Dan Segarra is an animator with Blue Sky Studios. During an interview with me, he talked about his work on the new animated film “Ice Age: Continental Drift.”
To see more of Segarra’s work, visit his website here.
I was just on your website today. I love the film you have posted there called “Sheep.” I really got a sense of who you are as an animator from that piece. Is storytelling just as important to you as your work as an animator?
Definitely. I think the idea and story comes before any animation you do. In school we’re trained and taught to think about the character and their emotions and their intention behind their actions. I’ve been taught that it’s important to tell my own stories so when you get into the industry you understand that animation is not just about moving controls around.
Tell us about the work you did on “Ice Age 4.”
I worked as a character animator. My responsibilities were to evoke emotion from the characters. Some of the characters I worked with were Gutt (Peter Dinklage), who is the villain, Manny (Ray Romano) and Granny (Wanda Sykes), who is one of the new characters in the movie.
Do you have to follow certain animation rules to keep certain character consistent?
We definitely do. That’s actually something that makes these films so great. We have these booklets on how to keep a character consistent with the personality they already have established. Each character also has a go-to animator in case you have specific questions.
What was it like the first time you saw one of your animations on the big screen?
I remember when I worked on “Alvinand the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.” I was able to see it with my family when it came out around Thanksgiving. When my name came out [in the credits] my sisters jumped out of their chairs and started screaming, “That’s my brother up there!” We’re all Puerto Rican, so we can get a little rowdy.
Why is animation so inspiring to you?
Animation is not real, so to look a single frame and realize all of it is created by somebody is unbelievable. There is so much that goes into making an animated film that is taken for granted. It’s great that it’s for granted because it means what people are looking at is so believable they can forget about how it is created and watch it in its simplicity and believe it exists.