Where are you currently employed?
I work at Walt Disney TV Animation as an animatic editor. Animatic editing is a pre-production job and is very different from what our post-production animation editors do.
Right now I am working on Penn Zero: Part Time Hero, an animated series slated to premiere on Disney XD early next year. It’s about a suburban kid who travels to other worlds every day after school to fight evil.
Describe Your Job.
I build each episode from the ground up as a series of black-and-white stills with some motion when appropriate. Using the storyboard panels and character dialogue, I assemble the show in Avid and time the action. The animatic is crucial for determining the timing of the fully animated show. With the script and storyboards changing all the time, I am adding revision panels to reflect all the changes every day. In animatics, we have about a week and a half to get it right.
Once I make my final QuickTime output of the animatic, it is sent to the animation studio along with every possible design from the artists, layouts, conformed storyboards and other essential elements. There they give the picture full-color animation. I am honored to be doing one of the most creative editing jobs I can think of!
How did you first become interested in this line of work?
Many years ago, I was a film major at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and decided that editing was going to be my career. I also have a huge passion for animation, so this job is a no brainer for me.
Who gave you your first break?
Matt Walker of DisneyToon Studios Music gave me my first foot-in-the-door break as an assistant in his department. I worked up to being music production supervisor on Leroy and Stitch, a direct-to-video feature spinoff of Lilo and Stitch.
What was your first union job?
My editing break at Disney came through Andy Schoentag, Steve Arenas, Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh. I am forever grateful to all of them for taking a risk and hiring me as a first time assistant ediror on Phineas and Ferb!
Which of your credits or projects have made you the most proud and why?
So far, it has to be Phineas and Ferb. Early on in the seven years of that production, I was promoted to animatic editor. The show was a runaway hit and I am proud to have been a part of it.
What was your biggest challenge in your job (or on a particular project) and how did you overcome/solve it?
The biggest challenge I always face when I start a show is really honing in and getting to know my new directors’ sensibilities. Once you accomplish that, you can have more fun with timing choices, music, special effects and lots of other things.
What was the most fun you’ve had at work?
The most fun was pretty much every time the voice talent or celebrity fans of Phineas and Ferb would stop by the office. It happened a lot. It was especially great to meet Jon Stewart when he came in with his son. He was really nice…and funny.
Jobwise, what do you hope to be doing five years from now?
I hope to be editing on animated features or producing an animated series I have in development.
What are your outside activities, hobbies, passions?
I am a volunteer photographer for the Pasadena Humane Society and I help rescue and foster dachshunds for the Southern California Dachshund Relief. I have five of my own rescued pups, an aviary with finches, starlings, grosbeaks and other birds, and a backyard Japanese garden. We also have a few chickens and eat fresh eggs whenever we can.
Favorite movie(s)? Why?
This might sound like a cliché but The Big Lebowski is it. It’s one of the few favorites of mine that has stood up to many repeat viewings.
Favorite TV program(s)? Why?
My favorite TV show is It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. The characters are so despicable, yet I can’t help but love them so much.
Do you have an industry mentor?
I adore Matt Stone and Trey Parker. I would love to work for them someday.
What advice would you offer to someone interested in pursuing your line of work?
If possible, get your foot in the door. Always be positive and get to know as many people as you can. People really do remember the good, funny, hard-working folk.
Was there ever a circumstance when you had to rely on the Guild for help or assistance?
Just to check my available craft hours!
Is there anything you’d like to say to your fellow Guild members, some words of encouragement?
We are all fortunate to have such cool jobs and equally as fortunate to have the Guild backing us.
- Compiled by Edward Landler
Editor’s Note: To recommend a member (including yourself) to be featured on the home page of the Editors Guild website, contact email@example.com.