The Right Sound

Guil­laume Hel­louin

Animation Magazine - - Tv -

An­i­ma­tion dub­bing spe­cial­ist Au­dioworks Pro­duc­ers Group cel­e­brates its 20th an­niver­sary with a broad spec­trum of projects, in­clud­ing co-pro­duc­ing the Mondo TV se­ries Spike Team. By Tom McLean. Spike Team, Spike Team MD Geist, of tal­ent among stage ac­tors. “Broad­way is per­for­mance and you’re run­ning through the whole thing in one go so you’ve got to know what you’re do­ing and get it right the first time.”

Cross­ing Tongues On Spike Team, the voice ac­tors work from scripts that get punched up af­ter be­ing trans­lated from the orig­i­nal Ital­ian, he says, a process that of­ten throws a few curves at the crew. “You have col­lo­qui­alisms, sort of lo­cal phrases where if you put it through Google Trans­late it might make no sense, so you need some­one who has knowl­edge of both English and the orig­i­nal lan­guage, so they can trans­late the phrases.”

The deal with Mondo be­gan in 2008 and has set­tled into a smooth work­ing re­la­tion­ship, says Mid­den­way. Other key an­i­mated projects in the com­pany’s his­tory in­clude part­ner­ing with Ale McHaddo from 44 Toons in Sao Paolo, Brazil, to cre­ate their short fea­ture, Diznei on Ice, a send-up of what it might be like if the real Walt Dis­ney had been cryo­geni­cally stored and awak­ened 100 years later.

The com­pany also has been dub­bing English an­i­mated con­tent into for­eign lan­guages since 2005, when a deal with Di­giview Pro­duc­tions saw Au­dioworks con­vert clas­sics star­ring the likes of Bugs Bunny into Span­ish, French, Ger­man and Ja­panese.

The com­pany does this with a small staff that also in­cludes se­nior writer and di­rec­tor David Wills and pro­ducer Elysse Yulo. They work from a pair of nearby stu­dios on Sev­enth Av­enue in Man­hat­tan.

De­mand for Au­dioworks’ ser­vices goes be­yond an­i­ma­tion, with the com­pany work­ing on projects rang­ing from au­dio tours for var­i­ous at­trac­tions and an up­com­ing live-ac­tion fea­ture. But Mid­den­way ex­pects an­i­ma­tion dub­bing will re­main key to the com­pany’s iden­tity. “That’s al­ways been the core,” he says. [

Mike de Seve, cre­ative di­rec­tor of the Oscar-nom­i­nated, Emmy-win­ning team Ba­boon An­i­ma­tion, re­cently had a chance to talk with some of the in­cred­i­bly ta­lented voice artists over at Au­dioworks Pro­duc­ers Group.

The artists — Deb­bie Ir­win, Billy Bob Thomp­son, Erica Schroeder, Serra Hirsch and Alyson Leigh Rosen­feld — chat­ted about what it’s like to work reg­u­larly at a suc­cess­ful post house in the film in­dus­try, and gave the in­side scoop on the award-win­ning mu­sic pro­ducer who started it all: Kip Ka­plan.

Mike de Seve: What is your fa­vorite part of work­ing at Au­dioworks?

Serra Hirsch: That you never know what one ses­sion will en­tail — you walk in and could be walk­ing out hav­ing voiced a 3-year-old, an 80-year-old man, a ball of fuzz, a squir­rel, hip­popota­mus, mon­key, a plane and a mom, all in one ses­sion.

Billy Bob Thomp­son: weird projects.

Deb­bie Ir­win: The work is FUN FUN FUN, and al­lows me to use my act­ing chops, so it’s not work, it’s play! And the peo­ple rock.

De Seve: What was your first im­pres­sion of Au­dioworks? How long ago was that? Any other fun de­tails of that his­toric mo­ment?

Ir­win: Kip Ka­plan had been on my radar for quite some time, and when he called me in to au­di­tion for him I was thrilled. I had train­ing as an ac­tress, but never dubbed be­fore, which he fig­ured out in a nanosec­ond, yet he was very kind about the whole process. It was ex­cit­ing, chal­leng­ing, over­whelm­ing and il­lu­mi­nat­ing — I left there de­ter­mined to get train­ing in this area to be able to read the script and fol­low the lip move­ments si­mul­ta­ne­ously.

Alyson Leigh Rosen­feld: My au­di­tion at Au­dioworks was one of my first out of col­lege. I was sur­prised by the level of per­fec­tion Kip ex­pected of me right from the (lit­eral) word go, but it’s that same ex­pec­ta­tion that has pushed me to rise to the oc­ca­sion in all my work from that mo­ment on­ward.

De Seve: Kip — and I’m re­ally go­ing out on a limb here — could be con­sid­ered a char­ac­ter. Any­thing fun or funny you want to say about him? Don’t hold back! Or maybe do!

Erica Schroeder: Kip is a rude, cheap, stub­born, punc­tual, ta­lented, gen­uine, hon­est, gre­gar­i­ous, loyal, charm­ing, first class son of a bitch ... but I love him. Bot­tom line is, though, he’d give you the shirt off his back if you needed it ... es­pe­cially if he could write it off at the end of the year! He’s a fam­ily man and has the loveli­est wife and kids that he’d do any­thing for. Au­dioworks is ac­tu­ally the only com­pany I’ve ever re­ceived a bonus from. Like I said, he’s loyal and lets you know when you’re ap­pre­ci­ated.

Rosen­feld: Kip is the Jewish fa­ther I never had. I al­ready have a Jewish fa­ther, just not one quite like Kip.

Ir­win: Kip knows what he wants and gets right to it!

Thomp­son: I’ve never seen any of the projects I’ve worked on with Kip ... and I’m so very thank­ful for that.

Hirsch: Us­ing “And...Go!” as an au­dio start­ing point in­stead of beeps is uniquely Kip. I can hon­estly say I have not ex­pe­ri­enced that with any­one else. Also, if he eats popcorn (in your ear) dur­ing a ses­sion, you are in for a treat!

De Seve: Work­ing on in­ter­na­tional car­toons can some­times be quirky, if not out­right bizarre. Any funny mo­ments you can share?

Rosen­feld: There was a car­toon where ev­ery joke about my char­ac­ter was ei­ther a fart joke or a joke about her be­ing fat. We moved away from the fat and leaned into the farts, like the ma­ture fem­i­nist artists we are.

Hirsch: Lov­able main char­ac­ters named “Cocks” may not feel quite right when used in English — but we’ll make it work.

Thomp­son: The big­gest prob­lem I find with in­ter­na­tional car­toons is the script. The true in­tent of a line is of­ten lost in trans­la­tion and if the clients are too pre­cious with their lines, you some­times find your­self forced into read­ing things that sense do not make lots no good. [ 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.

ni­ma­tion and vis­ual ef­fects are reach­ing fur­ther than ever into the global cul­ture. De­mand for qual­ity con­tent is at an all-time high, and the op­por­tu­ni­ties for com­pa­nies that can best ma­neu­ver the busi­ness land­scape are ex­tra­or­di­nary.

But it’s also a com­pli­cated and fast-chang­ing busi­ness, and there’s no bet­ter way to learn how to plot a path to suc­cess than from peo­ple who have al­ready done it — and no event of­fers as much ac­cess to those peo­ple than the World An­i­ma­tion and Vis­ual Ef­fects Sum­mit.

The fifth an­nual sum­mit — set for Oct. 31Nov. 2 at the Cal­i­for­nia Yacht Club in Ma­rina del Rey — will of­fer a slate of pan­els and speak­ers to in­form and sur­prise even the most vet­eran op­er­a­tor in the in­dus­try. High­light pan­els in­clude: • A se­ri­ously deep dive into the state of the mar­kets for an­i­ma­tion and VFX in vir­tual re­al­ity.

• A sur­vey of the vis­ual ef­fects land­scape in 2016.

• The an­nual “busi­ness of show busi­ness” panel.

• A chance to learn how to pro­mote your an­i­mated project from pub­li­cists for top an­i­ma­tion stu­dios.

• A look at the pros and cons of turn­ing toys into toons.

• The an­nual Os­cars con­tenders panel, look­ing at which films have the best shot at tak­ing home the in­dus­try’s high­est honor.

• A pre­view of Moana, the up­com­ing an­i­mated fea­ture from Walt Dis­ney An­i­ma­tion Stu­dios.

• Ex­plor­ing co-pro­duc­tions with Asian stu­dios

• And looks into the is­sues fac­ing in­de­pen­dent and startup an­i­ma­tion com­pa­nies.

The op­por­tu­ni­ties to net­work also will be unique, rang­ing from daily break­fast and lunch round­tables to an

It’s been 10 years since Guil­laume Hel­louin came to log­ger­heads with the ma­jor­ity share­hold­ers in the an­i­ma­tion stu­dio he had founded in France, Sparx An­i­ma­tion. “We wanted to have a stu­dio we con­trolled,” he says, with “we” in­clud­ing sev­eral key mem­bers of the Sparx staff such as Corinne Kouper and Caro­line Souris. “We wanted to start some­thing new with a vi­sion that we shared to­gether with­out any in­ter­fer­ence from share­hold­ers who don’t un­der­stand our busi­ness.”

The re­sult was TeamTO, which started from scratch and is cel­e­brat­ing in 2016 its 10th an­niver­sary as a ro­bust and suc­cess­ful com­pany of its own. Its track record in­cludes such suc­cess­ful shows as Babar & The Ad­ven­tures of Badou, My Knight and Me, An­gelo Rules and the fea­ture film Yel­low­bird.

“We be­lieved in re­search and de­vel­op­ment, we be­lieved in push­ing the lim­its and in grow­ing the tal­ents,” says Hel­louin. “Ba­si­cally, that was the recipe.”

TeamTO al­ways plot­ted a steady course to suc­cess, start­ing off with work on Babar, a se­ries called Zoé Kézako and some ser­vice work, build­ing on the re­la­tion­ships em­ploy­ees had with peo­ple at com­pa­nies like Nel­vana, Dis­ney and top French broad­cast­ers, Hel­louin says.

The com­pany also took ad­van­tage of the tax cred­its avail­able in France to open a stu­dio in Bourges-les-Va­lences in the south of France to han­dle its an­i­ma­tion in house. By 2009, the en­tire pipe­line was in France.

When the com­pany de­liv­ered the orig­i­nal shows An­gelo Rules and Oscar’s Oa­sis at al­most the same time in 2010, it proved a ma­jor turn­ing point France’s TeamTO has in 10 years ex­ceeded its founders’ ex­pec­ta­tions with a solid track record of TV hits, an an­i­mated fea­ture, and more to come. By Tom McLean. as the mar­ket be­gan to look upon TeamTO as a le­git­i­mate player that de­liv­ered suc­cess­ful an­i­mated shows.

Ex­pand­ing even fur­ther, Hel­louin opened a TeamTO of­fice in Los An­ge­les to re­con­nect with for­mer part­ners in the United States — es­pe­cially Dis­ney. That led to work on shows like Pac-Man and then to larger roles in an­i­mat­ing se­ries such as Sofia the First and re­cent hit, Elena of Avalor.

The stu­dio now em­ploys 300 peo­ple and is work­ing on the fourth sea­son of An­gelo Rules, the third sea­son of Rab­bids In­va­sion for Ubisoft, Elena of Avalor for Dis­ney, the sec­ond sea­son of PJ Masks, the sec­ond sea­son of Skylanders, and a few oth­ers.

Hel­louin says TeamTO brings its best ef­fort to each project. “We try to make sure that they are very dif­fer­ent from one an­other,” he says. “We don’t have a stu­dio style. … We work for dif­fer­ent artists on each project. We build a spe­cific cre­ative team and they cre­ate their show and we help them and fi­nance it and put ev­ery­thing in place to make it hap­pen.”

In 2014, TeamTO re­leased its first fea­ture film, Yel­low­bird, di­rected by Chris­tian De Vita and fea- Easy, Mike.

It’s not un­com­mon to see mod­els and fash­ion re­porters el­bow­ing each other out of the way to get a selfie with one celebrity or an­other at Lon­don Fash­ion Week, the Bri­tish cap­i­tal’s semi-an­nual cel­e­bra­tion of all things style.

It’s less com­mon that the celebrity in ques­tion is Min­nie Mouse.

But at last Septem­ber’s launch of Min­nie: Style Icon, an ex­hi­bi­tion ex­plor­ing the Dis­ney char­ac­ter’s in­flu­ence on fash­ion and pop cul­ture, even the fan­ci­est of fash­ion­istas couldn’t re­sist pos­ing for a snap with the over­grown mouse while, around them, wait staff cir­cu­lated with canapés dec­o­rated with Min­nie’s trade­mark polka dots and bows.

The event, which was hosted by Dis­ney, marked the grow­ing al­le­giance be­tween two, out­wardly, very un­likely in­dus­tries: an­i­ma­tion and fash­ion — an al­liance that presents a new world of op­por­tu­ni­ties for li­cen­sors of an­i­mated prop­er­ties gath­er­ing for the 18th an­nual Brand Li­cens­ing Europe show, set for Oct. 11-13 in Lon­don.

Those who know their fash­ion his­tory might ar­gue that de­sign­ers have al­ways taken in­spi­ra­tion from the an­i­mated world. French de­signer Jean-Charles de Caste­laba­jac was em­bla­zon­ing sweaters with Mickey Mouse back in the 1980s, but the dif­fer­ence now is that savvy an­i­ma­tion stu­dios are much more ac­tive in seek­ing out such col­lab­o­ra­tions, hav­ing re­al­ized that not only is there a proven adult au­di­ence for this kind of mer­chan­dise — es­pe­cially among to­day’s nos­tal­gia-ob­sessed Mil­len­ni­als — but strate­gic brand col­lab­o­ra­tions can them­selves be har­nessed as part of the mar­ket­ing drives for up­com­ing fea­ture re­leases.

If the shoe fits … It’s a tac­tic Dis­ney has cer­tainly used suc­cess­fully for a num­ber of years to en­sure cov­er­age in fash­ion mag­a­zines that wouldn’t other­wise cover what they con­sider to be “kids’ films.” In 2012, for ex­am­ple, to cel­e­brate the re­lease of Cin­derella on Di­a­mond Edi­tion Blu­ray, the stu­dio com­mis­sioned renowned shoe­maker Chris­tian Louboutin to cre­ate a pair of crys­tal-en­crusted high heels in­spired by the film’s le­gendary glass slip­pers. Although they were less pre­pared for the block­buster suc- cess of Frozen in 2013, a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Comme Des Garçons was quickly lined up for the fol­low­ing De­cem­ber to ce­ment the film as an ev­er­green hol­i­day sta­ple. And, ear­lier this year, Cal­i­for­nian de­signer Trina Turk cre­ated a Find­ing Dory- themed beach­wear col­lec­tion ahead of the film’s the­atri­cal re­lease.

Now other stu­dios are get­ting in on the act. This past sum­mer alone has seen DreamWorks tap cos­met­ics brand MAC and New York de­signer Bet­sey John­son to cre­ate makeup and ac­ces­sory col­lec­tions themed around the up­com­ing Trolls movie while, in July, Univer­sal Pic­tures and Il­lu­mi­na­tion En­ter­tain­ment part­nered with achingly cool Parisian depart­ment store Colette for a cap­sule col­lec­tion in­spired by The Se­cret Life of Pets that fea­tured $45 cell­phone cases and $67 T-shirts.

“There’s ab­so­lutely a trend to­wards an­i­mated char­ac­ters on adult cloth­ing,” says Mark Kingston, se­nior VP of Pan Euro­pean Li­cens­ing at Vi­a­com In­ter­na­tional Me­dia Net­works, whose ros­ter in­cludes long-beloved prop­er­ties such as SpongeBob SquarePants, Ren & Stimpy and Teenage Mu­tant Ninja Tur­tles. “As each year passes and more teenagers grow into adult­hood, they’re bring­ing their fa­vorite char­ac­ters, par­tic­u­larly the an­i­mated ones, with them and look­ing for them on adult ap- parel.”

In re­cent years VIMN has worked with brands such as Moschino, Jeremy Scott, Beatrix Ong, and streetwear brand Kith, who in Septem­ber de­buted a Ru­grats- in­spired col­lec­tion at New York Fash­ion Week. VIMN is now work­ing on a year-long cam­paign, set to launch in 2017, called SpongeBob Gold, which will kick off with “sev­eral fash­ion col­lab­o­ra­tions with big-name, as well as up and com­ing, de­sign­ers,” Kingston says. These will later be fol­lowed with mid- and mass-mar­ket ap­parel col­lec­tions.

A glow­ing ‘halo’ This type of strate­gic high-to-low brand part­ner­ship is com­mon in li­cens­ing and works by launch­ing so-called “halo” col­lec­tions with as­pi­ra­tional brands to care­fully po­si­tion or re-vi­tal­ize an an­i­mated char­ac­ter, which then at­tract mass-mar­ket re­tail­ers that will sell a larger vol­ume at a more af­ford­able price point. When Moschino sent SpongeBob SquarePants down the run­way at Mi­lan Fash­ion Week in 2014, with mod­els wear­ing yel­low sweater dresses and purses fea­tur­ing the mad­cap char­ac­ter’s face, re­tail­ers such as For­ever21 and H&M quickly fol­lowed suit with Spongebob T-shirts and even sneak­ers. “We ab­so­lute-

CThe CTN An­i­ma­tion eXpo puts art and artists in the spot­light for three days of toon talks, ex­hibits and port­fo­lio re­views.

TN An­i­ma­tion eXpo’s fo­cus on the art and artists of an­i­ma­tion has made it one of the most pop­u­lar events on the in­dus­try cal­en­dar for both pros and fans.

This year’s edi­tion once again is set for the week­end be­fore Thank­giv­ing, Nov. 18-20, at the Bur­bank Mar­riott and Con­ven­tion Cen­ter.

CTN founder Tina Price catches us up on what to ex­pect at this year’s event.

An­i­ma­tion Mag­a­zine: The theme this year is Forces of Mass Cre­ativ­ity. What does that mean and how will it be rep­re­sented in the pro­gram­ming?

Tina Price: At the core of it all are the artists and The Forces of Mass Cre­ativ­ity in this in­dus­try are the artists. This is a highly cre­ative event full of en­ergy as CTN al­ways brings to­gether the very best un­der one roof for three days. It is a force all right. An­imag: What’s new at this year’s event? Price: Great for stu­dents and the gen­eral pub­lic, we are very ex­cited to an­nounce a new gen­eral pub­lic one-day pass for $20 that gives you ac­cess to the ex­hibit floor artist pav­il­ion. Also, op­er­a­tionally, we have more staff and more seat­ing in the theaters and work­shops. Also new is CTN’s Tal­ent-opo­lis, an in­ter­ac­tive live demo and ex­pe­ri­ence cen­ter. It’s hard to ex­plain, you have to ex­pe­ri­ence it. An­imag: Who is the head­line tal­ent? Price: At CTN all the tal­ent are head­lin­ers, with spe­cial guests this year that in­clude il­lus- tra­tors Loish, El Gunto and Goro Fu­jita and 200 plus com­ing from as close as Bur­bank and as far away as Ser­bia. We are re­leas­ing guests daily and the full list of spe­cial guests and events this month.

An­imag: Any new com­pa­nies ex­hibit­ing this year?

Price: New this year we have put all the stu­dios, ven­dors, or­ga­ni­za­tions and artist ex­hibitors to­gether un­der one roof. With many new­com­ers to CTN, there are a lot of re­peat reg­u­lars like Walt Dis­ney, ILM, Nickelodeon, Pixar and Blue Sky. For a new ex­hibit­ing ex­pe­ri­ence this year check out those com­pa­nies rep­re­sent­ing VR.

An­imag: How many at­ten­dees do you ex­pect? Is at­ten­dance grow­ing?

Price: As with any­thing good, there is al­ways growth, and we are very ex­cited by the growth and about some of the new things we get to do this year to ac­com­mo­date for the growth, but with­out jeop­ar­diz­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence. CTN is a more in­ti­mate, un­scripted and highly tar­geted event that fea­tures artists, and we plan on keep­ing it that way. CTN is like a rough sketch. It is alive, ex­pres­sive and not fin­ished.

An­imag: What ad­vice do you have for at­ten­dees to get the most out of the expo?

Price: We en­cour­age ev­ery­one to down­load the free CTN event app at the App Store and on Google Play. In­tro­duced in 2015, it was a huge hit with at­ten­dees. Also get to the event early and go to the info booth lo­cated in the cen­ter of the event.

An­imag: What screen­ings are planned for the event?

Price: We have two very spe­cial screen­ings, but we can’t say what they are just yet.

An­imag: Any changes to the setup at the venue, i.e., will ev­ery­thing still be gen­er­ally in the same place as last year?

Price: CTN has rein­vented it­self with a new look. We’re call­ing our­selves the CTN Vil­lage, which in­cludes the artists pav­il­ion, a down­town theater district with a Tal­ent-opo­lis ex­pe­ri­ence cen­ter and the CTN Univer­sity all lo­cated on prop­erty at the Bur­bank Air­port Mar­riott Con­ven­tion Cen­ter with a slew of top tal­ent. I hope to see you there. [

The An­imago Award & Con­fer­ence cel­e­brates its 20th an­niver­sary with a move into a new lo­ca­tion in Mu­nich, Ger­many, and a spe­cial look back at its his­tory.

Filling us in on the most-re­cent news on the event, set for Oct. 27-28, is An­imago project man­ager, Jana Fre­und.

An­i­ma­tion Mag­a­zine: How is the event plan­ning to cel­e­brate its 20th an­niver­sary?

Jana Fre­und: This year we have a spe­cial cat­e­gory called the 20th An­niver­sary Prize. … We’re also host­ing an of­fi­cial wel­come re­cep­tion be­fore the An­imago Award cer­e­mony gets un­der­way; plus there will be pre­vi­ous An­imago win­ners giv­ing lec­tures as part of the con­fer­ence pro­gram. The An­imago spe­cial edi­tion print mag­a­zine will also cover our ju­bilee with edi­to­rial con­tent.

An­imag: Who is the head­line tal­ent?

Fre­und: We will be pre­sent­ing three Cana­dian key­note speak­ers in our con­fer­ence pro­gram: Tom Mor­ri­son of Mr. X Inc., Dig­i­tal Do­main’s Phil Cramer, and Ian Do­minic Kirby from The Se­quence Group. For the first time at the An­imago, we’re go­ing to have Detlef Müller & Michael C. Müller speak­ing about “De­sign & Cre­ation @ adi­das AG.” The head­quar­ters of this glob­ally known

CWork in Batches For those tasks you sim­ply can­not find a way to au­to­mate or out­source, be sure to tackle them in batches.

For ex­am­ple, check your email once or twice per day, not con­stantly. An­swer your voice­mail and do your call­backs once or twice per day, not as they come in. If you like to make your own lunch for work or school, pre­pare as many days of lunch at one time as pos­si­ble. When do­ing laun­dry, save up a full week’s worth and do it in one shot in­stead of do­ing a lit­tle at a time. When go­ing to the gro­cery store, buy as much at one time as you can in­stead of a few things here and there, re­quir­ing you to go back and forth sev­eral times per week.

Fo­cus on one thing at a time and avoid multi-task­ing at all costs as it has been proven to be more dam­ag­ing to your pro­duc­tiv­ity than be­ing un­der the in­flu­ence of THC. Frag­ment­ing a task into pieces also frag­ments your pro­duc­tiv­ity and wastes pre­cious time, so it’s cru­cial to ac­com­plish things in groups if you want to earn sub­stan­tial time sav­ings.

Wak­ing Up Let’s take a look at your sleep­ing sched­ule. How many hours, down to the minute, do you sleep ev­ery night? In the morn­ing, do you feel rested, full of en­ergy, and ready to tackle the day? If the an­swer is no, you must work on sleep­ing more rest­fully. If an in­crease in qual­ity of sleep doesn’t im­prove your en­ergy and fo­cus, try adding more slum­ber time in 30-minute in­cre­ments.

It’s tempt­ing to think that by cut­ting your sleep hours you can be more pro­duc­tive be- cause you have more wak­ing hours to work. How­ever, if you are not well rested, your pro­duc­tiv­ity will suf­fer se­verely and you will waste un­told amounts of time be­cause you are not op­er­at­ing at an op­ti­mum level. This is an ex­am­ple where ac­tu­ally re­mov­ing time from your wak­ing hours could pay huge div­i­dends in the big pic­ture.

On the other hand, if you wake up ev­ery morn­ing feel­ing great, fo­cused, and ready to take on the day, try cut­ting your sleep back by 15 min­utes at a time. Do this cau­tiously and mea­sure your progress, be­cause if you start cut­ting into nec­es­sary sleep, your pro­duc­tiv­ity will suf­fer and you’ll end up in the trap men­tioned above. If you cut back from nine hours to eight hours per night and still feel great, try keep­ing it there for a while to see how things de­velop. If all goes well, con­grat­u­la­tions — you’ve cap­tured 365 hours of time to add to your life ev­ery year for the rest of your life just from this one area. The Wait­ing Game Do you find that you spend X amount of time wait­ing for things? For ex­am­ple, do you sit around and wait for the mi­crowave to ding? Do you sit in traf­fic for many min­utes if not hours per day, do­ing lit­tle more than be­com­ing in­creas­ingly ag­gra­vated? Make a weekly to­tal of the time you spend wait­ing and find a way to re­duce if not elim­i­nate these wait­ing pe­ri­ods all to­gether. Sub­se­quently, if you can’t seem to fig­ure out how to elim­i­nate these things, find some­thing pro­duc­tive that you can do to fill in those spa­ces. The key is to make use of this time by shift­ing as many nec­es­sary, pro­duc­tive tasks pos­si­ble into these wait­ing pe­ri­ods. Us­ing these spare mo­ments to send in­con­se­quen­tial text mes­sages or to chat aim­lessly with friends is not the goal. The idea is to do some­thing in these blocks of time that ad­vances your sched­ule. If you find that you spend 14 hours per week wait­ing on things, that’s a to­tal of 728 hours per year that are lit­er­ally be­ing wasted. Once re­claimed, you’ve essen­tially added an ad­di­tional full month to your life, which can be re­peated ev­ery sin­gle year from now on. Af­ter 12 years, this one small cap­ture alone will give you one full year of new time to use.

Once you’ve ap­plied these tech­niques to as many ar­eas as pos­si­ble and have suc­cess­fully added pre­cious time to your life, the fi­nal ques­tion re­mains: what are you go­ing to do with it? Martin Gre­bing is an award-win­ning an­i­ma­tion di­rec­tor and pro­ducer who has fo­cused his ca­reer on smaller stu­dios and al­ter­na­tive mar­kets. To­day, he pro­vides pri­vate con­sult­ing and is the pres­i­dent of Fun­ny­bone An­i­ma­tion, a bou­tique stu­dio that pro­duces an­i­ma­tion for a wide range of clients and in­dus­tries. He can be reached via www. fun­ny­bonean­i­ma­

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