Also I have heard stories about working for Filmation , what was it like working with this studio?
When I was at Filmation I worked as a layout artist and that consisted of working from storyboards and blowing the scenes up to standard animation size. The storyboards tended to be very quick and rough and that would allow us to use some artistic interpretation when creating the shots that would then be handed over to the animators. Filmation used a lot of what was called stock scenes and part of the job of a layout artist was to find the scene (that was sometimes called out in the storyboard) and insert a representative drawing with the stock number labeled on it0 in the scene folder and making any adjustments to the stock as necessary. In Layout we were responsible for not just the characters, but the background as well as the size that the scene was to be animated.
You have worked with Rotoscope animation, ceil animation but you have also worked on a movie called Cool World. This type of animation for our readers is where you blend live action film with 2d animation. How is this type of animation different then let’s say working on Fire & Ice or American Pop?
Actually, there wasn’t a lot of difference. I was handed two sets of live action photos for one scene. One set was shot with an actress acting out the part of Holli or Lonette and the second set of live-action photos with just the “human” actors without the stand-in. I would use the first set of photos as just reference to do my animation and make sure that I was matching what was done in the second set of photos.
For the last 10 years, you have worked with big Marvel and DC animation property such as X-Men Evolution where you did the Character Design. For what is catalog as art department you worked on Planet Hulk for storyboards and storyboards for Young Justice. Avengers: Earth’s Mighty Heroes storyboards again and Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy. How do you balance your day or should I say decade?
Just to clarify: For Marvel I was the sole character designer for X-Men: Evolution and one of several directors which is the same function I did for The Ultimate Avengers. I was just a director for the second season of Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and just did freelance storyboards for other Marvel shows like Planet Hulk and Guardians of the Galaxy. I also did freelance storyboards on a several DC projects like Young Justice and I also did quite a few children’s books based on the DC superheroes like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.
I often do freelance on projects in the evenings when I have a day job for monetary reasons as well as to explore other avenues of my art. I serves also as a way to keep my skills viable and diversified so I don’t become reliant just on one type of art.
Right now you working on a film Blazing Samuri right now, this is my question what advice can you give to someone who is wanting to break into the industry?
Actually, I haven’t worked on Blazing Samurai in over a year. Currently I’m Head of Story on the SpongeBob Squarepants 3 movie.
My standard suggestion to anyone wanting to break into this industry (besides marry well) is to be willing to take any job to just get your foot into a studio. That is after you’ve taken plenty of schooling in computer animation. When I started out learning on the job was an option, now with CG animation that’s not as possible.
Thank you so much for you time Steven and also on another not folks 10 years ago we lost a wonderful artist. His name was Mike Wieringo .
Please check it here. He was a wonderful guy.
Cool World is a 1992 American live-action/animated fantasy film directed by Ralph Bakshi