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Posts Tagged ‘Interviews’

Jean Gillmore Designer

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

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Jean Gillmore began her animation career in the traditional 2-D world, working on network animated television shows (Hanna-Barbera, Marvel Productions) as a show model designer and/or supervisor for several seasons.  She made the jump to theatrical animated features in 1989, where she worked 10 years as a staff visual development artist for Walt Disney Feature Animation. Her contributions to the Disney Renaissance era of feature animated films is huge and her credits list is long.  If you look behind the animation you will find that most of the characters from that era were designed by Jean Gillmore.

More recent work has seen Jean illustrating books, creating orthographics of characters and costumes for CG direct-to-video projects and even designing a set for a (critically-acclaimed) one-woman theater piece, “The Dance of the Lemons”.  Most recently in animation, however, she has worked as a CG COSTUMER for an animated feature development project at Blue Sky Studios on the east coast.

Over her long career, she has also worked in the development of various puppet show costumes and sets, toy design, and with the merchandise/ publishing concerns of retail venues (Walt Disney Consumer Products). Jean works in a variety of media with numerous applications, and is always open to breaking new creative ground.

Enjoy a rare interview with this ecclectic, bright and extremely talented lady.

To see more work by Jean Gillmore please visit her website at: http://www.jeangillmore.com

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 Susan McKinsey-Goldberg

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

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SUSAN MC KINSEY GOLDBERG is a renowned animation Art Director and Designer whose work has graced numerous feature films and theme park attractions in the United States, England, and Hong Kong. Her interest in the medium of animation reflects her encyclopedic knowledge of many other artistic disciplines, including Japanese art and textile design, children’s book illustration, costume design, wildlife painting and drawing, and graphic design for film and print.

In school, Susan won many local painting awards and competitions. Her interest in the animal kingdom (both artistic and conservation-oriented) led her to the Florida chapter of the National Audubon Society, where she served as Editor of their magazine. During her college years she received a scholarship and attended the fledgling Character Animation program at California Institute of the Arts. There she was taught first-hand by several of the great Disney animation artists, including director Jack Hannah, designer and story artist T. Hee, layout artist Ken O’ Connor, concept artist Elmer Plummer, and designer Bill Moore, who was among the first to notice Susan’s flair for design and color. This was followed soon by a stint in New York, working as a Background Artist for legendary MGM animator Jack Zander at his popular commercial production house, Zander’s Animation Parlour. It was during this time that she met her future husband Eric, on holiday from working in London, and since their marriage they have often had the enjoyable opportunity to work as a team on a variety of animation projects. (more…)

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.

Craig Elliott

Monday, January 19th, 2009

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CRAIG ELLIOT has been interested in the artistic for as long as he can remember. Born in a farm and air force town in California, Craig’s family moved to what is now Silicon Valley California where he grew up. Back then, most of the valley was fruit orchards and open space.  The experience of walking home from school through a shower of blossoms or playing in the creek as a child fostered Craig’s love of nature. Dioramas with sculpted and painted figures often depicting the nature that surrounded him, along with drawing were Craig’s first art forms.

(more…)

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…)

Robh Ruppel

Friday, November 28th, 2008

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Robh Ruppel

Visual Development Artist, Art Director and Teacher Robh Ruppel has designed for film, television and print. He attended Art Center College of Design and has worked for a varied clientèle including Walt Disney Animation Studios, TV Guide, Boss Films, Naughty Dog and TSR.

“I love inventing worlds and the things in them. The thrill of seeing it appear before you is pretty hard to match. In inventing things that don’t exist you’re part architect, part painter and part cameraman. It never gets boring.”

While at Disney Robh art directed Brother Bear and Meet the Robinsons. At the time of this interview Rob was working on conceptualizing a next-gen game at Naughty Dog Studios in Santa Monica California.


Artwork for Treasure Planet by Robh Ruppel

Robh Ruppel can be reached through his CTN Webpage.

Tony Benedict

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

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CTN Legend Tony Benedict arrived on the Walt Disney Studio lot in summer of 1956 and took an inbetweening potition on Sleeping Beauty and 101 Dalmations before joining Bob McCrea’s television unit where he got to do a bit of animation. Find out how he got started at UPA as an assistant to animator Ed Freidman and was given an opportunity to write some Mister Magoo episodes and his journey to Hanna Barbera as a full time staff writer working with Mike Maltese and Warren Foster. Sit back and enjoy the tales of this talented contributor to the Golden Age of Animation.

Lots of vintage movies, photos and art at Tony’s website at http://www.homepage.mac.com/tonytoons

Dan Hofstedt

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

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Caricature of Dan by Dan


Dan Hofstedt, affectionately known as T-Dan, has animated on some of the most successful animated movies of all time.  His gift for caricaturing both a likeness and an action of a character has served him well so far in a 24 year career.  After putting himself through the Character Animation program at California Institute of the Arts as an amusement park caricaturist T. Dan has garnered a widespread “in-house” reputation at Sullivan-Bluth, Disney, Warners and now Sony Imageworks as one of the top caricature artists around. He has taught Character Animation for Maya at Studio Arts in Glendale, CA, taught caricature workshops at Sony Imageworks, and guest lectured at the Cal Arts Character Animation program, where he studied in the early ’80′s. T-Dan has been on animation panels at the Visual Effects Society, demonstrated Maya animation techniques used in “Monster House” for Autodesk at Siggraph in Boston and at 3December in London, and been a featured presenter at the Sony Wonder Lab in New York. He has made a successful transition from the 2D animation world to the 3D computer generated realm. Sit back and enjoy an interview with this extremely versatile and talented man and key contributor to the 2nd Golden Age of Animation.


Dan Hofstedt

Dan Hofstedt can be reach through his CTN Webpage.

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)

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