Sunday, September 4, 2005

a circle

for years I worked in advertising, animated for television,
illustrated books and comic strips. but somehow I felt that
i really wanted to do something that combined all that but
had to be more challenging.

after I finished gymnasium in germany my dream
was to become a stage designer for the theatre.
I admired the designs for the wagner operas in bayreuth
and salzburg by wieland wagner and guenter schneider-siemssen.
juergen rose had come up with some unusual, very modern
designs for john cranco ballets. then legends like caspar neher
and his work with brecht. or wolfgang znamenacek and heinrich wendel.
for a long time that world became more important to
me than animation. but it was only a dream.
I had to make a living.

for some years I followed my search for my dream job,
without really knowing what it might be.
until the involvement in roger rabbit.
for the first time not some boring tv- or advertising
work - a feature film! and what a projekt!
dick williams had asked me to work full time on the
movie as his assistant, I would have loved to do that -
what a challenge. I admired him and we got along very
well. but it did not work because of too many projects
at home in germany. the comic strip series 'alfred J.kwak'
had become pretty successful and harald siepermann
and me were working like crazy on a tv series and
all the merchandise.
anyway, roger rabbit led to another following assignment
in beauty and the beast. just for fun I started to add
backgrounds and color to some of the storyboards.
don hahn the producer took me aside one day. why
don't you do that for a living? create new worlds for
movies, visualize things others can not imagine.
I had no idea what he was talking about and he explained
to me the work of a production designer.

that's how it all started. from then on I did hundreds
of designs for the following movies, beauty and the
beast, aladin and lion king. later in london and
for spielberg's amblimation cats, balto and 3 never
realized movies. back to disney and there all the
projects I talked about already.

finally by pure accident, or maybe not, I had found the
ideal combination of everything I had learned and
done before. and I returned to my love, the stage.
a different stage, - for animation. the circle had

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