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Toon-In-Talk Episode 04: Interview with Richard Thomas

Hello and welcome to fourth episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews.  When you think about animation, you most likely think about a US studio.  In fact, a lot of animation is made in other countries and there are a lot of fantastic studios overseas.  Whitney had the luck to interview with Richard Thomas of One Animation, a Singapore studio, and discuss new animation projects, like in Asia, and what they love about animation.


Show Notes

  • One Animation is based in Singapore and is six years old.  Richard is their creative director.
  • One Animation is more known for Rob the Robot, Oddbods, and the Insectibles.
  • Richard is originally from Manchester, England, but he’s worked all over the world and his animation background is predominantly game based.
  • Animating videogames is more piecemeal, but with television requires more prep work.  On the end product you receive more feedback with games, but with television you have to wait.  The end result is always the same for both: trying to create a great visual.
  • As a creative director, he’s more involved with the creation process, which he also considers to be more holistic.
  • On his current job, he draws a lot less than he did working on videogames.  On television he loves working to constrain budgets on shows.  Stress and deadlines remain the same, however.
  • Richard believes that CG is a modern trend and it’s popular because it is more accessible to people.  CG animation is strongly routed in traditional animation principles.  One isn’t better than the other and there is room for both.
  • Richard joined One Animation when he received a call from an associate and was shown the source material for a preschool show he felt had potential.  It was a huge success and his career with the studio and expand into other projects.
  • One Animation got its name from when they higher ups needed to register with the government and they basically came up with it spur of the moment.
  • Working in Singapore is like working in England, except the weather is better and people are hungry for work.  The biggest problem is that it’s hard to find local talent for animation.
  • Whitney is curious about the animation industry in Asia.  She asks about Oriental DreamWorks and about animation factories.
  • One Animation’s mission statement is to continue their current progress, keep building their skill set, and eventually make a feature film.
  • Rob the Robot is preschool show about the explorations of a spacefaring group and the lessons they learn. Oddballs is an in-house show with completely silent characters and each one will resonate with you.  The Insectibles is about a boy and a grandfather who are shrunk down to the size of insects and they befriend bionic insects as they try to return to normal size.
  • Whitney and Richard both like intelligently written cartoons.  They might consider making web toons in the future and they are working on a show that might appeal to an older audience, but Richard dislikes assigning age groups.
  • Richard and Whitney discuss old cartoons, the current industry, and where animation is going.
  • Whitney explains her master plan to one day interview John Lasseter.