Creator, Inside Job, Netflix
Shion Takeuchi, the creator and showrunner of Netflix’s upcoming animated series Inside Job, knew she wanted to pursue a career in animation when she saw her first pencil test at the School of Visual Arts’ summer program. “It was incredible to see my drawings brought to life, and up until then I really had no concept that you could make a living as an artist in animation,” says the talented 31-year old. “After that, I immediately began plotting on my campaign to ask my parents if I could go to art school. Luckily, they were very supportive!”
After studying character animation at CalArts, Takeuchi landed a job as a storyboard artist on Cartoon Network’s popular series Regular Show,
which led to more opportunities on shows such as Gravity
Falls, We Bare Bears and Disenchantment, as well as story
artist gigs on Pixar’s Monsters
University and Inside Out.
The inspiration for her upcoming series? “When I came up with the idea for Inside Job,
the 2016 election was around the corner, and it felt like a lot of reality as we knew it was going off the rails,” she recalls.
“In the past, I’d always pictured the classic Shadow Government portrayal as kind of terrifying, all-powerful. I found myself thinking that a nice, stable, hyper-competent shadow
cabal that would seamlessly puppeteer the world order might actually be a comforting thing, which is crazy. Of course, if human beings are going to be in charge of anything it’s going to be a raw, chaotic, hot mess, and then
I thought, that’s a workplace comedy I’d like to watch!”
For Takeuchi, the best thing about being a showrunner is having so many talented people around her. “I love collaborating with my team and seeing the show and characters take on a life of their own,” she says. “That, and the fact that my day is never boring. It can be crazy, amazing, horrible, wonderful — but never boring. Sometimes, a little boring would be nice!”
She says she’s also forever grateful to the women who struggled and fought tooth and nail to break the glass ceiling before her. “People like Brenda Chapman, Lauren Faust, Jennifer Yuh Nelson and countless more
— because the industry I see today is far more welcoming of female creators than ever before,” she notes. “Because of their fight I was lucky to have arrived at a time where I can speak my mind, have a vision that is trusted, and feel safe and valued, which many pioneer women before me never got to. We still have room for improvement as an industry, of course, but I am confident that we are moving in a positive direction.”
What about long-term plans? “When this show is done, I know I will desperately need a vacation, a haircut and some new creative goal to work towards,” she says with a smile. “But I can figure that out later!”