John K. Lei

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Hey there, my name is John K. Lei. I am an animation director and artist. I recently finished up Assistant Directing on Johnny Test, season 5. Currently I am freelancing design and development, and working on my website and blog.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Well, I worked as a graphic designer for a small company in Toronto. Of course, there were the long hours (my first day there was 15 hours) and crazy expectations (I had 3 days to conceive, create and put together all the art and signage for a fashion show). However, the craziest thing about that job were the unrelated skills I developed (fixing computers and photocopiers, painting the office, being the delivery boy and my favourite – fixing the phones). I’m surprised I got any of the design work done.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I really like funny, zany shows like Johnny Test because our crew can have lots of fun. Also, working on features like Curious George is nice because we can afford time to create some beautiful artwork. I also liked illustrating the black and white art for some of the Franklin the Turtle books – it’s a nice break away from the typical animation production.

How did you become interested in animation?
Naturally, I got into animation by watching a lot of cartoons on television when I was a young kid. Some of my favourite shows were The Flintstones, Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies, Battle of the Planets (Science Ninja Team Gatchaman) and Starblazers (Space Cruiser Yamato). I was intrigued by Continue…

A conversation with Dan Povenmire and Swampy Marsh

150609_CBOX_DanSwampyOffice.jpg.CROP.promo-mediumlargeSlate has a great interview up with both Dan and Swampy and if you loved the series like I do, you’ll enjoy this article.

As the final episode of Disney’s Phineas and Ferb airs this weekend I am proud to have been a small part of it and none of it would have been possible without Dan Povenmire and Swampy Marsh who were actually great bosses and did a fantastic job of bring the ‘funny’ out of everyone as we wrote and boarded the shows. I only worked on 7 of the episodes and did some revisions for the Phineas and Ferb Movie (which is how I got to be on the series full time) but everyone still let me feel like a part of the team which was a great feeling considering everyone else had two seasons under their belt. It also points to why it was so successful, because Dan and Swampy really were open to any sort of joke and they say as much in this interview.

 

From the site:

Povenmire: The reason we wanted to do several stories at once is Rocky & Bullwinkle, because that was what we grew up with. But they did it as an anthology, where they’d check in on one story and come back. The formula really came from Snuffleupagus onSesame Street, and how Big Bird had this big, furry, mastodon-type character that only he would see, and then he would, like, go to try to find other people to get them to bring them back and show them the Snuffleupagus, and then the Snuffleupagus would always …

You can read the entire article here.

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…

Eddie Soriano

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Eddie Soriano Supervising Director at Big Bad Boo Studios in Vancouver, Canada
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Being a Draftsman in an Engineering firm that pays not even $6 bucks a day. Crazy, but this happened not in America, but back in the Philippines where I came from more than 20 years ago.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Projects from Nickelodeon: Angry Beavers and Catdog… I directed a few episodes.  Timing Director for Timon and Pumbaa, the TV series.  Atomic Betty, I directed a few episodes.

How did you become interested in animation?
It just happened by accident. I was working with a group of artists (painters) way back late 80’s. I saw them preparing Continue…

Jean Texier


What is your name and your current occupation?

My name is Jean Texier. That’s French, so it’s not Jean as in JeanHarlow, but Jean as in Jean-Claude Van Dame. I’m living and working in France and  I’m what you call a story artist, or a story-boarder. I also occasionnally do designs and illustrations.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
A long time ago, I worked as a bell-boy in a big parisian hotel. The high-point of the job was a conversation I had in an elevator with Burt Lancaster and I also remember serving a hot chocolate to Kim Wilde at 2 in the morning. Prior to animation I worked in a Fish n’Chip shop in Dublin, Ireland, which was great fun.  One could write a sit-com on the goings-on over there.
How did you become interested in animation?
My dad used to take us to see old Disney flicks in the cinema, and  as early as I can remember I was being very selective about what artwork was good and what was less good. Also in France there’s a Continue…

Toonboom updates Harmony and Storyboard Pro to include subscription pricing

Harmony-subscription

Big news today in the world of animation as Toonboom has just released a new subscription model for both their Harmony suite AND their very popular Storyboard Pro software to reflect the new Cloud business model like Adobe and Autodesk have done in the last two years.

Now you can pay annually, monthly, or buy a perpetual license which is more or less buying it outright without a subscription.

For Harmony, $15 a month will get you the Essentials version which seems to be fairly robust except for the one Art layer limit and no 3d capabilities. The Advanced version gets you a number of other features including four Art layers as well as the ability to see 3d models placed in a scene by a Premium version but not access or edit them. Premium of course has all the bells and whistles that full blown Harmony has.
To see a list of different features of the various versions of Harmony available head over the the Toonboom site for more info.

Word is Toonboom will be phasing out Toonboom Studio and Toonboom Animate in October of this year.

Storyboard Pro subscription
As for Storyboard Pro, you now have the option to do a subscription which will cost you $38 per month. This in and of itself is a huge boon for storyboard artists seeking to use the software since the standalone version will set you back $950 and most freelancers can’t afford that cost easily.

 

To see more about Toonboom’s new Storyboard Pro pricing head over to their site.

Now if we could just get Wacom to do a Cloud model! 😉