THIS ARTICLE IS ONE OF A SERIES OF SHORT INTERVIEWS WITH THE KEYNOTE SPEAKERS AT COLÁISTE DHÚLAIGH’S KEYFRAME EVENT. OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS, WE’VE SEEN A SERIES OF ANIMATION MASTERCLASSES BY INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS AIMED AT CD STUDENTS.
This year the event has expanded to include not just animation experts, but representatives from a variety of media industries, including; sound design, advertising, tv production, photography, and documentary.
Keyframe is a chance for current students to get an insight into the industries they’ll soon be entering. The event is also a chance for Dhúlaigh alumni to return and show what they’ve been doing since they left. We at the college are proud to say that 11 of this year’s speakers are past pupils.
Matteo Cecotti, animation director at Brownbag Films, established himself in the animation industry through working on well known franchises such as the Ed, Edd n ‘Eddy television series for Cartoon Network, and the Prince of Persia video games with Ubisoft. He spoke at Dhúlaigh’s Coolock campus about his work in animation.
Niall and Stephen sat in on the talk in the library and also spoke to Matteo afterwards for some additional inspiration. Here’s what he had to say:
Niall Sweeney: Welcome, Matteo. How did you find today’s talk?
Matteo Cecotti: I thought it went very well. There was a lot of students, even more than last time. It was fun. They were very attentive and I got a lot of very good questions. Everything worked out technically, so it was great.
NS: What inspired your passion for animation?
MC: My passion came from comic books. As a kid, my dad had a collection of old Batman and Superman comics from the 60s’. As a young kid in a big Italian family talking about adult stuff over dinner, I was bored and so the comics helped to alleviate that. Those comics gave me a love for storytelling and animation, and now I’m a little bit of both.
NS: Favourite part of the job?
MC: The problem solving. You get together with a bunch of really talented people, and you all try to solve issues in storytelling. If a character is doing something, but he/she is supposed to be somewhere else, or you have a joke that’s funny, but could be made funnier, how do we do that? It’s a fun process to do with others.
NS: Advice for upcoming animators?
MC: Work hard, most of all!
But also, learn how to manage your time. Don’t make important decisions after 7pm. Watch how you deal with others, be honest but gentle in expressing yourself. Avoid swearing in the office. Put yourself in the mind of your boss. Distance yourself from toxic people.
NS: What’s your favourite piece of work you’ve been involved in?
MC: It’s hard for me to say that I liked something I’ve done, I’m never fully satisfied. I would choose the Star Wars : Clone Wars series , because it was so well known. As we worked on it, people were arguing on the internet about the episode that just aired (made months before) , so we had immediate feedback. People loved it, and that was a huge positive influence for us.
I also loved Vampirina. I’m really proud of the animation team on that.
NS: Your plans for the future?
MC: Keep learning – I’ve just started as an episode director and I want to get better. When working in storytelling, storyboarding, animation etc, there’s always a ton of things to learn.
For more on Matteo and his work, check out these links:
Zerply ( work history and booking info) – Matteo Cecotti
Twitter – @nonhocapito
Instagram – @matteo _ ceccoti
Brownbag Films – brownbagfilms.com
Have a listen to our audio chat with Matteo here.