Toon-In Talk Episode 27: Interview with Vicky Jenson

Hello and welcome to twenty-seventh episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews.  Continuing with her fabulous Ladies of Animation series, Whitney interviews the one and only Vicky Jenson.  Vicky is one of the top animation directors, in Whitney’s opinion, in Hollywood and she also lends her talents to television animation as well.  She is respected as the director of DreamWorks’s Shrek and Shark Tale.  Vicky’s  resume includes the shows Smurfs, He-Man, JEM, She-Ra and the films The Road to El-Dorado, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, and FernGully.  She discusses her past successes with Whitney and also hints at some exciting projects yet to come.

Episode 27

  • Vicky Jenson is an animation director who worked on many feature films and cartoons.  Whitney’s favorite work of Vicky’s is Shrek.
  • Vicky never did any of the animation on the projects she worked on, but she has dabbled in different parts of the process, including storyboarding.
  • Remember that Old Navy advertising campaign a few years ago with the talking mannequins? That was Vicky Jenson’s work!
  • She became interested in directing when she worked in storyboarding, because she decided the camera angles, action, and loved the interaction with the story.
  • Whitney and Vicky discuss the benefits of drawing in a digital environment vs. the traditional pencil in hand model.
  • Vicky Jenson describes working in animation during the Saturday morning boom in the 1980s.
  • She joined DreamWorks and began work on The Road to El Dorado.
  • Jeffrey Katzenberg noticed Vicky Jenson’s talent for story and encouraged her to be storyboarding and directing.
  • Vicky later worked on Shrek and through her persistance and talent became one of the directors.
  • Vicky and Whitney talk about how storyboarding ins integral to the story process.
  • She left her position at DreamWorks animation in 2015 after being at the studio from the beginning.
  • When DreamWorks restructured in January 2015, the studio decided to end production on several animated film projects, including the one Vicky Jenson was on. It’s disappointing that some of these features will never be seen, especially since many of them were 70% animated.
  • Vicky Jenson is writing and illustrating her own graphic novel, much to Whitney’s excitement.
  • She is also working on a stage musical and is adapting a work. Vicky describes it as something between Cirque du Soiliel and Broadway.
  • Her advice to women interested in pursuing an animation career: get your stuff together and do it. Also seek out opportunities and pursue them when they appear.
  • Vicky shares that she learned the most when she was on the job.
  • She has nothing to declare!

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