long have you been interested in comics and animation?
I started reading comics when I was about nine. As far as
animation, "Lady and the Tramp" got me hooked when I was
about 16. My interest in movies, animation and comics was
so strong that I knew very early on, that no matter what,
I'd somehow find a way to make a living at it.
is the first animated feature you ever saw?
first animated film I saw, which had any kind of impact
on me, was either "Watership Down" or "Lady and the Tramp".
I probably saw others earlier on but I don't remember. The
film that had the biggest influence on me was probably Star
Wars (episode 4). I was 11 when I first saw it and it pretty
much changed my life.
attended Sheridan College where you studied animation. What
skills do you feel you gained during your studies there?
learned the basics of animation, such as timing, squash and
stretch, lip sync etc… I got to make my own short films from
storyboard to final color, which taught me how to put films
together. Meddling with other students who had a common interest
was also highly motivating. I had such a great time. I look
back at the three years I spent there as a very fun period
of my life.
was the first animated piece you ever worked on?
you exclude my early animation tests such as bouncing balls,
walk cycles, lip sinc exercises etc, the first complete animated
project I worked on was "On a Good Note". It was a one-minute
film I did as part of my 2nd year animation assignments at
Sheridan College and I believe we had 2-3 months to complete
the assignment. The teacher gave all the students a model
sheet of the same character, and we had to do the following
routine with him: He gets out of an elevator. He does whatever
for thirty seconds to one minute. He returns to the elevator.
The door closes.
student Mike Surrey, who is now a renowned Disney animator,
designed the character. All the films were to be spliced together
after completion as to form a kind of anijam. As far as I
know, no one else finished his or her film. So now, it's this
little weird film that doesn't seem to make much sense to
anyone. HBO bought the right to air it for a couple of years,
so I guess they must have liked it.
first professional job in animation was for a small studio
in Ottawa, Canada. I was an animator on a half hour Christmas
special called "For Better or for Worse: the Bestest Present".
My first feature experience was on "An American Tail". I came
in towards the end of production as an assistant to directing
animator, Linda Miller. I became a full fledge animator on
Don Bluth's next movie "The Land Before Time".
or whom would you say influenced your style of creating the
have a lot of influences from fine arts, comics, movies, animation
and illustrations. It would be hard to isolate one in particular,
but here are a few names that come to mind: Picasso, Jack
Kirby, Moebius, Yves Tanguy, Yerka, Oscar Fishinger, Don Bluth,
Walt Disney, George Lucas etc… Other influences include my
beloved wife Nancy, my dogs Star and Nova, looking at nature,
seeing Manowar in concert, going to museums and looking at
other talented artist's works.
are currently working on several comics and illustration books,
and you also delved into a period in which you did fine art.
Which do you have the most fun creating, sequential art, fine
art, or animation?
love it all. Wherever the inspiration takes me is where I
try to be. I have done animation for many years so it's getting
harder for me to get excited about it, but if the project
is cool, I can really get into it.
When dealing with fine art, do you have a specific medium
you prefer over others?
are some of the mediums I've used in my fine art that felt
very comfortable: acrylic, collage, ink and wood constructions.
I've tried oil painting but found that it didn't suit my style,
or maybe I just didn't have the patience to learn how to do
total, how many films have you worked on?
you only count the features, I believe I've been involved
on 18. I've also worked on quite a few shorter projects such
as short films, commercials etc…
was the most challenging?
most challenging feature I've done was probably Osmosis Jones.
I was the special effects artistic supervisor, in charge of
creating the look the microscopic effects found inside the
body of Frank (Bill Murray's character). Some of the effects
I created for the movie included molecular fire, cellular
smoke, electrical impulses, DNA strand sequence, death of
the villain (Trax), destruction of city of Frank, microbes
of all kind, as well as the title sequence.
recently worked on films such Osmosis Jones, Scooby-Doo, and
the Iron Giant, just to name a few. How much of an influence
were you in the development of character design for these
involvement on those three movies was in the special effects
department. I had nothing to do with any of the character
Osmosis Jones, what techniques did your team use to make the
pill in Osmosis Jones was animated using Maya and filtered
through a "cartoon shader" so it would integrate
with the rest of the animated hand drawn characters.
did it feel to be a part of the development of the live action
Scooby-Doo film that was recently produced?
involvement in the Scooby-Doo film was quite minimal. I initially
turned down a position on the film. A few months later, I
received a call from one of the production people asking me
if I could do some conceptual effects animation for the movie.
They were in a real bind. They needed somebody to quickly
hand animate a few scenes for the digital animators to use
as a guide. The work only lasted about 3 weeks. My involvement
with the production was strictly a short freelance stint.
you agree with their decision to make Scooby-Doo fully 3-D
not a fan of the show. Actually, I don't think I've ever watched
an entire episode. I really didn't care how they did the dog.
I probably won't even see the movie.
animated features, or movies in general are you looking forward
to seeing, or working on in the future?
ones! I'm involved with Brad (The Iron Giant) Bird's new movie
he's doing at Pixar and I'm quite excited to see how it will
turn out. I'm also really looking forward to "Star Wars: Episode
3" and "Lord of the Rings part 2".
you feel that if the world were to stop right at this moment,
that you have accomplished all that you wanted to do in this
far as animation, I still have to make my own "art film".
I wrote the story a few years ago and I'm waiting for the
right time to do it. In the realm of comics and books, I feel
I've only begun. Hopefully my best work is yet to come. So
the answer to your question is ABSOLUTELY NOT!