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Indy Studio Owners

Title:Indy Studio Owners
Sponsored by Animation Magazine
CTNX09: Filmed Nov 2009; Posted Aug 2010
Length 45 min

[hdplay id=21 ]

The production model has changed in the past 10-15 years. The inclusion of downsizing and outsourcing by the large production studios has given fuel to the startups and smaller independent studio owner. Find out about starting up, growing and surviving an independent animation studio from some of the most successful studios owners in this business.

Moderator Phillip Williams:
Currently working at Fringe Talent, Phillips recruiting credits include, The Simpsons Movie, Shane Acker’s ‘9’ and Gnomeo & Juliet for STARZ Animation and Pointy Hat Productions/Miramax Films.



Bobby Chiu:

is a Toronto-based artist and the founder of Imaginism Studios. He is known for his creature concepts and other fantastical, quirky characters. Some of Bobby’s favorite themes to explore are disguise, irony, and duality. You can see his creatures in Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland”, to be released in March 2010, as well as upcoming feature films from Sony, Warner Bros., and Disney due in theaters in 2010 and 2011.


Tony Bancroft: Director/ Animator– Upon graduating from high school, Tony was accepted into the exclusive, Disney sponsored, California Institute of the Arts (Cal-Arts) in 1987, where he developed a life long love of artistry and cartooning. That same year, he was “drafted” to lend his talents to the big league animation of Walt Disney Studios. During his 12-year career at Walt Disney Studios, Tony is most notably known as the award winning, co-director of Walt Disney’s Mulan. In addition, Tony also contributed his animation talents to such popular Disney features as The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin. He was also the Supervising Animator, creating the lovable warthog, “Pumbaa”, in Disney’s The Lion King. Following his work as the Supervising Animator for “Kronk” in The Emperor’s New Groove, Tony left Disney. As an independent artist he served as the Animation Director for Sony Pictures’ summer 2002 release, “Stuart Little 2” and, in 2003, was Voice Director of the English language version of the Miyasaki film “Porco Rosso” through Walt Disney Studios. At the same time Tony created his own studio Toonacious Family Entertainment with the help of two close friends and partners. Toonacious has specialized in feature development and commercial production for over 7 years. Tony is currently directing a CG feature called “Bunyan and Babe” for a 2010 release date. Having finally realized his passion of creating characters and developing projects that reflect his own heart, this labor of love is more than just ‘entertainment’. Tony and his wife, Rene, have three daughters and live in Pasadena, CA

Darryl Van Citters:

is a nationally renowned animation director and leader of Renegade’s creative team.  Darrell trained at Cal Arts and got his start at Disney where he earned his first directing credit on the experimental short “Fun with Mr. Future” and developed the feature, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” He later joined Warner Bros. Classic Animation where he directed animated commercials and short films with the Looney Tunes characters, including the first theatrical Bugs Bunny short in 27 years, “Box Office Bunny”.  Along with his business partner, Ashley Postlewaite, he founded Renegade Animation in 1992.  Darrell oversees all of Renegade’s film, television and commercial projects and served as co-executive producer and animation director of “Christmas Is Here Again,” Renegade’s first animated feature.   Some of his other credits include “Captain Sturdy,” the award-winning Internet series “Elmo Aardvark: Outer Space Detective” and dozens of television commercials for internationally known brands.  Darrell also has a passion for animation and its history, and has just written and published a book on the making of the very first animated Christmas special, “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol,” currently available at

Chris Hamilton:

founded OddBot Inc. in 2006 with a clear vision—to create high-quality animation and smart storytelling. In the first three years of production, Hamilton has produced hours of entertainment for Playhouse Disney, PBS Kids Sprout, and American Greetings. Recent credits include Tasty Time with ZeFronk, Can you Teach my Alligator Manners, and Maryoku Yummy.

In 2009, Hamilton launched his own original content including Freaky Robots and the popular Halloween short, A Candy Affair.
About OddBot Inc.

Based in Los Angeles, OddBot is a full-service animation studio, home to a talented group of artists, writers, directors, and producers with broad experience in features, broadcast TV, and the Web. Their diversity in style and genre has earned the studio a reputation for outstanding animation, design, and writing.

Visit their website at

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