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Archive for the ‘Creative Talent’ Category

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 Giaimo – "An Artist First"

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

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A graduate of Cal Arts in the 70′s Mike Giaimo went through the training program at Walt Disney Feature Animation and held many creative positions culminating after his 18 collective years at the studio as Art Director and Production Designer. Join us with Annie Award winner Mike Giaimo while he talks about being an artist first.

Mike Giaimo and Joe Ranft 1983 G Wing at Walt Disney Feature Animation
(Photo Care of George Scribner)

My Big Scene

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

From the memoirs of Dorse A. Lanpher “Flyin’ Chunks and Other Things To Duck”

Dorse Lanpher 1975 Walt Disney Animation
(Photo care of Dorse Lanpher)

In1975 I was re-employed by Walt Disney Feature Animation after having spent 12 years living the artist life in the outer world. I had resigned from Disney’s in 1962 thinking animated cartoons just didn’t serve the world. I had an opportunity to go into technical films which I thought would help instruct the world rather than just entertain. Most of the films I worked on in this period were military films which served a wealth of information on how to fight wars, break things and hurt people severely. I eventually came to conclude that contributing art to animated cartoons was a more useful worldly uplifting endeavor. At this time I had become involved in my own company, a partnership with four partners and myself. It was like being married to four people, all guys with too much testosterone. I decided to sell my share in our little concern and seek another job. Fortunately the other guys wanted my shares and Disney’s wanted me back. Well, Disney’s wanted me back after a lengthy interview. At that interview I tried very hard to convince them that I could animate special effects but I had to settle for a position as an assistant animator in the special effects department.


Ruben Procopio

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

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Rubén Procopio has been in the animation industry for over 25 yrs., with scholarships to both Cal Arts and Art Center College of Design. He later trained under Eric Larson, one of Disneys legendary nine old men. A chip off the old block he also was trained by his dad Adolfo Procopio, a 35 yr. veteran sculptor at Walt Disney Imagineering. Rubén was instrumental in bringing back the maquette process to feature animated films in the early ’80′s. Having a wide variety of skills from 2d to the 3d world and as an Artistic Supervisor as well as head of departments he has now opened up his own studio appropriately called for his admiration of the masked heros of yesteryear, Masked Avenger Studios, where father and son have joined forces with a combination of over 50 yrs. of experience to make their talents available to the motion picture, animation, toy and collectables community.

Join us with this second generation Walt Disney Animation artist Ruben Procopio while he talks about his experiences and insights.

The Life of a Border Dweller

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

Animator Turned Creativity Mentor, DAVE ZABOSKI
Speaks to CTN About
the Endless Possibilities for Artists to Shape the 21st Century.

Creative Consultant and Writer, Rhett Wickham Reports.

DAVE ZABOSKI speaks with an enthusiastic confidence that is infectious and hypnotic – an ideal demeanor for an artist whose personal vision of the future is ablaze with the endless creative wealth yet to be mined across the globe. Of the many hats Zaboski has worn since he started working in animation nearly twenty years ago, he has spent most of the past decade inspiring creativity in others; helping them “navigate” creation and “clarifying their direction to being even more creative.”

It doesn’t seem so unusual if you think about it, for a former Disney animator to turn his attention to opening up the creative potential of others. After all, what is an animator if not someone who finds endless possibilities where anyone else would have seen nothing more than a blank white sheet of paper.

Given one of his earliest experiences at Disney Animation, the fates seemed to have been preparing Dave for his mentoring role from the outset.

Dave Zaboski at work in his studio


Banjo Days

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Words and Images care of Dorse Lanphers memoirs “Flyin’ Chunks and Other things to Duck”

In 1979 I was comfortable in my position as department supervisor at Walt Disney Feature Animation but there were political clouds forming on the animation horizon. Don Bluth, along with Gary Goldman and John Pomeroy felt the studio wasn’t being true to what they thought Walt Disney himself wanted of animation. There were others who didn’t agree and tensions were mounting. (more…)

Teacher, Writer, Consultant Bill Matthews (Pt 3)

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Here for a 3rd go-around are another batch of recollections from a period at Disney Feature Animation that many of you and I all shared, circa 1987 to 2007 (my tenure with that Studio). Look at it this way, it’s kinda fun to remember the happier times of our lives shared with so many at such a growth time…and, let’s face it, I don’t know about YOU, but best to grab what my ole brain still retains at the age of 77, as no telling how long this can last

Bill Matthews interviewing a student, later Disney Assistant Animator at Kansas City Art Institute.

There were so many talented people that connected with my life as a result of my job responsibilities then, so many special occasions we all participated in, that at times it hardly seems easy to know where to start. So let me begin, with paying a special tribute to a great artist, a dear friend not only to me but to everyone in that Studio from top to bottom, and who gave so much of himself to training and inspiring most of you, not to mention thenew youngsters entering our world for the first time…I speak of the one and only Master, Walt Stanchfield! (more…)

Producers vs Animators – The Challenge 1980

Friday, June 6th, 2008

Producers vs Animators 1980
The Challenge!!

(Original Challenge Memo)

Words and Images care of Darrel Van Citters:

A number of animators would play volleyball almost every day at lunch and often at the 3 PM break on the court just north of the old Animation building. It’s now a parking lot at the side entrance to the studio. I forget what prompted it but I decided to challenge Ron Miller to a volleyball match, probably since he was sports minded and competitive. I sent the challenge via inter-office mail and amazingly, he took us up on it and got together his team from the third floor, all producers. Ron had the studio provide his team with uniforms from the costume department, we all wore our delightful seventies clothes. Tom Wilhite was even enlisted and was provided a uniform but he declined. (more…)

Eat Your Oatmeal

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

Eat Your Oatmeal!!

Words Care of Dorse A. Lanpher:

Sitting here eating my oatmeal for breakfast and having recently discovered how oatmeal can control ones cholesterol I’m reminded of my last meeting with the revered Joe Grant. Everyone admired Joe for his talent and creative energies but how many of us were close enough to him to have been exposed to his wisdom. I was attending the last showing of some of the many years of his work on the second floor concourse in the Walt Disney Feature Animation building when I had my only chance. (more…)

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