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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Women in Animation: Blue Sky "Crew Stories"

NOTE: This post originally appeared on my Smudge Animation site on March 24th, 2015.

Sorry I'm a couple days late with this post, I was at the local Anime convention this weekend, marveling at the fact that among the plethora of cosplayers with characters that I didn't recognize, I saw a guy dressed as Dr. Venture from the Venture Bros., two girls dressed as 'Bee' from Natasha Allegri's Bee and Puppycat and no less than three 'CatBugs' from Pendleton Ward's Bravest Warriors. Always nice to see some American animation slip into the fandom at the Cons and even more so to see a woman show creator get a little recognition from her fans.

Back to the interviews.

I'm going to do something a little different this year. Several times a year, I am contacted by young ladies who have seen these interviews, or the posts on my sister site: 'the Women of Animated Film', or have sat through one of my history of women in animation lectures. They usually ask me for information regarding a specific woman animator for a report they're writing for school or are working on their own historical 'women in animation' sites and ask where I get my info. So, I'd like to expand this year's interviews by providing a little insight into where I get some of my information as well as show what other studios are doing to archive their corner of the industry and encourage the next generation of animators.

Two years ago, I was interviewing a professional acquaintance of mine, who happens to work at Blue Sky Studios, about his history in the animation industry. When the subject turned to my interviews with women animators, he turned me onto a little side-project that they do at Blue Sky called "Crew Stories".

Blue Sky does not limit their interviews to just women animators but expands their coverage to include both men and women who work on their films in various roles. Additionally, they produce both short video clips and more long form written interviews for this project. The written interviews of women working on their films are linked below:
Followed by links for their video series on Vimeo called "21 seconds with..."
With a longer form video interview with their Lead Sculptor Vicki Saulls.

Personally, I migrate towards the written interviews because they get a little more in depth with regards to professional history and advice that they'd give people who want to work in their particular segment of the field of animation. But all the interviews that Blue Sky have done are invaluable tools for learning more about the industry and provide us with a look behind the curtain at the roles where women are working.