That’s it! We’re all done! The final episode of Sugar and Toys will be airing this month, and in this post, Lexi (one of the interns who was hired on during SNT) chats with Echo Bridge’s Head of Production and Producer, Omar McClinton about the project that was Sugar and Toys.
What were your first steps in proceeding with this huge project?
Production in three easy steps…
Get a proper scope of work versus the delivery schedule.
Divide and conquer. Take the shows, segments and steps involved in each and every shot and assign them to the right crew members, fitting their talents.
Get it done. No matter the size of the project, 7,000 shots or 7 shots, it can be terrible if either one of the steps above is not done in sequence or not properly executed.
What methods did you use to gather so many animators?
We did the traditional job postings, but you never know the type of designer or animator you’ll get with that, so I called [ToonBoom] and told them that Echo Bridge is doing a high profile show using their animation program [ToonBoom Harmony] and if they want it to look as good as it could, they should send me some of the best animators they can recommend for the rate. They did, then I hired them and gave them a chance to prove themselves.
How did the studio change and grow throughout SNT?
Every project, no matter how long you’ve been in the industry, is a trial by fire. Meaning they are all the same and they are all different. The biggest hurdle we had to overcome is getting ramped up quickly, finding the right people for the right jobs and then managing the production and the client/legal and network requests. Everyone in the Echo Bridge studio learned to adapt, learned how to work smarter and continued to build on the success of the day before.
You mentioned bringing on a handful of interns this year, how does transitioning students into work life usually go in animation?
If an intern is truly worth keeping around and one day hiring as a full-time staff employee, then he/she will be nervous, scared and make plenty of mistakes. This is because they care so much about losing the job or making such a good impression, that they inevitably screw up. The goal for a producer is to find the right person for the right job. One good intern is greater than 3 intern ‘bodies’ there just taking up space. Then being patient with them while they find their groove. Then encouraging them and keeping them excited about their job by either showing them other positions that are better or that truly suck. This way they can then go back and do their jobs better or switch positions, which then ties back to point number one of finding the right person for the right job. A good intern finds a way through this path every time, a bad one gets lost and never asked for help to find a resolve.
What is daily life like inside Echo Bridge?
For Producers - long, stressful and never ending. You never have the same normal sleep schedule as when you started working on any episodic shows, known worldwide as the toughest production schedule of any media. We work together and do our best. We’re there for each other and try to always keep it professional, always remembering that the client comes first. Our art yes, but the client’s dollar. You respect the client, and the client will respect your art. We then have a nice wrap party and then laugh and socialize, but work first.
What does the rest of the year look like for Echo Bridge?
It looks promising. We’ve been approached by many clients, both old and new, that have heard about our accomplishments on Sugar and Toys and have begun speaking to us about projects that would require production services or financing of our own internal properties. Nothing is constant in this business except change, and you never know what to expect until it’s already happened, so right now I can say Echo Bridge is truly looking to continue to do great work.