It's March. And in honor of March 8th being "International Women's Day", I'll be publishing interviews with a pair of trailblazing women who work in the animation industry.
The first interviewee is Academy Award winner Joan C. Gratz. It's not very often that you get to meet one of the legends of animation much less get to talk to them about their craft. But for years, Joan has been on my short-list of women animators to interview and our meeting at the Ottawa International Animation Festival was the textbook definition of serendipity (more on that later). During editing, I had to cut sections from her interview as we would find ourselves drifting away from the discussion and over into topics like the current state of the art of animation and the festival scene. After Joan approved the final draft and I was transferring it over into this blog, I found myself hoping against hope that Joan comes back to Ottawa soon as I'd love to spend more time just sitting there and listening to her talk about animation.
The second is Samantha Inoue-Harte: actress, voice actress, animator, and producer. One of the (many) things that makes Sami so special is that she has roles in both the American and the Japanese animation industries. As I travel to anime festivals, I meet a lot of kids who are enamored with anime and love the idea of working in Japan. During her lectures at festivals (and in her interview for this blog), Sami brings a fresh dose of realism to the discussion that covers both the hard realities of working in the animation industry and provides a lot of concrete steps for budding animators. When I read the first draft of her interview, I was almost in tears when she stated how all artists/animators should study business principles as I've been beating on that particular drum for many years!
So check back on Tuesday, March 8th for part one of my interview with Joan Gratz, and Happy International Women's