It is the summer of 1987, sitting on train heading to NYC with my portfolio.
I'm going on an job interview The position: runner or intern with Michael Sporn Animation Inc I am suppose to meet Robert Marianetti assistant director (I believe was his title) I walk into a room lined with tables with disk cut into them and light shining threw a framed clear glass plate, on the walls are drawings upon drawings of a cute little white bear no personal items really around I found that a bit odd. My first thought was is this how animation studio look like? not what I expected. But I liked Robert right away. Later he said why he hired me was(not a direct quote)becouse He found it interesting that I look like a biker but draw faeries. what I found out during the interview was this office space was just an annex the real studio was down the street. There were two projects going on Santabear's High Flying Adventure and Lyle,Lyle Crocodile not enough room at the studio to work on both films.
My job took me into many different places in Manhattan the routine was simple I would start by taking the Finished drawings from the studio (annex) to a company called Chelsea Animation to be inked & paint, then take the finished painted cells and bring it to F-Stop Studios to be shot, Grab the finished shot artwork back to the studio(annex). I would also go to the lab were the film would be developed and bring it to the Real Micheal Sporn Studio; Now the first time I walked into that studio I went Wow! This is an ANIMATION STUDIO!
Art work on the walls not just the project being worked on, but cells from different past projects, people working on the left or right side of the room an attractive women working on backgrounds on one side of the studio, and sitting at a large black animation desk was Michael him self. it is always a little scary meeting your boss for the first time I think it took awhile for us to warm up to each other I'm the quite type even now I don't say very much. I can remember when I felt the ice was broken The office manager said something odd to me when I was dropping of the dailies, I gave Micheal a "what?" type of look turned to her and said "hm mm yeah" Michael broke out laughing.
SantaBear was cumming to a end Lyle as well I was not sure if I would have a job after the projects was over, Robert one day pulled me aside I thought this would be it the axe! But no I was told that Michael wanted me to work on the next project Abel's Island of course I said yes. Over the years I can't say I know how many project we worked on together my title changed depending on the project we were working on. I was constantly learning, School of Visual Arts was a good foundation Micheal Sporn Studio Was my finishing school. I learned allot. One of the things people say about me now is how fast I work well that was part of my on the job training Meeting deadlines with an artistic flare
Michael and I still talk from time to time I enjoy visiting the studio and I still look at the cells on the wall and say wow except now some of the cell on the wall are the same projects that I worked on.