Professional Animation–It’s a shame that most people have never seen the work of Seth MacFarlane
Professional Animation– -There is no one in America with more creative power than this man. He’s been called “the greatest animator alive,” and yet he is virtually unknown outside Hollywood. This interview will change all that—with its exclusive inside look at his animation techniques, it will show you why he has become a legend in the animation world.
It won’t be easy to get an interview with him–he’s very busy, very shy and doesn’t do many interviews — but luckily I am friends with someone who knows him well enough to set up this meeting for us. That’s right: my friend got me an interview with Seth MacFarlane!
INTERVIEW WITH SETH MACFARLANE ON ANIMATION
Q: Let’s get right into it, shall we? Being an animator myself, I’m really excited about this topic. So Seth, how did you get interested in animation?
Very simple answer: It was my first passion. I had always been interested in animation, even before I knew what it was called. When I was 6 years old, my parents got me a book on cartooning and animation that showed how to animate just by drawing the characters with your hands at home — there wasn’t even any equipment needed back then!
Q: So you already did this as a kid?
I started animating right away. I’d just draw figures moving around on paper, without the backgrounds — just the figures with some simple lines for their environment, and then I used to film them doing things like walking or fighting each other.
Q: That sounds awesome! What kind of stuff did you animate? Cartoons?
Oh yeah, I drew a lot of cartoony stuff. I used to draw tons of cartoons! All the stories were about these two characters named Hank and Frank, who were best friends but also enemies at the same time — they would fight with each other every day and then be back together again by the end.
Q: You stopped with the drawings when you were about 7?
I would say so, yeah. I was always a fan of Warner Bros. and Hanna-Barbera cartoons, so my friends and I used to try to reproduce them on video by using action figures or clay marionettes… but it’s really hard! Animation is really difficult to imitate.
Q: What were your favorite cartoons when you were a kid?
My all-time favorites are the ones I watched religiously every day: The Jetsons, Woody Woodpecker… But my absolute favorite was Pink Panther.
Q: And what did you like about The Pink Panther?
Everything! It’s still awesome to watch in any language! There was just something fresh and original about it that made it stand out from the others. I guess he’s my favorite character of all time, really.
Q: So what was your motivation behind creating marvelous animations?
Note: Seth MacFarlane is known for his work on Family Guy, American Dad!, The Cleveland Show and more recently A Million Ways to Die in the West.
I was always motivated by the greats — I wanted to be like them. All my childhood, I used to work on my animation trying to make it as good as theirs, but I never succeeded! Then when The Simpsons appeared and exploded in success… all animators started copying their style because it was so popular. But you can’t imitate The Simpsons! You can only imitate their success, and it doesn’t work like that. So I just continued working on my own style — and it came naturally to me because I’m a cartoonist at heart.
Q: What kind of challenges did you face as an animator?
Well, the main challenge is to raise money and continue making the shows — studio executives are not too keen on animation. But I’m lucky to be in a position where I can produce my own stuff, so the only thing stopping me is time management.
Q: What is your team like? Do you use specific techniques or work on it alone?
I basically create all of my shows by myself, so I’m kind of isolated — but it’s great, because you don’t have to listen to anyone else or discuss creative ideas with anyone else. You just do everything yourself!
Seth MacFarlane’s personal history has demonstrated his dedication to animation, and he is one of the few people who have successfully created an original style that stands out among the competition. His advice for animators today is to keep your focus on what you’re good at – don’t try to copy others’ success but rather find your own voice. If you want more information about how Seth MacFarlane does it, read this article! Today, ask any professional animation studio and they will let you in on Seth MacFarlane’s secret.