Saturday, February 22, 2014

Animated News: Nancy Beiman on NPR

Nancy Beiman (source: LinkedIn)
Working off of the Vanity Fair article on a group of graduates from CalArts' animation program in the 1970's--which included such notable animators as Tim Burton, Brad Bird, John Lasseter, and Disney's first female animation supervisor: Nancy Beiman--on Sunday, February 16th, National Public Radio posted an interview with Ms.Beiman on their website.

You can read the transcript on their website, however I highly encourage readers to listen to the entire interview with Ms. Beiman by either streaming audio or downloading the audio file off of the same page. During the interview, Ms. Beiman provides some insights on what it was like to be one of the few women studying to be an animator at CalArts at that time.

While only five-and-a-half minutes long, Ms. Beiman's interview is worth listening to for any girl who in interested in pursuing a career in animation. Starting at time marker 1:50, she discusses not just some of the male-centric humor she endured with grace (and countering with humor of her own), but also the hard work involved in learning the trade of animation with some notes on what she did to succeed in her field.

Ms. Beiman has published two books: "Prepare to Board: Creating Story and Characters for Animated Features and Shorts" (now in its second edition), and "Animated Performance: Bringing Imaginary Animal, Human and Fantasy Characters to Life". While I haven't yet read "Animated Performance", in my not-so-humble opinion, "Prepare to Board' is a must-read for any serious animation student.

For those who only wish to listen to the NPR interview, I've embedded NPR's Media Player below.