Kevin O’Neil

What is your name and your current occupation?
Kevin O’Neil and currently a freelance special effects animator.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Being a bank courier, picking up bank checks from all the big banks in downtown Chicago, for Jet Courier services in Chicago, back in the 80’s. I worked at Midway and O’Hare airports in the middle of the night, 1 am to 5 am. Also before that, I taught guitar for 6 years, and played in a few bands in Chicago. I was a full time musician before going back to art school at age 28. So I don’t know if they were exactly crazy, just jobs.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
One of my favs was Iron Giant at Warner Feature, and Hercules and Mulan at Disney Feature. Working at Disney TV on The Tigger Movie was also a lot of fun, and working with Jun Falkenstein was a great experience. I was glad I got to work at Disney if even for a short time. Brad Bird at WB, John Musker and Ron Clements at Disney. Great people if you ask me. Proud to be a part of those films. The caliber of artists at these places is just great. Actually the caliber of artists at most of the studios is great, it’s just too bad a lot of the stuff we saw in the studios is art that never makes it to the screen.  I also worked at Warner’s Classics back in the 90’s as a character animator. We did a lot of commercials. I worked with Keith Baxter, Jeff Siergey, Spike Brandt & Tony Cervone. The place was fun and I got to draw Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. How could that not be great?  More recently I had a lot of fun on the Priest animated prologue for Genndy Tartakovsy. I did most of the effects on that except a couple of shots. It was fun because it wasn’t your normal efx, there was a lot of blood and guts and I got to blow things up. I finally saw an unedited clip of the whole thing online. I guess for the movie, it was tamed down.

How did you become interested in animation?
I guess just watching and growing up with the usual cartoons like everyone else. I leaned towards Warners. But I got into rather late, in my late 20’s. I was undecided in art school whether to pursue Continue…

Why Movie Special Effects Peaked In The ’90s

Here’s an interesting take on why movies don’t do as well as they did in the 90’s. I’m not entirely sure I agree with this statement but I like the theory. Personally I LIKE new films and the way they make you believe there really is a 20 foot green man or a giant dragon. No I’ve never seen one so I can’t compare it to my real life experiences but do I need to?