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Renegade Animation has pioneered digital 2D paperless animation with a unique all-Flash workflow—and a bunch of really great cartoons! This installment of Creative Inspirations gives viewers an inside look at this innovative character animation studio. Partners Ashley Postlewaite and Darrell Van Citters describe how they left jobs with major studios to form their own company, and how they have been able to create a successful business that defies all the rules and provide a great working environment in the process. Learn how these renegades have evolved traditional character animation into a completely digital workflow that provides greater creative expression and faster turnaround.
(Music playing.) Ashley Postlewaite: Well, when people ask me how I got started in animation, I really go back to being a kid, and sort of falling in love with the theater. When I was five or six, my parents took me to see a play and I just sort of went nuts for theater and I wanted so badly to be in this children's theater company, but you had to be 10.
So finally when I was seven, my mom kind of talk the guy into letting me try it, and said that he could send me home if I wasn't old enough to like hang with the bigger kids. And basically I never left. I was with that company all the way up through college actually and the great thing about it and the man who ran it when I joined, Tom McKenzie still a mentor of mine, was that Tom made you learn every aspect of the theater. If you wanted to be in the play, you had to work crew for another play and you had to learn about the box office and you had to sew costumes and you had to hang lights, and you had to usher, and do all of those things.
So I learned love and appreciation for each one of those departments and also learned that actually what I like to do best was organize all those departments. So I really at a very early age, I think I stumbled upon what I love to do most, which is produce the stuff and work with the people. So by the time I left for college, I would come back every summer and run that summer company. So again, at a young age I was really fortunate to have experience in things that I think most people maybe don't get to do until they are little bit older, like hiring and in one case firing, and budgeting and planning and all those things, that it was like running my own little company of 100 kids making these plays every summer.
And then having done that for a great number of years after getting out of college, and doing a couple of more years of theater, I just decided it was time to poke around and maybe see what producing in film and television would feel like. And that's when I met Darrell, my business partner, and the people at Warner Brothers and start to learn about animation, and really found my people again. Because by and large, the animators I met and the editors I met and all the people involved there were in animation because they love the craft.
They weren't coming into Los Angeles to be famous. They were coming because they loved what they did and that felt very much like theater to me. So I felt like I recognized these people and they were my kind of people. So I learned a ton. I went to work for Darrell at Warner Brothers and that's where I really learned about animation and really there are some very senior people at Warner Brothers in the unit that we worked with and I really learned from all of them and kind of, in many cases one editor comes to mind, who I just said flat out, very early on in my work there, "I don't know anything about editing. I don't know what you do and how you do it," and he took me under his wing and taught me all about it.
And I think if I hadn't have told him that I didn't know anything, he might not have thought to become a teacher to me. And I think about that a lot, because he would pull me into his office and show me what he was doing and why he was doing it and how to do it and how long it takes and all of those things which I think make a person a better producer, if you've really been in each of those departments kind of dissecting what those people need. So I was very grateful for that experience and feel like I really learned a ton about animation while I was there at Warner Brothers before striking out with Darrell to start Renegade.
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