Ask an In­tern!

Animation Magazine - - Tv -

HS­tu­dents spend­ing their sum­mer hang­ing out in an an­i­ma­tion stu­dio talk about what their work life is re­ally like on a day-to-day ba­sis.

el­loooo from Ba­boon An­i­ma­tion’s sum­mer in­terns! We’ll be guest-writ­ing this is­sue’s ar­ti­cle – our first by­line! Yay! We want to talk about what it’s like to go from col­lege cam­pus to in­tern­ing at an ac­tual, pro­fes­sional an­i­ma­tion com­pany. “Not what we ex­pected,” is the short an­swer!

Read on if you’re think­ing of get­ting into the “biz” — we feel that we’ve learned some lessons you may find worth shar­ing. So with­out fur­ther ado, here is us ask­ing our­selves ques­tions:

What sur­prised you most on your first day at Ba­boon An­i­ma­tion?

Lilly: How im­me­di­ately thrown into all of it you are. It’s sink or swim.

Rachel: The of­fice. The big­gest room was the gazebo out­side! It’s a nice gazebo, though. Sam: Amazing gazebo. Nadim: Yeah. Sec­ond, it’s just all so much more in­for­mal than I thought it’d be.

Sam: So in­for­mal. I showed up my first day in a pur­ple col­lared shirt and khakis and felt like I was be­ing looked at like I was wear­ing a rhine­stone tux.

Nadim: It feels like we’re work­ing out of some­one’s liv­ing room – in a good way, not an “I just sat on a pizza” way. It’s a nice liv­ing room. Sam: Not as nice as the gazebo. Mario: It seem like the feel can be ca­sual be­cause the work re­volves around con­nec­tions between the var­i­ous writ­ers it em­ploys — the phys­i­cal space mostly serv­ing as a meet­ing area to hash out ideas. Ev­ery­one else works from dif­fer­ent locations.

Sam: Like, in­ter­na­tion­ally dif­fer­ent. I wouldn’t be able to rec­og­nize most peo­ple we work with on the street.

How pre­pared were you for the kind of writ­ing that is done at Ba­boon?

Nadim: Writ­ing for an­i­ma­tion is ex­tremely dif­fer­ent from the kind of for­mal writ­ing I do at col­lege. I’ve found that writ­ing pro­fes­sion­ally doesn’t mean writ­ing so­phis­ti­cat­edly. First of all, rather than writ­ing for stuffy, moldy col­lege pro­fes­sors — Lilly: Moldy? Nadim: Def­i­nitely moldy. But here, we’re writ­ing for kids and … Mario: And adults who act like kids … Nadim: Also, un­like an es­say, in which the text is the fi­nal prod­uct, the out­lines and scripts we work on are just a step­ping stone to the fi­nal vis­ual prod­uct. “Booms,” “Pows,” co­pi­ous ex­cla­ma­tion points and gen­er­ally car­toon­ish writ­ing serve as vis­ual cues and jokes that will ap­pear in the fi­nal an­i­ma­tion.

Rachel: True. I had a back­ground in fic­tion writ­ing, so the hard­est thing about writ­ing a script was that I could only write what was ac­tu­ally hap­pen­ing. Like, say there’s a cat named Bob and he’s twirling in the air wear­ing a pink tutu. I can’t just write, “Bob has a deep de­sire to be the first cat bal­le­rina,” I have to ex­press this sen­ti­ment through his ac­tions.

What’s the av­er­age day at Ba­boon like? Sam: Not av­er­age. Lilly: Yeah. It starts with try­ing to get the door open … you kinda have to pull the key out as you turn … it’s hard.

Rachel: Then we get to all the su­per fun stuff like go­ing through emails, re­view­ing weekly calendar tasks …

Nadim: Af­ter that, though, the day is filled with pretty in­ter­est­ing stuff! We get to sit in on writ­ers meet­ings.

Mario: Some meet­ings are at the of­fice, but some take place over Skype or the phone. We also get to try our hand at edit­ing scripts, “ex­plod­ing” out­lines … Sam: See? “Boom!” Mario: “Ex­plod­ing” it means ex­pand­ing it out into a script for­mat — the first step to shap­ing it into a script.

Rachel: Be­fore this if you had asked me to ex­plode an out­line, I would have been like, “Ummm, where’s the dynamite kept?” But now that’s one of my fa­vorite tasks. It’s great when you get to fol­low an idea through the whole process. For ex­am­ple, I re­cently took notes on a meet­ing Mike [de Seve] had with a writer to de­velop a new show for a client. I then got a shot at turn­ing my notes into an out­line, then ex­plod­ing that. Although of course that script would go on to be com­pletely rewrit­ten, many times, I re­ally felt like I un­der­stood how an idea gets devel­oped in this in­dus­try.

Sam: Af­ter a few hours of that stuff, it’s time for the real work …

Lilly: De­cid­ing where to eat lunch. The great thing about work­ing in Brook­lyn is that there’s so many dif­fer­ent op­tions around, you can even find all the hip foods you see on Buz­zfeed. (Shout out to rain­bow bagels!)

Nadim: So we go out, waste the money we don’t have, be­cause you know, in­terns don’t ex­actly make the big bucks. Sam: But some­day! Nadim: And then we wade through the ran­dom as­sort­ment of tasks Mike has thrown at us to learn — and hope­fully leave the of­fice un­scathed. Un­til to­mor­row, when we’re wrestling with that key again.

Lilly: I can show you how to do it if you want.

Nadim: though. Lilly: You got it. Rachel: Good night, all! Ba­boon An­i­ma­tion is a U.S.-based col­lec­tive of Os­car-nom­i­nated, multi-Emmy win­ning an­i­ma­tion writ­ers with credits on dozens of the most iconic an­i­mated shows world­wide.

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