Monday, April 28, 2008

Interview with Adam Phillips from the past

This was recorded just after Adam left Disney. But all information stays informative and inspirational. When I originally wrote the questions the answers didn’t mean much to me but now as I have grown and begun this college course and final project so many little things interest me and inspire me. The pass into storytelling and the history of his work. How he has evolved and also how I have evolved in animation since I wrote it.

  1. When did you first start animating?

Animation as a career never occurred to me until someone said "you

should apply to Disney!". Before that I wanted to make my own comic book and become massively successful and famous with it. I actually used a

few pages of my comic book work-in-progress to apply for the job at


2. Did anything in education help achieve your position now?

No, not really... I never elected art as a subject, and I left school

early. Nowadays I'm obsessed with learning, and there are times I wish I'd learned more at school. But I'm glad I wasn't exposed to different

styles of art too early on.. it helped me develop my own unique style.

3. Tell me about the evolution of Brackenwood so far.

Yes definitely. Brackenwood started as a novel about a planet called

'Forest', inhabited by a lone crazy pixie called Jack. It was quite dark and even violent.. but eventually the story developed into a more light-hearted thing, and that character became Bingbong. In the

beginning, the story was all about Bingbong, which is why 'Bingbong of Brackenwood' was the first Brackenwood episode. But Bitey's worldwide popularity exploded after his introductory episode, so the story has been developed now to focus on the relationship between Bingbong and his nemesis, Bitey.

4. Who are your favourite animators? (Influenced)

I don't really have a favourite animator. I have friends from Disney

whose work just blows me away. I am lucky to be able to look over their shoulders and watch them work... learn from true masters of the craft.

The direction I have mapped out for my future is more focused on

storytelling, than animation. I have been very fortunate to be given

that training in animation, but it's just one area of storytelling. I'd like to tell stories in other media.. such as 3D animation, live-action, literature (fiction) and illustrated stories (graphic novels, comics). For now though, animation has helped me expose my ideas to the world, so I think I'll stick with it for a number of years yet. Who knows though?

There are usually many surprises that throw your life in a completely

different direction to that which you'd planned. I'm happy to make the best of what I've got, and go with the flow

5. Have any other people helped you on your way, partner, family.. friends?

My mother noticed my talent for drawing when I was a toddler. She has

photos of me drawing spiders on my toes when I was 2 years old, and she has kept many of my drawings. The earliest drawing of mine, a

pencil-drawing of a man's face, she has kept in a photo album. The

drawing is dated 1973. I was almost 3 at the time.

Over the last 6 years, my partner Jeanette has been instrumental in

helping my storytelling dreams become a reality. She was there when I

first got a PC and the internet, and when I discovered Flash and made my first movie. Without her, Brackenwood would never have been what it is today.

6. Tell me about you and Disney

Disney employed me because they saw that I had a talent for drawing. I was not employed as an animator. I was employed as a trainee

Inbetweener. Inbetweening is where you would start a career in

animation. From there, you need to learn all you can about the industry

and the process, develop your skills and work your way up.

7. What are your favourite animated television programs or movies?

My favourite animated movies are Iron Giant and The Incredibles. For

sheer storytelling genius, Brad Bird is my hero. My favourite animated

programs are those that contain very clever writing and entertaining

dialog.. things like the original Warner Bros cartoons (Chuck Jones)

Angry Beavers, The Simpsons (early years), Spongebob. These are all

legendary because of the refined blend of character design, writing and


8. What advice would you give to young animators?

Learn all you can about anatomy (human and animal) before you try to

learn about animation or cartooning. A good grounding in the

fundamentals of real bodies and forms will give you the best start for a

career in animation.

When I applied to Disney, animation skill/experience was not required.

Not even an education was required... all that they wanted was an

exceptional artist. Someone who commits every spare minute to nurturing

their talent and learning, improving, refining. You have to make it your

life, and if you love to draw, you won't find this difficult at all.

9. What do you hope for Brackenwood in the future?

Global saturation hahah!

- - The Daily Crumb

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