Meet our awesome Line Producer Lisa O'Connor! When she's not whipping her creative team into shape, you'll find her training for the annual equinox charity cycle! We managed to catch her for a few minutes to chat about her role and why she loves animation.
How did you get into animation?
I was always drawing growing up, I loved making comic strips with my sister and friends. A lot of my family are in creative jobs, so thankfully it wasn’t a big deal to my parents when I wanted to study animation.
I studied Computer Animation in Ballyfermot College of Further Education with a good few people I work with today in Brown Bag! I then went to University of Dundee to complete my degree.
College was a steep learning curve but fantastic experience all round. I had always loved drawing but to be taught a variety of methods, find your style and spend days with like-minded people was a dream come true.
How long have you worked in the animation industry?
I have worked in the animation industry for around 6 years, after college I worked in TV production for a few years before coming full circle and back to animation.
I made the move to the production side of the industry after college. While I loved the artistic side, I felt I was better suited to the overall process, and production fitted that bill.
It’s definitely a benefit to have an animation background when you have to work to tight deadlines and keep the team motivated.
What's your current role and what does it involve?
I am the Line Producer on a brand new Disney show called ‘Vampirina’. Along with the Producer, I manage the budget and schedule for the show.
The role involves balancing client and creative team requirements within the time and budget we have. It can be an unenviable task sometimes but feels great when you pull it off and see the results we can achieve.
What are your biggest influences/inspirations?
I am inspired by the people I work with daily. In all departments, people simply want the shows to look as good as they possibly can and work very hard to achieve this. This passion for the cause can sometimes result in heated debates, on topics which would sound insane to anyone outside of here, like ‘how would a stuffed toy cow dance in a fantasy ballet scene?’ or ‘how much glitter is appropriate to represent head lice in a toy world?’
My parents have also influenced me by travelling different career paths to keep doing what makes them happy.
What’s your favorite tool to use and why?
We use Shotgun tracking software and I love creating bespoke pages to track absolutely any part of the project. You can filter the information in many different ways, and it really helps inform how we work and if we need to change any methods to make it smoother.
What advice would you give someone considering getting into animation?
Don’t get pigeon-holed, go with your strength to get in the door but keep training, learning and stretching yourself.
Get involved with other peoples projects, and experience working as part of a team.
Also, it’s a small industry so try not be an "insert expletive here!", people will remember.
What do you like most about working in animation?
The variety of work is great. Animation and VFX are now so common across TV shows, films and commercials; there is room for more and more companies to thrive here on different levels.
It’s honestly never dull, and I think most of us feel lucky to do what we do (in the less stressful times!)
Plus, my nieces think I’m cool which is a bonus.
What’s been the most challenging thing about working in animation?
It’s still a very lengthy process. People think that 3D animation is much faster than it is. A series of 11 minute episodes takes around 18 months to produce, and that is after a significant development period.
By the time your show airs, you are normally well into the next project. But you can still remember all the words to the character’s songs, which again impresses the nieces, slightly.
Outside of animation what are you most passionate about?
I like to do drawing classes at least one a year to keep that side of my brain ticking over. I like long distance cycling and running for sanity and documentaries on pretty much any subject as long as it’s well told.
Are you interested in getting into animation? Keep an eye on our Behind-the-Scenes and Tutorials pages for more interviews, #Tutorials and #TopTips!
Want to get into Production? We've got lots of vacancies at the moment so be sure to check out our Jobs page!