What is your name and your current occupation?
Betsy Baytos…..Illustrator/Animation Choreographer/Filmmaker & Eccentric Dance Historian.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation? Performed & created the ‘Betsy Bird’ & puppeteered on the Muppet Show…..trained over 250 clowns in a ‘character movement’ workshop for Ringling Bros. ‘Clown College Alumni’…..toured the country in a vaudeville/burlesque show ‘Baggy Pants & Co’ as the featured eccentric dance act.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of? Working as a Disney animator since 1976, then coming full circle as ‘animation choreographer’ for Disney’s ‘Princess and the Frog’…..Consulting for Cirque Du Soleil…..performing eccentric dance as the ‘Betsy Bird’ on the Muppet Show and performing physical comedy in the Broadway run of ‘Stardust’ in a featured eccentric dance act as ‘Maurice’, but most importantly, bringing this film, which I have researched & worked on for the past 20 years, ‘FUNNY FEET: The Art of Eccentric Dance’, to fruition for the next generation. How did you become interested in animation?
I have always drawn and danced since I can remember. I discovered eccentric dance while working as an animator at Disney, then discovered Continue…
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…
What is your name and your current occupation? For the past few years I have been Directing. I have Directed many commercials and am represented by Prime Focus in London. Earlier last year I Directed two Episodes of a new animated series for the UK’s Channel 4 called “Full English” which ironically I Directed in LA at Rough Draft who are most well known for Futurama. I am now Directing a wonderful TV pilot called Lost Treasure Hunt which will be on PBS later this year for Argosy Film.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation? Nothing too crazy! I did work as an Art Director a couple years before getting into the Film Industry. We had a brief for a spoof “sick” ad to run in Tatler Magazine and I came up with a concept for an ad for Euthanasia in which we photographed a coffin and put a cut out coupon in the coffin where you had to fill in your details, The headline was “FILL THIS SPACE!”.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of? Without doubt the first project that comes to mind was being a Lead Animator on Brad Bird’s “The iron Giant”. The film has such a heart and despite failing at the box office due to poor promotion has stood the test of time and found it’s audience on DVD. “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” was also a great experience as it was my first job in the film industry and stands as a classic.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business? I was raised in the English countryside in the beautiful county of Devon near Exeter, My upbringing actually helped shaped me and what route I wanted to follow. This was before Continue…
What is your name and your current occupation?
I’m Neal Warner and I am currently directing a live stage show called Rock & Roll Rehabwhich features a live band playing in sync with animated music videos projected on a large screen above the stage. It’s been an ambition of mine since I was in Junior High School and saw the re-release of Walt Disney’s Fantasia. It recently finished a run at the Hayworth Theater on Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation? Before I went to work as an inbetweener at Hanna-Barbera during my summer vacation between graduating high school and starting college I was a published cartoonist in the “Free Press” and in “underground comix”. Ironically, the only job I ever had after creating the underground comic character Pizza Fella and starting full time in the Animation Industry was as a pizza delivery guy while attending San Diego State.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of? I wrote and directed the John Lennon themed stage show, A Day In His Life, which was represented by the William Morris Agency and followed that with the Rock & Roll Rehabshow, both of which include a lot of animation as part of the multimedia projection. I published PaperCuts, The Illustrated Lyrics Magazine in the 80s which included a two song record insert and featured the songs’ lyrics in comic book form, I produced several animated music videos, one of which won the Gold Plaque in Music Video at the Chicago International Film Festival and was included in a screening of “The World’s Best Animated Music Videos” at the First Los Angeles Animation Celebration and I produced The Tooner’s Trip Disc enhanced CD and The Tooners’ Rocktasia CD (available on iTunes). Those are my favorite “pet” projects but I’m also proud of my work on The Heavy Metal Movie, Ducktails The Movie, the two Rugrats Movies, The Puff The Magic Dragon TV special and some of the many TV commercials and series I’ve worked on either as an animator, an assistant animator, a director or as a timing director for studios such as Disney TV, Klasky-Csupo, Marvel, Murakami-Wolf, Filmmation, Film Roman, Sony, Universal, Fred Wolf Films and many others.
How did you become interested in animation?
I was a cartoonist whose work was published in my junior high school newspaper, the cover of the yearbook and animated my first film, The Jogger, in the ninth grade. In high school I was the school’s staff “political” cartoonist as well as a paid contributor to professional underground comics and in college I was elected into Sigma Delta Chi, the Society Of Professional Journalists for my political cartoons in the CSUN campus paper. Although Continue…