Archives for : Ladies of Animation

Toon-In Talk Episode 27: Interview with Vicky Jenson

Hello and welcome to twenty-seventh episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews.  Continuing with her fabulous Ladies of Animation series, Whitney interviews the one and only Vicky Jenson.  Vicky is one of the top animation directors, in Whitney’s opinion, in Hollywood and she also lends her talents to television animation as well.  She is respected as the director of DreamWorks’s Shrek and Shark Tale.  Vicky’s  resume includes the shows Smurfs, He-Man, JEM, She-Ra and the films The Road to El-Dorado, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, and FernGully.  She discusses her past successes with Whitney and also hints at some exciting projects yet to come.

Episode 27

  • Vicky Jenson is an animation director who worked on many feature films and cartoons.  Whitney’s favorite work of Vicky’s is Shrek.
  • Vicky never did any of the animation on the projects she worked on, but she has dabbled in different parts of the process, including storyboarding.
  • Remember that Old Navy advertising campaign a few years ago with the talking mannequins? That was Vicky Jenson’s work!
  • She became interested in directing when she worked in storyboarding, because she decided the camera angles, action, and loved the interaction with the story.
  • Whitney and Vicky discuss the benefits of drawing in a digital environment vs. the traditional pencil in hand model.
  • Vicky Jenson describes working in animation during the Saturday morning boom in the 1980s.
  • She joined DreamWorks and began work on The Road to El Dorado.
  • Jeffrey Katzenberg noticed Vicky Jenson’s talent for story and encouraged her to be storyboarding and directing.
  • Vicky later worked on Shrek and through her persistance and talent became one of the directors.
  • Vicky and Whitney talk about how storyboarding ins integral to the story process.
  • She left her position at DreamWorks animation in 2015 after being at the studio from the beginning.
  • When DreamWorks restructured in January 2015, the studio decided to end production on several animated film projects, including the one Vicky Jenson was on. It’s disappointing that some of these features will never be seen, especially since many of them were 70% animated.
  • Vicky Jenson is writing and illustrating her own graphic novel, much to Whitney’s excitement.
  • She is also working on a stage musical and is adapting a work. Vicky describes it as something between Cirque du Soiliel and Broadway.
  • Her advice to women interested in pursuing an animation career: get your stuff together and do it. Also seek out opportunities and pursue them when they appear.
  • Vicky shares that she learned the most when she was on the job.
  • She has nothing to declare!

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Toon-In Talk Episode 26: Interview with Yvette Kaplan

Hello and welcome to twenty-sixth episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews.  Whitney is back from her hiatus and ready to finish her Ladies of Animation series.  She’s returning with an awesome guest, Yvette Kaplan.  Yvette Kaplan has a prestigious animation career working in both feature and television animation.  She made a name for herself as the supervising director for the quintessential 1990s cartoon Beavis and Butt-Head.  Yvette also directed the Beavis and Butt-Head Do America film that was the highest grossing non-Disney animated for years.  Yvette works on any project that catches her interest and she shares her adventures in this interview.

Episode 26

  • Yvette Kaplan is famous for her work on Zack and Quack, Beavis and Butt-Head, Doug, and many other great projects.
  • She has carried many titles and roles in the animation industry, going as far back as being an ink and paint artist.   She caught the animation bug when she was five years old.
  • Yvette loved watching the Fleischer cartoons: Betty Boop and Popeye. Her absolute favorite cartoon short is Max Fleischer’s “Somewhere in Dreamland.”
  • She knew more about the Fleischer cartoons than she did the Disney features.
  • Yvette is also a fan of John and Faith Hubley’s works, a husband and wife team who made animated films.
  • When Yvette began her career, she was advised not to go into animation, but she didn’t listen and in the early 1990s, she began work on Nickelodeon’s NickToons.
  • She worked on the pilot for Doug, directed by Tony Eastman. Nickelodeon liked her work and she was a director on the series for three seasons.
  • Although she was very busy, Yvette consulted on The Magic School Bus.
  • Then Tony Eastman showed her two “gross boy” characters for a MTV show. Yvette Kaplan loved the humor and Mike Judge, the show’s creator, hired her to be the director on Beavis and Butt-Head.
  • She also directed Beavis and Butt-Head Do America and it was the highest grossing non-Disney animated movie for years.
  • Yvette would later return to Los Angeles with the intent to work on more feature and television, but she also wanted to explore all avenues.
  • She found a comfortable spot on the King of the Hill team as well as on the PBS show Arthur.
  • Drawing more on her extensive talents, Yvette made the children’s CGI show Zack and Quack. The animation looks like it was made from paper.
  • She prefers to work in television, but Yvette sometimes get the strong urge to work on a feature film.
  • Yvette recently worked on the fun new girl-based series from Disney called Star Darlings. She loves working on it, because it took her into a new genre she had never worked in before.
  • She shares that working on education based cartoons has its difficulties, but it was a challenge she loved.
  • From her perspective, Yvette wasn’t too aware about the lack of women in the animation industry. She never felt a ceiling and her positive attitude helped her push through many barriers. She became more aware of it as she matured.
  • Both Yevette and Whitney are huge fans of Steven Universe and Star vs. The Forces of Evil, two shows created by women.
  • Yvette declares that her animation adventure will continue.

Links

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Toon-In Talk Episode 24: Interview with Jinko Gotoh

Hello and welcome to twenty-fourth episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews.  It’s also time for the fourth round of interviews for the Ladies of Animation Month, Whitney Grace’s yearly tribute to women who work in the animation industry and mission to inspire girls to pursue their animated ambitions.  Jinko Gotoh is the executive producer on the new animated feature film The Little Prince directed by Mark Osborne.  Jinko has held various role in the animation industry, but she has made a well-respected name for herself as a producer. She’s produced Finding Nemo, 9, The Illusionist, and Escape From Planet Earth.  She has been an animation fan since she was little girl and made Whitney’s head flip after sharing a story about meeting Osamu Tezuka.

Episode 24


 

  • Jinko Gotoh is the executive producer on the upcoming animated film The Little Prince directed by Mark Osborne.
  • Jinko shares some tidbits about The Little Prince. The book it’s based on is one of the best selling books of all time.
  • For The Little Prince, the film will use two forms of animation. CGI will be used for the “real world” sequences and the book portions of the movie will be in stop motion.
  • Jinko started working on the film when director Mark Osborne sought out producers who knew how to make a quality film and work with the limited budget of an independent film.
  • There were other adaptations of The Little Prince, including a live action movie and a Japanese anime. Jinko didn’t watch any of them.
  • Producers are an integral part of the animation team. They work closely with the director and story to protect the integrity of the story, keep the project within the budget, and also keep production moving forward.
  • The first movie Jinko ever saw in theaters was Lady and the Tramp and she later had the honor of meeting the father of all Japanese animation Osamu Tezuka. These were key moments that inspired her to work in the animation industry.
  • She worked with computer animation way at the beginning as a computer programming, then she went to film school, and then Roger Rabbit changed things for her.
  • Jinko shares her experience while she worked on Space Jam and Disney’s
  • She has worked all over the board when it comes to animation and she is very grateful for the variety of experiences.
  • While working on Nine, Jinko says it was a challenge to animate characters that weren’t human and didn’t speak much. The film was difficult to animate, but was purposely made to look like it was simple.
  • It wasn’t difficult for Jinko to switch between traditional and computer animation when she worked on the French film The Illusionist, because there was artistic leadership.
  • Jinko wishes that there were more 2D animation films done in the United States. She and Whitney are both excited about the rerelease of The Iron Giant.
  • Jinko’s career has come full circle with the The Little Prince and she hopes it’s successful, so more independent animated films will be made.
  • She is a board member of the Women In Animation and she heads the chapter committee that establishes chapters around the globe.
  • There are Women In Animation chapters across the USA, but they are also located in Canada, France, Ireland, and India.
  • Jinko and Whitney discuss how animation is viewed in different countries. The French embrace animation as art. Two men from India actually came to Women In Animation to help them promote it among high school girls as the industry is rapidly growing in that country.
  • Women In Animation is about sharing knowledge, being available as a resource, and spurring change in the animation industry.
  • Jinko shares that there’s a huge discrepancy in the amount of female animation students versus how many actually work in the industry. The goal is to get 50/50 representation by 2025.
  • She ends the interviewing by declaring that people should follow their dreams.

Toon-In Talk Episode 23: Interview with Kristy Scanlan

Hello and welcome to twenty-third episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews.  It’s also time for the third round of interviews for the Ladies of Animation Month, Whitney Grace’s yearly tribute to women who work in the animation industry and mission to inspire girls to pursue their animated ambitions.  Kirsty Scanlan is the co-president of the Women in Animation organization.  Kirsty fell into animation when she worked at Threshold Entertainment and fell in love with the medium. She is currently Technicolor’s Vice President of Business Development for Technicolor’s Animation and Games group.  Whitney and Kristy discuss Kristy’s career the current state of women in the animation industry, and their hopes for the future.

Episode 23

 

  • Kristy Scanlan entered the entertainment industry right of college and worked in live action script development, but when she worked at Threshold Entertainment they had an animation studio. She became more involved in the animation side of the studio and fell in love with it.
  • When Kristy was at Threshold Entertainment, she worked on projects for Lego, Marvel, DC, and some theme parks.
  • She currently works at Technicolor and is in charge of business development for their studio in Bangalore, India.
  • One of the services her studio provides is CG outsourcing and her clients include DreamWorks, Nickelodeon, Electronic Arts, Activision, Rockstar Games, Capcom, 2K, Sony Computer Entertainment.
  • Kristy’s other job was helping revamp the Women In Animation organization to give it new life and help women launch their careers in the animation industry, including networking, educational seminars, and giving them a voice.
  • 70% of women in art schools want to become animators, but only 20% actually work in the animation industry.
  • Women In Animation’s goal is to have a 50/50 workforce in the animation industry by 2025.
  • Women In Animation has made strong movements since the organization’s revamp in October 2013.
  • The entire goal is to empower women, get jobs, and succeed in a field usually dominated my men.
  • Whitney and Kristy discuss old-fashioned hiring practices and how they could evolve in the future.
  • Women In Animation is for more diversity not only in the animation industry, but also diversity in culture as a whole.
  • Self-doubt is one of the biggest barriers that women face.
  • Kristy shares her experience about females working in the animation industry. She says that things have improved since the 1950s, but there is a whole lot of room for improvement.
  • Whitney points out that Lotte Reiniger, the first female animation director in the world, is usually a footnote in history books.
  • Kristy talks about the Annecy International Film Festival.
  • She declares 50/50 by 2025!

Links

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