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Archive for the ‘Directors’ Category

Russ Edmonds

Friday, July 5th, 2013

Tell us a little about who your are and how you got here.

I am well recognized for my work as a supervising character animator on many of the Disney classic films. My career spans almost three decades and I have designed characters and animated on thirteen feature films such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, and The Lion King.

Long ago, I was a frustrated young engineer, in Pennsylvania, who was inspired by Disney classic films. I wrote a letter to Walt Disney Feature Animation, and they told me learn my animation skills at CalArts. So I put together a portfolio and the rest is history…….straight from school to the belly of the beast……Disney.

When did you begin creating and working in this industry?

While going to school, I animated on Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories “Family Dog”. Directly after school I animated on my first feature, Oliver and Company.

What job title best describes what you do?

I’ve been a hand-drawn Animator for many years. But now my career path is moving toward pre-production and story. Storyboard Artist is how I might now describe myself. I’ve boarded, directed, character designed, wrote scripts, drawn layouts, and even wrote music for and animated short. Maybe the best title would be Animation Professional.

What city and country are you living in?

I live in Acton, CA on a small ranch that houses my wife, dogs, cats, horses, chickens and the rest of my zoo. Did I mention I like animals?

Who do you feel has inspired you the most?

Marc Davis, Hal Ambro, Glen Keane, Mike Gabriel, and many others – all animator/artists that bring life to whatever they touch. (more…)

Phil Nibbelink Animation Director

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

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Phil Nibbelink has been drawing his whole life. He studied art at Western Washington State University and film in Rome Italy’s Il Instituto di Stato per la Cinematografia. After attending the Disney Animation Program at California Institute of the Arts, Phil joined Disney Studios to animate on The Fox and the Hound, The Black Cauldron and Basil the Great Mouse Detective, Oliver and Company and Roger Rabbit. In 1989 he teamed up with Steven Spielberg to direct American Tail, We’re Back and Casper. Phil went on to start his own company where he wrote, directed and animated 3 features, Puss in Boots, Leif Ericson, and his third feature Romeo & Juliet: Sealed With A Kiss, won him a 1st place and ‘Best-in-Show’ award at the Best-in-the-SouthWest film festival. Phil had too much fun teaming up with his old college roommate David Greenblatt to create the graphic novel Ultima Thula.

Enjoy listening to this great talent discussing about a time when we were Drawn2gether and you can meet him at the CTN Animation Expo (CTN-X) on Nov 20-22, 2009

You can see more of Phil Nibbelink’s  work and contact him directly at:

Creative Talent Network and   www.philnibbelink.com

Interview with Steven E. Gordon

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

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Born and raised in Southern California, STEVEN E. GORDON has been a professional in the animation industry since 1977.  He was hired while still in High School by Ralph Bakshi Productions to work on the feature film “Lord of the Rings”. It wasn’t long before Steve was given more responsibility and by 1982 he was Animation Director and Key Animator on the Bakshi / Frazetta feature “Fire and Ice”.  Steve’s next job was a five year stint at Disney Pictures animating on “The Black Cauldron” and other films. For the next 12 years he worked on and off with Rich Animation on a series of direct-to-videos, pioneering character layout – the industry standard, and was Animation Director / Character Designer / Key Animator on “The Swan Princess. He then continued Directing and Character Design on the highly rated “X-Men: Evolution” TV series for Kids WB where he not only directed on the first two seasons, but also did every single character design himself for all four seasons with only the help of a clean-up artist. He then went to Dreamworks and worked in the story dept. and received a credit for his work on the huge Hit Shrek 2. After Dreamworks he went to work for Marvel/Lionsgate Productions as a director and a character designer on the Ultimate Avengers. He also directed a direct-to-video for Stan Lee and co-directed the direct-to-video sequel to “Happily N’ever After” for Lionsgate and is currently a director of the new series Wolverine and the X-Men.

Here is a rare interview with one of the top 5 animators in animation today who has worked with every TV and feature animation studio that is in Southern California.

Bill Kroyer One of The First Computer Animators

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

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BILL KROYER is an award-winning director of animation and computer graphics commercials, short films, movie titles and theatrical films. Trained in classical hand-drawn animation at the Disney Studio, Bill was one of the first animators to make the leap to computer animation on Disney’s ground-breaking 1982 feature, “Tron.”


“There was no software for motion when we made Tron. It didn’t exist.” ~Bill Kroyer

Founding his own company, Kroyer Films, Inc., Bill and his wife Susan pioneered the technique of combining hand-drawn animation with computer animation. Bill was Director for the theatrical animated feature film “FernGully: The Last Rainforest” and for his Academy Award® nominated short film “Technological Threat” . (more…)

Panama to Burbank with George Scribner

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

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Marty Korth, Ed Ghertner, George Scribner 1983 G-Wing Walt Disney Feature Animation

George Scribner started at Walt Disney Feature Animation in 1983 during the 2nd Golden Age of Animation. His animation career spans from Hanna Barbara in the late 1970′s to Director atWalt Disney Feature Animation. George is currently the Director of Animation for Walt Disney Imagineering and has recently been commissioned by the government of Panama to paint large scale oil paintings of the upcoming Panama Canal Expansion which is a project that will last nine years


George Scribner back in Panama 2008
“The new canal line will be to my right where the jungle is now and adjacent to the existing canal.”

For more on this and many other artists from The World of Animation please visit
Toon In to the World of Animation
.

Steve Hickner

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

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Steve Hickner started his animation career at Filmation Studios in the late 1970′s. Both Filmation Studios and Hanna Barbara were literally  talent incubators that gave birth to the artists that went on to create some of the highest grossing feature animated films in what we now refer to as the 2nd Golden Age of Animation. Steve Hickner lived this journey from Assistant Animator at Filmation Studios to Director at Dreamworks Animation.  Recently joining The Creative Talent Network we thought it appropriate to repost this interview done late last year by Tee Bosustow of ToonIn where Steve speaks to the journey of dedication, determination, timing and luck that drove him forward from the late 1970′s through to the 2nd Golden Age of Animation and on up to today as Director at Dreamworks.

Steve Hickner

Through the Camera Lens of Mike Gabriel

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

Rescuers Down Under

Words and Photos care of Mike Gabriel.

Rescuers Down Under Research trip to Australia. We were the first animation crew at Disney to demand we go to the actual country and do the research before making the film. The studio naturally looked at this as an unnecessary boondogle since it had never been done as far as I know. I vowed to pay my own way if I had to. Peter Schneider relented—or should I say Jeffrey Katzenberg must have relented—-or should I say Michael Eisner must have relented— and allowed us two weeks to explore the continent of Australia. A great experience. This is Joe Ranft, Joe’s first head of story opportunity, and Maurice (Pixote Hunt) our art director at Uluru or Ayres Rock in the middle of the outback. (more…)

Mike Gabriel

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Director Mike Gabriel 2003
mike02.jpg
(Photo care of Ed Ghertner)

Words care of Mike Gabriel:

This picture of me holding a cardboard over my head is me pretending the rain from my second proposed short for Don Hahn called Parasol, was also falling. I alternated between Parasol and Lorenzo during those 2003 days of ticking clocks as I wound down my Disney contract. (more…)

Mike Gabriel

Monday, April 14th, 2008

mike01.jpg

This picture of me “painting” the blue character is from my short film based on Joe Grant’s concept, LORENZO which came out in 2004 attached to a live action Disney film called Raising Helen. This must have been 2003 or maybe early ‘04. I made it while in room 3136 up on the third floor of the Mickey Hat bldg. I actually painted all the backgrounds and character set ups for the cg artists to match my style so although I am “faking” painting that Lorenzo image I actually did do all the analogue painting that was used in the film’s bgs, character pose set ups etc..—so in that way, it is not fake. That is a genuine authentic Disneyland Frontierland poster behind me that I have had for a long time. My blue paint splattered it’s frame but Lorenzo was a messy project—in certain ways. (more…)

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