Indie Filmwork into TV

A gratuitous shot of John Lasseter giving me my Student Academy Award in 1989 for my first film “The Chore”. Oscar © AMPAS

Although I love my TV work, I will always have a special place in my heart for independent animated films. Indie’s are great because they get produced under the radar and become art pieces in themselves, showing in art house film festivals or in a private DVD or video collections. They can be pushed past comfort levels, completely sidestepping the needs of commerce. This is where the real ground breaking work is done. Without corporate development people dictating what is “good”. Although great work can still be done within the network studio structure, independent animated film remains in integral part of the development of the medium.

My independent film “My Dog Zero”, 1992.

Out of all of my artistic projects, I would have to say that the most gratifying to date, would be the making of my 3rd Independent film “My Dog Zero”. I feel it’s due to the sheer stubbornness in getting it made over all obstacles, lack of money, resources etc. When you are an independent filmmaker, you think the best thing would be to have mountains of money at your disposal. But I learned so much, and met so many incredible people because I didn’t have much money. The small grant I did get, I spent on feeding a painting crew of mostly college students on 12 weekends to cel paint the film. When I finally finished the film, my usual distributors were not interested in it. So I showed up at one of their festivals at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco with my film tucked under my arm, and persuaded them to show it to their audience along with their other films. They relented and the film got a good response. They picked it up for distribution shortly after. And it was that film that Linda Simensky saw which led me to Rocko.