Oakville.

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I’m not sure if it is crazy but I worked at a Famous Players cinemas (3 screens) for 7 years. This is where I first experienced multiple viewings/study of the same movie. (pre VHS and DVD days.) However, our cinema was targeted with mid 70’s action movies –Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, The Devil’s Rain and lots of early kung fu- Five Fingers of Death. Tarantino territory. I did get passes to all of the chains other theatres, so I also saw the other classics of the time as well. And I learned to make great popcorn.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I like working on different styles of projects with different directors. I like action comedy but these days, it is mostly pre school work. In the early ‘90s, I worked on Project Geeker. It was a show on CBS created by Doug TenNapel. I loved the mix of action, science fiction and goofy comedy. It was really fun to board and I was sorry when it ended. I also really enjoyed working with Brad Goodchild on Pepper Ann. Surprisingly, on a recent trip to China, it was the show in my resume the audience most responded to the most. The Disney machine exposes the world to different products and one never knows which will resonate.

 

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
Born in the wilds of northern Ontario, I learned to draw from a mix of Marvel comics (Jack Kirby) and MAD magazine (Jack Davis.) After I moved to southern Ontario, I studied briefly at Sheridan College in a comics program they had in the late ‘70s, then graduated in advertising illustration at the Ontario College of Art (now OCADU.) Asked by a prof what I was going to do after graduation, I replied: Continue…