Wednesday, November 2, 2005 14 Comments
I guess I should have done this a while ago, but I always have felt that this site isn’t about me, but the guests on the shows. I’ve finally gone and made a page with all the juicy details about how I came to work in animation, as that subject (not me particularly, but in general) seems to be an area of great interest for many people who have contacted me. I think that’s what they wanted. At least I hope so. When someone asks, “What do you do?” they want a little something more than, “I do this thing,” don’t they? Well, I know I like a little history thrown in, so that’s what I did. Enough already, there’s a link in the sidebar as well as here.
I just read your bio/history of how you got into animation. I love hearing/reading stories like that. Very inspirational. It’s really cool how things seem to fall into place (in hindsight anyway).
Congrats on your success and thanks for sharing your take on animation and acting as liason into the world of Disney animation with this website and podcast.
I love it!
Art- Thanks for the comment. Glad you enjoyed it. I really can’t feel comfortable with the term liason. That makes everything sound too official for me (it’s totally not) and too restricted to Disney. I’ll be branching out in the future to talk to people from other studios. I wanted to get my feet wet first with the people I know the best. How about we just consider me a source of fun stuff to listen to? I’ll also accept the title of animation philanthropist. 😉
Really enjoyed your bio Clay. For some reason, I always assume that everyone but me had a straight, clear career path in mind all along. It’s always nice to hear that other folks kinda made it up as they went along too!
Hey Clay, I just got back from the ASIFA screening of Chicken Little. I had been excited since I first saw promotional stuff for it, and I had seen sequences at various events, but I just wanted to come over here and tell you guys congratulations. A lot of people are still offended by the audacity of Disney Corporate in the post-Wells period, especially the closing of WDFA. In all of the fighting, I think a lot of people are forgetting that there are still artists at Disney, and that they are still forging on to make great cartoons. So, as both an aspiring artists and an eternal resident of Neverland, I just want to say thanks for all of your great work!
I must say, I really loved Fish Out of Water and Kirby (and of course Buck 😉 ). It was fun to see all the innovative stuff they were able to do with mime chacaters (Kirby’s spinning limbs, Fish’s Fishiness).
I am gonna go make dinner now, but thanks again, great job, and keep up the outstanding work! (And if some haters start saying shit about WDFA and CG, either flatout ignore it, or take note so you can make fun of them in your next scene =p)
Clay, awesome job on Buck Cluck. By far, the best animated character in the movie! 🙂 – Ryan
I’ll have to agree with Ryan’s above statement. I enjoyed the movie so much, but I felt like Buck’s performance dominated all. Great work, thanks for giving us a glimpse into how you got to where you are, and I can’t wait to see what you’ll be working on next. So give yourself a pat on the back Clay, you deserve it!
Woah, seems you really did luck out there! Nice work on showing that schmoes who can’t draw can probably get to animate one day.. maybe.
Paul- Those of us who didn’t always know we would be animators just have to play catch up for a while, but it can be done.
Brenton- I’m glad you enjoyed the film. Fish was supervised by Doug Bennet and Kirby was Dick Zondag’s. They show that limits will force creative solutions.
Ryan- Well, we both agree on that. Of course, Buck was supervised by Nik Ranieri. Now you see why I was so eager to interview him (more to come, by the way).
Corey- Thanks! Like I said, I was just following Nik’s lead. In case you see it again, here are some of the Buck shots I did:
– jumping on to the bed
– getting off of the bed (CL too)
– tripping over the trashcan
– running in to the theatre up to when he says, “Stop this right now.” (CL too)
– floating in the ship saying, “…that’s bad parenting, and I should know.” (CL too)
– getting yelled at by the turkey
– dropping off Chicken Little for school, “Now we have a plan,” “Remember, lie low.” (CL too)
– and my favorite non-Buck shot: the Hollywood version of Fish
Nini- Luck played a smaller part than you may want to believe. A quote from Samuel Goldwyn: “I think luck is the sense to recognize an opportunity and the ability to take advantage of it… The man who can smile at his breaks and grab his chances gets on.”
I had the good fortune to show up at the right time, but I made the decision to make something of it – there was no guarantee. There were sixty other students in the class who did not get hired that year. It would have been much easier to say it was impossible and not try at all, but how rewarding would that have been? The way I see it, there are two ways to get a job animating: 1) pick a target, work hard to develop your skills, and don’t stop until you get there; 2) lower your standards of where you want to work. So what you say is a big maybe, it just depends on the individual. With that said, I do believe that anyone can learn how to draw to some acceptable degree.
Dedication, determination and a devotion to continually learning and growing as an animator, combined with plain hard work are what brought your success. Being funny, loyal, hunble, silly and a really creative didn’t hurt, but the bottom line is that you have taken nothing for granted and been willing to risk your ego for your work. I am learning from you as fast as I can.
Chicken Little..WOW! What a great start on this new season for Disney Feature Animation! I know there are people out there that nit pick and say talk about how much money will be brought in or how this movie compares to other animation..but the bottom line is that you, Clay, and your animator buddies at Disney created a funny, exciting animation that has many memorable shots (something I view as a great thing in a movie) The characters are animated wonderful. Each character is then enhanced with the voice talent to create a new cast of colorful characters. When I saw your name in the credits, that gave me added determination to strive for the dream of getting my name in those credits. And it was so awesome to have actually met one of those “names” in person! 🙂
As it’s been said before, your work on Buck was wonderful. And what fun to work with voice talent like Garry Marshall. Fish also was a scene stealer too! It’s gonna be so fun to animate great characters like these! Just a little determination! 🙂
Now that Chicken Little has come out, I’m excited for American Dog and Robinson’s! 🙂 Can’t wait to hear who your supervising on American Dog.
Keep up the continued great work!
I’m glad you added the “About Me” page . I always like reading what people have worked on .
Buck Cluck was great ! Nik did his usual amazing job of subtle acting and facial expressions and you followed him up very well. The animation in Chicken Little was really a step forward in being able to do “cartoony, yet subtle” CG animation .
It’s great to hear your story! Thanks for sharing. Congratulations on your success too! I know it’s only because of the hard work and long hours you’ve put into it, so you deserve it!
That was a very enjoyable read… considering I’m one of those people who have spent a lot of time trying to find the right path. 😉 Well written, and I’m glad you finally decided to share your life with us… after all, you’re a “voice of animation” too!
Clay, really admiring what you are doing with the animation podcast and it’s nice to read up on how you’ve gotten to where you are at. Really inspiring to read. Also to hear the talented Disney folks chat it up is really great for those of us that wouldnt have the chance otherwise to hear what they might have to say outside of the mouse house. So thanks for that. It’s much appreciated, not only by me, but Im sure the many many artists and animators who frequent your place on the net. Good on ya!