Steve Hickner (interviewed November 2007) reminds me how, after more than a hundred animation interviews under my belt, his story is so similar, and yet so different, than everyone else in the great animation family out there. Hickner grew up loving to draw at an early age, then discovered animation and began focussing on animation as an eventual career, then with both determination and good luck, he meet some great animation mentors, who gladly give of their time and expertise, and finally he’s now living his childhood dream, actually making a living at what he loves most. It’s the same ol’ story, right? … and yet … he’s has experienced his own remarkable little twists and turns, in fact, usually not so little, really, humongous twists and turns.
We interviewed Steve Hickner at his DreamWorks production office, shortly after the release of Bee Movie, which he co-directed, with Simon J. Smith. The interview is basically one half pre-Bee, with the second half inside the hive, as it were. Hickman has worn almost every hat on the animation hat rack, from in-betweener and hand-drawn animator, to story artist and producer, to directing DreamWorks first feature, The Prince of Egypt”. Before joining DreamWorks, he worked, in roughly five year intervals, at Filmation, Hanna-Barbera, Disney, and Amblimation. He was a Production Coordinator on Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
Working in CG animation now, with a background strongly routed in traditional animation, Hickner is able to give us some thoughtful insights into the advantages and disadvantages between 2D & 3D techniques, and finds both to have their dos and don’ts. He also expresses how much he enjoyed his collaboration with Jerry Seinfeld, saying “Jerry is the king of observational comedy. Comedy is really good at taking the foibles and idiosyncrasies of people and presenting them in such a fresh way that it makes us laugh. We hope this gives you and idea of what’s in store, in ou interview with Steve Hickner, and you find it as enjoyable as we did.
This episode sponsored by The UPA Project
Tags: studios: dreamworks