The Animation Industry Podcast

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Welcome to the Animation Industry Podcast!

Here you’ll find weekly interviews from today’s leaders in animation with topics like:

  • The best way to pitch a show
  • How to market your work online
  • What kind of skills you need to land your dream job in storyboarding, visual development, character design, and more!

My name is Terry, and I’m a Stop Motion Animator. I’m soaking up as much knowledge about the animation industry as I can and sharing what I learn along the way.

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The Animation Industry Podcast was recently featured in Feedspot’s Top 10 Animation Podcasts You Must Follow in 2021

Below are stats for this podcast if that interests you 🙂

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Episodes:

Episode 139: CG Animator Brian Kouhi On How To Enter The Industry & Take Care Of Your Finances

This episode features CG Animator Brian Kouhi, who shares how he’s worked on projects like Maya and the Three, Abby Hatcher, and Paw Patrol. Besides this, he also runs a popular YouTube tutorial channel called 3D Animation Hub, and he’s launching a Blender learning platform called TOAnimate.ca.

You’ll also learn:

  • How to manage your finances as an animator
  • Brian’s number one piece of advice for those looking to get into CG animation
  • What it’s taken to launch an animation learning platform from scratch

Episode 138: Kevin Smithers On How To Build A Career In Animation Music And Songwriting

This episode features award-winning multi-instrumentalist composer, arranger and songwriter, Kevin Smithers, who composed the score for the upcoming HBO, Mexican stop motion animation television series Frankelda. Besides Frankelda, Kevin has also worked on Mira, Royal Detective, Victor and Valentina, and Monster Island.

You’ll also learn:

  • How Kevin got into composing and songwriting for animation
  • Which connections led to working on Frankelda
  • The ins and outs of a career in animation music

Episode 137: Animation Editors Lawrence And Ernesto Share How They Worked On LOL’s Arcane

This episode features the dynamic editing duo, Lawrence Gan and Ernesto Matamoros-Cox who recently finished up work on the Netflix animated series Arcane. Gan previously edited on Space Jam 2, and has worked on numerous projects for Warner Bros, Paramount, and Disney. Matamoros-Cox has worked on DreamWorks’ TV series Dragons: Defends of Berk, the Netflix special Alien X-Mas, and is a two-time Annie-nominee.

You’ll also learn:

  • How to break into editing for animation
  • What skills to focus on to be in-demand
  • How to keep a steady stream of projects flowing your way

Episode 136: Stop Motion Animator Samu Mariani On The Industry In Brazil

This episode features Brazilian Stop Motion Animator Samu Mariani who shares what the stop motion industry is like in Brazil and how he ended up working on the award-winning feature film Bob Spit – We Do Not Like People.

You’ll also learn:

  • Which animation festivals to stay connected with in South America
  • How to become a professional stop motion animator in Brazil
  • How to connect with other animators in South America

[SPONSORED MESSAGE]

This episode is sponsored by HUE, makers of colorful, affordable USB cameras and animation software for creative teaching, work and play.

Available from huehd.com and Amazon, the new HUE HD Pro camera features 1080p image and video resolution, a built-in microphone and LED lights.

HUE’s funky, flexible, Plug & Play cameras are easy-to-use and they are compatible with any apps that recognize USB cameras including Discord, Dragonframe, OBS, Twitch, Google Meet, Zoom and many more.

In fact, if you go to YouTUbe and watch my interview with laura, I’m actually using a Hue camera as my webcam, so you can see what it’s like firsthand there.

Visit www.huehd.com for more information and follow @HUEcameras on Instagram or Twitter for news, freebies and giveaways!

Episode 135: How Stop Mo Animator Kyla Atlas Created A Studio In Toronto

This chat features Kyla Atlas, a Toronto-based stop motion animator who is also the co-founder of See You On the Moon animation studio. Kyla shares her journey into stop motion, what it’s like running her own business, and how she got to work on Ultra City Smiths at the new Stoopid Buddy Stoodios in Toronto. And as a bonus, Nicole Honderich, my former Stoopid Buddy Studio coworker is also joining me to interview Kyla.

You’ll also learn:

  • How Kyla picks up animation gigs
  • How demanding running an independent studio can be
  • Why Kyla put her business on hold to work at Stoopid Buddy Stoodios

Episode 134: Austin Faber’s Unusual Path To Becoming A Netflix Story Artist

This chat is with Netflix Story Artist Austin Faber, who shares his journey from making comics in community college to ending up at Disney and then Netflix.

You’ll also learn:

  • What it was like being a black student in a predominately white animation school
  • The unusual method that pushed Austin to excel in storyboarding.
  • How Austin got hired at Netflix

Episode 133: How Aaron Augenblick Produced Superjail!, Teenage Euthanasia, And Swan Boy

This episode features Aaron Augenblick, animator, producer, director, and founder of Brooklyn-based Augenblick Studios who shares how he founded his studio and built up his client base.

You’ll also learn:

  • How Aaron keeps the studio fresh after 22 years of business
  • The unique post-pandemic culture Aaron is building at his studi
  • How Aaron picked up Teenage Euthanasia

Episode 132: How Stop Motion Animator Cristal Buemi Built Her Career In Toronto

This chat features stop motion animator Cristal Buemi who shares her journey into creating her career in Toronto. Throughout her career, she’s worked on projects like Below Her Mouth, Party for One, Ultra City Smiths, and Gaea.

You’ll also learn:

  • How Cristal made the right connections to work on Ultra City Smiths
  • 5 top tips to avoid injuries on the job
  • Everything you wanted to know about working with TAIS

Episode 131: Arlo The Alligator Boy Creator Ryan Crego’s Animation Career Journey

This episode features Director/Producer Ryan Crego who created the Netflix 2D animated feature film Arlo the Alligator Boy. In this chat Ryan shares his journey from story artist at Dreamworks to getting to create his own film at Netflix.

You’ll also learn:

  • 3 great tips to avoid burnout in animation
  • Ryan’s underlying motivation that leads him to new and amazing opportunities
  • Ryan’s version of success that drives him to create amazing stories

Episode 130: How Laura Tofarides Started Her Career From Scratch To Animate On Isle Of Dogs

This episode features stop motion animator Laura Tofarides, who is known for her work on Isle of Dogs, Early Man, Love Death + Robots, Robin Robin, and Kiri & Lou. In this chat, Laura shares how she went from a Runner on Chuck Steel and everything she did in between to become a super stellar, full-time stop motion animator.

You’ll also learn:

  • What you need to showcase in your work to work on feature films
  • The number one reason to specialize in an area of stop motion
  • How to actively further your career in stop motion and become in demand

Episode 129: How Stop Motion Animator Lindsay Berkebile Moved From TV To Feature Film

This chat features Stop Motion Animator Lindsay Berkebile. Lindsay’s ten-year career has spanned commercials, televisions, and more recently feature film as she is now animating on Henry Selick’s Wendell and Wild.

You’ll also learn:

  • How Linsday got her start in stop motion
  • The number one thing Linsday did to move from TV to feature film animation
  • The show Linsday is currently pitching

Episode 128: How Greg Franklin Ended Up Directing Tig Notaro’s Drawn

This chat features Greg Franklin, Co-Founder and Creative Director at Six Point Harness Studios. Throughout his 20-year career in animation, Franklin has worked on many award-winning projects including the Oscar-winning Hair Love, Guava Island, and Cosmos with Neil Degrasse Tyson. In this chat, he shares what it was like founding a studio and keeping it running for nearly two decades.

You’ll also learn:

  • How Franklin turned a professional wrestling career into animation
  • The mindset that’s kept his business going for 20 years
  • The crazy backstory to how Tig Notaro’s Drawn got animated

Episode 127: Justin Weg On How To Become A Professional CG Character Animator

This chat features senior character animator Justin Weg who shares his journey into CG character animation. Justin has worked on films like Rio, Spies in Disguise, The Peanut’s Movie, and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. He is also a teacher at Animschool, teaching class 5 on character performance, and on the side he is a stop motion hobbyist.

You’ll also learn:

  • What it was like working at Blue Sky during the closure
  • What Justin did to get his first job in CG animation
  • The number one thing he tells his students to work on

Episode 126: The Dynamic Duo Who Boarded + Composed Tom And Jerry In New York

This episode features Story Arist Keith Baxter and Music Composer Greg Sims. Keith has worked as a director, songwriter, character designer, 2D and 3D animator, and story artist on previous projects like Flushed Away and The Croods. Greg has worked in television on Oprah and Dr. Oz as well as animated film like The Lion of Judah. In this chat they share the unique way they created the boards for Tom and Jerry in New York.

You’ll also learn:

  • How Keith made the switch from music school into animation
  • How Greg made his break from television music into animated film
  • The two biggest skills that have made them invaluable to work with
  • Find Greg on LinkedIn
  • Check out Greg’s website here
  • Find Keith on LinkedIn
  • Watch Keith’s Cheesemonger here
  • Check out Keith’s YouTube channel here

Episode 125: Pixar Story Artist Ted Mathot Shares The Secret Formula To A Compelling Story

This episode features Create Director of Spire Studios, Ted Mathot. Mathot spent over 20 years as a story artist at Pixar working on some of their biggest films like The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, and Wall-E. In this chat, he shares everything he’s learned to make compelling stories audiences eat up.

You’ll also learn:

  • The book Mathot read that helped him move from Story Artist to Supervisor
  • The number one piece of feedback Mathot gives Story Artists
  • The secret formula to a boarding a compelling scene

Episode 124: How Marty Cooper Built An Animation Career Off Social Media

This episode features Marty Cooper, a feature storyboard artist turned social media animator. Over the years Marty has created pieces for Wendys, Nike, Will Smith, Rick and Morty, and even the Biden 2020 Campaign. In this chat he shares his journey from full-time studio work, to building up his career as a freelance animator through social media.

You’ll also learn:

  • How Marty originally went viral with his animation on YouTube
  • The pros and cons of being your own boss
  • His strategy for finding success in his career through social media

Episode 123: Vikkal Parikh’s Journey From Architecture In India To Owning An Animation Studio In NYC

This episode features animator and Ataboy Studios owner, Vikkal Parikh. Originally Parikh pursued a career as an architect in India, but realized working in the animation industry would be much more fulfilling. So, in the early 2000s he decided to make the switch and applied to SCAD. In this chat, Parikh shares the challenges of making the journey from India to the US as well as starting his own studio in New York.

You’ll also learn

  • How to win commercial projects without compromising on budget
  • The secret formula to selling an ad
  • Where the future of animation advertising is heading

Episode 122: Michael Surrey Shares His Big Break Into Disney And How He Worked His Way Up

This episode features veteran Disney animator and current Creative Director of Story and Animation at Spire Animation Studios, Michael Surrey. In this chat, Surrey shares how he got his big break at Disney in the 90s, how he worked his way up the animation ranks, and what he learned about pursuing a lasting and fulfilling career in animation without burnout.

You’ll also learn:

  • How to make yourself invaluable when you’re just starting out
  • The mindset you need to get into to make a character perform naturally
  • His best advice for those looking to have a long career in animation

Episode 121: Stop Motion Animator dina Amin & How She Built Her Career From Scratch In Egypt

This episode features Egyptian stop motion animator dina Amin, who reveals how quitting her job and deconstructing appliances led to a full time career in stop motion.

You’ll also learn:

  • How to make it as a stop motion animator in Egypt
  • What you need to give up to truly follow something you love
  • What dina does to get new client work

Episode 120: What 26 Years At Pixar Taught Shawn Krause

This episode features Shawn Krause, the Creative Director of Animation and Story at Spire Studios. Krause brings with him more than two decades of experience working as an animator and animation supervisor at Pixar, which he shares in this chat.

You’ll also learn:

  • Why Pixar hired him only one year into CalArts
  • The number one piece of advice Krause gives to animation newbies
  • What it was like working at Pixar before the Toy Story days

Episode 119: VFX Production Manager Wahid Ibn Reza’s Career Move From Bangladesh To Canada

This episode features writer, director, and VFX/Animation Production Manager Wahid Ibn Reza. Originally from Bangladesh, Reza became an accomplished actor before deciding to give up everything to pursue a film career in Vancouver, Canada. In this chat, Reza shares the impact that decision had and the unheard-of risks he took that led to big career payoffs.

You’ll also learn:

  • How to become top-of-mind for new production roles
  • The must-needed skills to develop for a successful production management role
  • How to get into exclusive meetings with higher-ups

Episode 118: Steve Angel On Running Headgear Animation Studio For 24 Years

This episode features Co-founder and Director of Toronto-based Head Gear Animation. Since its inception in 1997, Head Gear has worked with world-class clients like Nestlé, Ikea, Kellogg’s, and Sesame Workshop, and has garnered a long list of awards for their work in stop motion, 2D, live-action, and puppetry. In this chat, Angel shares how he quickly went from animator, to director, to starting his own studio, and all the ups and downs that has brought over the last two decades.

You’ll also learn:

  • How to start your own professional studio on a dime
  • The secret sauce to staying in business (successfully) in the long term
  • The number one way to sell a new client on stop motion

Episode 117: Stop Motion Director Sinem Sakaoglu On Building A Career In Germany

Watch the teaser for Kara here

This chat features Turkish/American/German stop motion film, commercial, and music video director, Sinem Sakaoglu. She shares what it was like moving from Turkey to the US and finally Germany in pursuit of a creatively fulfilling animation career.

You’ll also learn:

  • The unique funding structure in Europe which allows directors to produce feature films
  • Sinem’s path from businesswoman to stop motion director
  • How to consistently land work when you’re competing with every other country in Europe for projects

Episode 116: Stop Motion Animator Max Winston On Running An Independent Studio

This episode features stop motion animator Max Winston (of I Live in the Woods fame) who shares his journey into running his own independent stop motion studio, RatBat studios.

He also shares:

  • How he landed clients like Cartoon Network
  • Three tricks that have improved his animation performance
  • What it took to emotionally leave his steady job and go independent

Episode 115: Head Writer We Bare Bears Mikey Heller On How He Became A Writer At Cartoon Network

This chat features Mikey Heller, Head Writer for Cartoon Network’s We Bare Bears and the spin-off series, We Baby Bears. In this chat Mikey shares how publishing webcomics landed him his first writing role, and a behind-the-scenes look into the writing room at Cartoon Network.

You’ll also learn:

  • How to make your writing stand out
  • What to do to bump your application to the top of a writing position
  • Three ways animators and writers can better work together

Episode 114: How Musa Brooker Worked His Way Up From Stop Mo Animator To Creative Director

This episode features Musa Brooker, a Stop Motion Animator turned Creative Director. In this chat Musa shares his journey from animator to lead, supervisor, director, and his most recent role as Creative Director for Six Point Harness, the Academy Award Winning studio that produced Hair Love.

You’ll also learn:

  • How to make the jump from animator to director in your career
  • What studios look for when hiring a Creative Director
  • The types of skills you can develop that will help you advance in your animation career

Social links:

Episode 113: An Interview With SyncSketch Co-Founder & CEO Bernhard Haux

This episode features Co-Founder and CEO of SyncSketch, Bernhard Haux. Bernhard is also a multi-talented animator who has worked with several big-name companies such as Pixar, Oculus, and Facebook. In this chat, Bernhard shares how and why he created SyncSketch and where the platform is heading.

You’ll also learn:

  • How Bernhard ended up working at Pixar (for 8 years)
  • The biggest hurdle in animation that SyncSketch solves
  • How Bernhard created SyncSketch from scratch

Episode 112: Joel MacKenzie On How To Manifest Your Animation Career Dreams

This chat features Ottawa Animator Joel MacKenzie who shares his philosophy on how to manifest your dream animation career. Joel’s career has spanned writing, directing, pitching, and character design for clients like Cartoon Network, Sesame Workshop, HBO, and the CBC, as well as creating his own pilots, Spaceman and Robotron, The Myth of Robo Wonderkid, and Tuff Pom.

You’ll also learn:

  • What to do if you’re working at a job that you like, but it’s not exactly what you want?
  • What it’s like to go through development for a pitch
  • How to make a career out of being your own artist

Episode 111: How Eric Power Singlehandedly Animates Feature Films In Stop Mo With Construction Paper

This episode features Eric Power, an independent stop motion animator who specializes in construction paper animation. Over his 20-year career he’s worked on music videos, brand spots, and even feature films. In this chat, he shares exactly how he’s made a career out of this medium.

You’ll also learn:

  • How Eric gets clients
  • How long it takes Eric to create a fully animated feature film (single-handedly)
  • Eric’s entire process from ideation to completion

Episode 110: Scott Wiser’s Journey To Direct His Original Animated Feature Film

This episode features Scott Wiser and his journey to direct his original feature film who shares exactly how he’s been pitching his ideas and gaining interest from studios to produce it.

You’ll also learn:

  • How Scott gets top industry pros to mentor him
  • The unique way Scott gets studios interested in his work
  • What to do today that will get you one step closer to becoming a director

Episode 109: Motion Graphic Designer William Marler On How To Build Lasting Client Relationships

This episode features award-winning UK Motion Graphics Designer William Marler, who shares his strategy to get more work out of his clients and what he does to manufacture his own luck in the animation industry.

You’ll also learn:

  • The 6 currencies of taking on animation projects (other than for pay)
  • The number one thing that will impress any client
  • How to develop lasting relationships with people you meet at networking events


Episode 108: Max Simone Creator Of Gēmusetto On How To Sell Your Ridiculous Show Idea To Adult Swim

This episode features Max Simone, creator of Adult Swim’s Gēmusetto Machu Picchu and the recent Gēmusetto Death Beats. In this chat, Max shares how he originally pitched the show to Adult Swim and the pipeline to create each episode.

You’ll also learn:

  • How Max convinced Adult Swim to fund his show idea
  • The unique way Max keeps viewers engaged
  • The reason why Max gained absolute creative freedom with his show

[SPONSORED MESSAGE]

This episode is sponsored by the awesome team at StartAStudio.com

Start A Studio, is a new online school focused on the business side of animation. They have both free and paid courses, an online community and downloads to help you succeed in your animation career, and build your own cool, creative and viable animation studio.

You can use the unique discount code ‘AIP’ in the checkout to save 20% on their popular Pro Studio Startup course.

So, whether you’re looking to up your freelance game or plan and launch your own animation company, check out startastudio.com

Episode 107: 2D Effects Artist Dan Elder Explains The Right Way To Ask For A Raise

This episode features Dan Elder, a 15-year veteran to 2D special effects who currently co-head’s Jam Filled Entertainment’s Effects Department in Ottawa. In this chat he shares how to pursue 2D effects in today’s industry as well as how to work your way up in your career.

You’ll also learn:

  • The right way to ask for a raise in animation
  • The type of person who excels in 2D effects
  • A practical way to know your worth as an animator

Episode 106: Indie Stop Mo Animator Martha Mapes Shares How She’s Breaking Into The Stop Mo Scene

This episode features Chicago-based independent stop motion animator, Martha Mapes, who shares what she’s doing to break into the stop motion scene during the pandemic.

You’ll also learn:

  • What kind of stop motion networking events exist in LA
  • How Martha gets stop motion commissions
  • The complete skillset needed to be an independent stop mo animator

Episode 105: Brent Forrest & Tobias Schlage Share How They Got Into 160 Animated Film Festivals

You’ll also learn:
  • Which festivals they got the best connections from
  • The ingenious way they maximized success with getting into festivals
  • Why you should focus on making films instead of getting films made

Episode 104: How Jorge Gutierrez Made The Book Of Life Happen When No Studio Wanted To Touch It

This episode features Mexcian Animator, Producer, and Director Jorge Gutierrez who shares everything it took to get the Book of Life made when no studio wanted to touch it.

You’ll also learn:

  • What Jorge did to gain credibility when no one thought he could direct
  • The animation Jorge made in a week that led to getting his own show
  • Jorge’s best practical advice for pursuing your dreams

Episode 103: Wian Van Bergen & the Pipeline Built in Unreal Engine for His First IP Isaura

This episode features Wian van Bergen, Art Director and Cofounder of Lucan, an animation studio based in Cape Town, South Africa. In our chat, Wian shares the real-time pipeline his team built using Unreal Engine for their first IP, Isaura.

You’ll also learn:

  • How he pitched a TV show to a commercial client and got a “yes”
  • What the industry for animation is like in South Africa
  • How Wian turned a dentist appointment into founding a studio
  • Check out Lucan’s studio and see the trailer for Isaura here
  • Follow Lucan on Instagram

Episode 102: Oscar-Conteder Alexandra Ramires With Short Film Storytelling Tips

This episode features short filmmaker Alexandra Ramires who shares her approach to short film storytelling. She also shares how she received funding to make her Oscar-contending short, “Tie”, the collective of directors behind the animation, and her process to create the film’s unique look.

You’ll also learn:

  • How to make each moment of a film have impact
  • How sustainable a career in short films is
  • How long it took to make an 11-minute film

[SPONSORED MESSAGE]

This episode is sponsored by TV Paint.

Created in 1991 by Hervé Adam, TV Paint was developed to create digital 2D animations as closely as possible to hand-drawn animation and to make it accessible to everyone.

Now used by artists, animation schools, and major film studios all over the world, including Cartoon Saloon who used it to create their feature film Wolfwalkers, TV Paint has many powerful tools that can imitate real-life painting and drawing techniques like gouache, watercolor, pencil, and more.

So, if you’d like to try TV Paint for yourself, head on over to TVPaint.com to begin your free trial now.

Start your free trial now

Episode 101: Alexandre Siqueira Shares His Process To Create Oscar Contender Short Film Purple Boy

This episode features Alexandre Siqueira, who shares his process to create the Oscar contender animation short film, Purple Boy. In our chat he covers how he built his team, secured financing, and how he wrote the narrative to make the film stand out.

You’ll also learn:

  • Why Purple Boy took eight years to make
  • The biggest thing Alexandre learned about making a short film successful
  • How to make your film appealing to a variety of audiences

Want More Episodes?

Check out the First 100 Episodes of the Animation Industry Podcast here.

Looking for More Great Animation Podcasts?

If you’re looking for other great animation podcasts, I also compiled a list of every animation podcast that exists! The list contains over 50 current and discontinued animation podcasts filled with TV show reviews, news, interviews, and software tips.

Here it is: Every Animation Podcast in One Big List (50+)

Happy listening!

Interested in What the Industry is Like in Toronto? Check Out These Great Resources: