Spinning The Spectacular – Brandon Vietti Talks Spider-Man: The New Animated Series
Having served on such series as The Batman, Starship Troopers, The Legion Of Superheroes and the upcomingSuperman: Doomsday, The Marvel Animation Age and Toon Zones News caught up with Brandon Vietti in an e-mail interview to talk about his work on the 3D Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, which aired on MTV in 2003.
TOON ZONE NEWS/MARVEL ANIMATION AGE: How did you come to work on Spider-Man: The New Animated Series?
BRANDON VIETTI: I had been working at Sony for several years doing both storyboarding and directing duties on shows like Godzilla, Jackie Chan Adventures, Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles, and Max Steel. Working on the CGI action shows (Roughnecks and Max) gave me some great experience with the 3D medium and I think that helped me get the directing job for Spidey. Audu Paden, a producer on Spider-Man and my former boss from Roughnecks, asked me on board the show.
TZN/MAA: What exactly are the duties of the director of an animation feature?
VIETTI:: Directors help control the translation of the script to the screen by overseeing the design and storyboard process. It’s our job to try to make sure the on screen visuals are as moving, dynamic, and impactful as the script if not more so. That’s the short answer.
As soon as a script is completed it’s given to the director. Ideas are then exchanged with the producers regarding the mood, design, and pacing of the story. Preliminary design meetings are held to help guide designers to create characters, props, and backgrounds that work with the story and staging needs of the script as well as any additional ideas the director may have for the story. Directors then break the script into sections. Each section is assigned to a storyboard artist along with specific direction on how to translate the words on the page into shots on a storyboard. Quite often a director will also take on a section to storyboard when time allows. Four weeks later, the boards are collected and the director goes over them to try to make enhancements and revisions that make the action, story, and visuals even better. The director will continue to watch over the show for another month as it continues through the final stages of production which include color design and timing. Then the board is sent away for animation.