Featured Friday: David Howe


● Q: Where did you go to school?
I went to the University of Texas at Austin where I got a communications degree in Radio Television & Film

● Q: When did you first realize that you wanted to work in animation?
Animation kind of fell into my lap! I had been working as a professional freelance editor and director for years on my own films and projects with various companies when I found myself out of work and watching a lot of anime. When I realized Castlevania was produced here in Austin I kind of lost my mind, did a bunch of research, and applied to Powerhouse as soon as I heard there was an open position. Thankfully they seemed to like my stuff!

● Q: Who is your biggest inspiration?
Filmmaker-wise, I’ve always admired creators that take immense risks while maintaining a strong eye for detail and world-building. Paul Thomas Anderson is a huge one, along with Alfonso Cuarón… their films are always so grand in scope even while telling intimate, personal stories.

● Q: What is your favorite animated movie/show?
Cowboy Bebop is what got me into anime, and will always be the show I look back on most fondly… Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal was something that came out recently that blew me away. I’m also a huge fan of Masaaki Yuasa, I just love his films.

● Q: What would you say to those who are not getting hired by a studio or having trouble finding a job?
Stick with it first of all, and really nail your editing/boarding/animation tests.  Also, become familiar with good sound design and rhythm, it goes a long way for selling a scene! If you can grab them emotionally with your work it can only help.

● Q: What are some stories of your path to art and animation?
I was fortunate enough to have worked with a variety of e-learning projects including videos with lots of animation that helped me get a feel for the pipeline and working with a team. Once I started getting into sound design it gave me tools I could use in animation when it comes to creating animatics and setting a mood. Getting to know some really talented people helped a lot as well.

● Q: What’s it like working in Austin? And how is the creative community here?
I’ve lived in Austin for over 13 years now and it is absolutely home to me. The creative and artistic communities here are so collaborative and uplifting, and getting passion projects made is easier than in a lot of other places in the country. I’m involved heavily in the comedy scene here as well, and comedians are some of the most passionate people out there, it really is infectious and makes you want to get out there and make more stuff!

● Q: What is the best part about your job and working at Powerhouse?
I love my job in editing and animatics so much because I get to set incredible choreographed action and dramatic scenes to the best movie scores and pieces of music without having to worry about licensing issues since it’s all temp music. After years of copyright claims and YouTube takedowns, having the freedom to remix and mash-up music and sound effects without legal consequence is like speeding down the highway with no cops to pull you over. It’s amazing.

● Q: What is your favorite Powerhouse Project that you’ve worked on?
Definitely Castlevania, but every show I’ve worked on has been rewarding.  Masters of the Universe is gonna be so cool and powerful, and man the 4th season of Castlevania is just gonna blow people away. The writing is so good.

● Q: Most challenging part of working at Powerhouse?
Working in both the pre- and post-production pipelines can be a lot to handle sometimes and it definitely becomes a balancing act. But it’s ultimately really rewarding because from the start to the finish you get to have a hand in all these different aspects of the show and it’s a joy to see it all come together as it’s happening.

● Q: Any cool little known facts about production (funny stories/cool animation tricks/etc)?
If you’re trying to get a particular sound effect for a monster or f**ked up spider demon or what have you, combining a bunch of different animal sounds is really fun and kind of like a puzzle. Also reappropriating everyday household sounds and making them work for like, magic spears and ancient machinery is funny and you’d be surprised how easy it is to sell that effect without people realizing.

● Q: If you could be any anime character who would it be and why?
Billy Bob Thornton’s character from Princess Mononoke only because I like his style.

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