John Kafka

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What is your name and your current occupation?
John Kafka; Supervising Director, Action Dad TV Series at Toonzone Studios

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I worked on a seed corn farm in Wisconsin, which grew different varieties of corn for various locations around the world. The soil was engineered to match the soil of parts of Africa, South America, Russia…lots of places. I detasselled ears of corn, which involved cutting off cornsilks one at a time off thousands of cornstalks…blisteringly hot, lots of bugs, and cornstalk leaves are sharp-edged enough to be used as weapons. I also stood in the bottom of a grain silo as a conveyor belt fed thousands of pounds of corn kernels through a hole in the top, which poured down onto me. I directed the torrent with a big double-handled metal disc held over my head which I kept turning so that the entire silo was filled levelly. The trick was to step up onto the gradually rising pile of corn until the silo was full. Every ten minutes or so, somebody would look down into the silo to make sure I hadn’t been buried alive or choked on the dust. Hot, no air, the noise was deafening as the corn fell 44 feet at first… Worst. Job. EVER. Staying up all night animating is an absolute piece of cake by comparison.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I directed some of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, animated lots of pretty good commercials, animated on the Smurfs, produced music videos, directed a Disney Direct To DVD that did pretty well, co-directed a CG feature film out of Continue reading