Fortiche: What is your role on the project or at Fortiche?
As Animation Lead at Fortiche, I lead a team on various sequences throughout each episode.
As their lead, I work with the Animation Supervisor : Alexis W. and Animation Director: Bart M., to help the Animation team in many ways throughout the process.I assist and review their acting reference, keeping the acting choices genuine and giving the animators a clear road map as they move forward with their animation. I review their animation, (blocking to final pass) giving draw-overs, suggestions and insight to maintain the director's vision as well as the notes from my superiors in an effort to keep acting choices consistent, characters on model and polish at a sophisticated level.
In addition to leading the team, I also animate shots within each sequence in an attempt to set the tone for the standard of quality that is expected. As part of my duties, I handle things such as casting the team shots that both challenge their current level as well as keep their inspiration and morale high. At the start of each sequence, I discuss with the team the director's intent, show storyboards and often present visual inspiration from movie references or other sources which helps unify the vision as we begin our work.
After our work is done, I follow the sequences as they go through the pipe, giving notes to downstream departments related to Animation's intent for FX or CFX.
F: Can you tell us about your career ?
Before coming to Fortiche, I was a supervising animator in London, leading several sequences and multiple characters on that film including the title character, RON. Before that, I was an animator at Dreamworks S.K.G. for ten years. Before moving to Dreamworks, I was a character animator at Disney Feature Animation for three years and graduated from Disney's Apprentice Program in 2006. Prior to Disney, I got my start in the film industry working as an animator on an independently made, VFX film.
F: Why did you choose this career path?
I've always loved animation, having drawn and created characters since I was a young child. I did not study Animation in university, I majored in Fine Art and Media and Film Production. But while at university, I took a class that dipped its toes into 2D animation and I discovered I loved bringing characters to life through animation. After college I moved to California and sought out a 3D animation training course and began to teach myself the software to begin my journey.
F: How long have you been working with Fortiche?
F: What is your best memory at Fortiche or do you have an anecdote to share with us?
I very much enjoy working with my old friend from Dreamworks, Alexis again. He's the main reason my family and I moved to Montpellier and we love it here. I also love that Fortiche strives for high quality and supports the animators in that goal. After moving to Europe, I missed that aspect about Dreamworks and Disney, which I had previously taken for granted. I'm happy to say that I feel I've found that culture again here at Fortiche in a series that we can all be very proud of.