Now that I have agreed to be a contributor for this site, something that I feel very honored to be, Mike has asked that I do a write up about myself. Those that know me know that I am somewhat of a private person, but I will do my best. People also know, however, that I can be prompted through alcohol to give anecdotes of some of my more “colorful” exploits. No, I wasn’t drinking when I wrote this, and yes, I am a living contradiction.
My childhood was spent growing up in a small community called Hopewell Cape in New Brunswick. Much of my days would be spent roaming the forest with my large cadre of imaginary friends and we would get into all sorts of adventures.
My first experience watching a movie on the big screen was the original The Time Machine. I was 5, and probably shouldn’t have been taken, but my parents loved HG Wells. It terrified me. But my parents pointed out that the Morlocks were actually actors in costumes. It was a profound realization and I knew that somehow, I just had to get involved with filmmaking . I became addicted to movie watching. I would sneak downstairs to watch the late night movies, hiding behind my brother and being exposed to films like Dracula (Bela Lugosi) and a wide variety of the old Hammer horror films.
In high school, I discovered the joy of theatre and became involved with the school drama club. I preferred to work behind the curtain and became quite good at running the props department. So good, in fact, that when Mr. Dressup came to town I was hired to work as a stage hand on his show. I loved seeing the real tickle trunk!
I kept getting the odd short term gig around town to work in theatre, film (NFB shorts in Moncton) and became involved in the local cable company’s broadcast centre. This was just before Much Music but right after MTV. We were trying to do content like MTV but we didn’t have the resources to go too far. It was fun though.
At 19 I moved to Ottawa in the hopes that I could find work in TV or film there. I chose Ottawa because I had some friends there and rent would be cheap. Plus, I didn’t like Toronto.
I stumbled across a job posting in the Ottawa Citizen for a local animation studio called Crawley Films. This was 1986 and the start of my career in animation. I worked there for a couple of years in the ink and paint department but took advantage of every opportunity to learn more on the process of making a cartoon. From there I moved on to Hinton Studios, then to Lacewood. I took a couple of years off to go to college and graduated from the TV Broadcasting program in 1993. I worked quite heavily in both the live action and animation industry of Ottawa as a production person or editor for the next decade or so. Getting involved with local producers on a wide variety of projects, from the Independent Film Makers Co-Op of Ottawa to service work on films like Anastasia. Occasionally I would be a full time employee but most of the time was spent as a freelancer. I did a stint with Imax in Montreal on their first stereoscopic feature, Cyberworld. The most exciting project I have worked on to date.
In 2007 I moved back to New Brunswick where I worked for Fatkat until they closed shop this past year. Now I am a freelancer once again doing what I love and getting involved with innovative projects and content for both TV and the web.
Looking back over the years, I realize that I have been involved with over 700 episodes of content for broadcast as well as a few feature films. I consider myself to be very lucky to have been part of each and every project, the good ones and especially the bad ones. The ones that go bad tend to give you the better stories when you go drinking.
I have seen a lot of change/pain in this industry but somehow I am not bitter. I still remember the feeling I got watching The Time Machine and how profound it was to be drawn into that story. I don’t think that feeling will ever go away.
You can find Rob online over here, at http://roberttheanderson.blogspot.com/