Matt Novak

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Matt Novak. Children’s Book Author and Illustrator. (Occasional animator)

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Can’t really say I’ve had any “crazy” jobs. In high school and college I was a puppeteer and an actor. Our puppet troupe was called “Pegasus Players” and we performed at amusement parks, birthday parties, flea markets, farmers markets and anywhere else that would pay us a few bucks to make kids laugh. Also, acted on stage and in a nationally syndicated radio show called “Willow Crossing.” I played the part of a freckle faced kid named Billy, which was very convenient since I was a freckle faced kid at the time.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I think my favorite animation project to have been a part of would hands down have to be “Beauty and the Beast.” To be part of the team that created the first animated film to ever be nominated for “Best Picture” That’s pretty cool. Of course, I’m proud of ALL the books I’ve created as well.

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I grew up in the small coal mining town of Sheppton, Pennsylvania. (Population at the time, about 700) I was always interested in animation. Even before kindergarten. It was the closest thing to magic that existed in my world. As I grew up I watched a lot of cartoons and devoured any books about Walt Disney and the animation process. Tried making some Continue…

Dermot O Connor

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Dermot O Connor. Currently I work as a freelance/independent animator/artist.

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I went almost straight from school into animation, aged 18. Apart from working briefly for a graphic design company, I have no career history stranger than animation itself! The strangest animation jobs? One was a French TV show about the souls of babies in heaven (they drove tiny cars around on clouds). I still have no idea what that was about, or how people find the money for such awful projects. Another “educational” project that I worked on was owned by a man who revealed himself to be a quasi-James Bond supervillain. Actual quote: “If you control the children, you control the world”. I handed in my notice the next week. There are some very strange people out there.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
None of my paid animation jobs (which were on movies, TV, interactive and internet projects) would be anything to remember – which I’m sad to say is a common problem – many will know the frustration. There are a great many projects of low to middling quality – and it’s incredibly rare to work on something memorable. That said, the one professional job that I’m really pleased with is my current training series for Lynda.com. I’ve done three titles with them so far, and it’s tremendously rewarding. One of the recent emails I received complimented me on my voice, saying that I sound like the snake in Jungle Book. That made my day!

 

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m Irish; left school in the mid 1980s, a time when there was very little chance of work, and emigration levels were soaring. If you want to make an Irish person over the age of 40 wince, just say Continue…