My Experience

The bulk of my career has been an Assistant Director, Animator and Character Layout Artist on The Simpsons.  I have been seriously drawing since I was 13 and have always appreciated learning and helping others learn.  When I would come across something that improved my drawing, I’d always want to show others "Hey, look what I just found!" Teaching is like show and tell to me. I am always very excited to let someone in on something that could catapult their work to a new level.

I trained many people during my time on the Simpsons.  I also honed my storytelling skills while there.  Great storyboarding was essential to such a quality show.

Constructing scenes from storyboards as a Character Layout Artist meant understanding perspective and construction, as well as depth of field and screen direction.  Many of the elements of cinematography combined with drawing.

Animating the characters gives a unique point of view.  The drawings of an animator don't just sit there, they are in motion, and have emotion.

Being an animator gives one the advantage of doing hundreds of drawings.  Spending time moving the figure around means you have to have 1. A solid understanding of drawing three dimensionally  2. The ability to draw quickly to get your idea down, and get enough drawings done to finish in time.

I spent time as a storyboard revisionist on Family Guy using what I learned on The Simpsons to improve or embellish and finesse scenes.  Which meant I not only needed to know why they weren't working, but how to make them work.

Everything I have done before has culminated Directing on Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja.  The dynamics of Action and the timing and acting in Comedy.  It’s a fast paced show with a compact production schedule.  Decisions have to be made and stuck to.  Fortunately, my experience has taken me to a point where when coming across a difficult scene or action, I rarely say to myself “How am I going to do this?” but “Which one of these five ways am I going to choose to do this?”

A pencil is a magic wand.

--Joshua Taback

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