Interview with Sarah Fell, Director of Original Series, EMEA Kids for WarnerMedia.

I interviewed Sarah Fell, Director of Original Series, EMEA Kids for WarnerMedia.

Introduction

Luca: I’m a big fan of The Amazing World of Gumball, a long running animated TV series, which won many awards in the UK and other countries. So I interviewed Sarah Fell.

What do you do in your job?

Sarah Fell: I oversee the Original animation productions for Warner Media Kids in Europe, including the production of ‘ The Amazing World of Gumball’

What qualifications do you need to have in this job?

Sarah Fell: First thing is you need to really love Cartoons, I spend a lot of time watching all sorts of animation. 

Personally, I came from an Arts background and have a BA in Graphic Design, but to do this sort of role it's more about the job experience you gain over years. If you want to go into a Career in animation, I suggest having a look here, it’s a good description of what we do and how you get into it. 

https://www.screenskills.com/careers/job-profiles/animation/

How many people work on Gumball and what do they do?

Sarah Fell: The Gumball Crew was over 2 studios, one in London and one in Germany (Studio SOI). The London Studio had about 50 people and the German studio 60, So its around 110 people in total. This starts with the Series Producer and Series Director, who oversee the production from start to finish. From there you go into departments, this includes, Writers/ Voice Actors/ Editors/ Art Dept covering design and background / Layout / 2-D and 3 D animation teams/ Compositing/ Music/ Sound Design. 

How long does it take to make one programme?

Sarah Fell: It takes roughly 45 weeks from writing to final delivery to send 1 episode through the production process. We will be working at up 15-20 episodes at one time in different parts of the process, 1 series of Gumball is around 120 weeks for 40 episodes. 

Is Banana Joe made out of a real banana?

Sarah Fell: No, he is a CGI model, he is voiced by our series Director Mic Graves.

I like the way characters are designed, filmed, and animated using different techniques, are there separate people for each style that is used?

Sarah Fell: Yes, there are, we have 2D artists who design / animate the drawn characters like Gumball, and then a CGI team who cover the characters like Tina the T-rex, and Miss Simian. Sometimes if we are doing something really unusual like the sequence in ‘The Fury SE4’ we will use another company to do the animation, this was done by Studio 4℃ in Japan.

What would you say to someone who wants a career in animation?

Sarah Fell: What a great time to be joining the industry! We are seeing a big increase in production in Europe which means there are lots of opportunities in this field. I would do some research on how an animated series is made. You need to understand what jobs there are, and then get some training in one of the areas. There are lots of good degree courses that now specialise in animation, so aim for one of those. But in the end if you really love cartoons, I am sure you will find your way to us one way or another!

Reflection

Luca: I didn't know that there were so many different jobs in animation: 

https://www.screenskills.com/careers/job-profiles/animation/

It really made me think about what job I would want to have.

For example I think the storyboard artist is a quite interesting job. 

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Author

Luca Colizzi

Luca Colizzi

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1 Comments

  • Emrys Green

    On 16 May 2021, 19:02 Emrys Green Voice Team commented:

    Such great info, and unveiling how many people it takes and how long for the series is great. So many more people and longer than I'd have thought. Glad you might also have pinpointed a job you like the idea of. Also good to see there are numerous routes in to the roles.

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