The following is the first half of an LA Animation Examiner attempt to wrangle an unstoppable force: esteemed Hollywood producer John Andrews. In addition to his current, tireless work at Six Point Harness animation studio, the cartoon factory behind web sensation Dick Figures, Andrews is co-founder and co-director of the Los Angeles Animation Festival (LAAF).
Industry fans and vets alike remember Andrews's name in association with MTV's 2D fare of the 1990s, in particular the Beavis & Butt-Head canon, Daria, Peter Chung's Aeon Flux, and MTV's Oddities (which Andrews entitled and produced), featuring Eric Fogel's The Head and Sam Kieth's The Maxx. He also spent ten years as a Senior Vice President at Klasky Csupo (company behind the Rugrats franchise), at which he executive produced hundreds of commercials and special projects, plus launched one of the early edgy cartoon fare web destinations, Global Tantrum.
Recently, Andrews addressed brazen questions about his life and career. Read here for the initial results of the interrogation and the secrets revealed.
LA ANIMATION EXAMINER: How long have you worked at Six Point Harness, and what is your role there?
JOHN ANDREWS: This is my third year at Six Point Harness, but the tenth year of our relationship. The company is coming up on its tenth Anniversary this summer. When I was at Klasky Csupo (running the division called ka-chew!), Six Point was one of our main animation vendors for commercial work and pilots. I also shopped some of the Six Point Harness animation directors for commercial directing work. As we shut down ka-chew! I moved over to Six Point, bringing some of ka-chew!'s key commercial directing roster along. At that time, we launched Six Point Media, a new division of Six Point Harness aimed at a different set of clients, mainly in the ad agency and commercial production company arena. I am executive producer/creative director for the unit.
Then, in 2012, I added executive producer of TV development to my responsibilities. Now I work closely with Six Point Harness CEO Brendan Burch, teaming writers and show creators with our in-house designers to develop and pitch shows for adults, kids and pre-schoolers. I originally came out here from MTV in New York, where I oversaw the in-house animation studio and developed and supervised a number of series. So taking on development with the cutting edge team at Six Point Harness was a perfect fit and something I had been dying to get back to.
LAAE: Wow! Your resume is very intimidating to people like the LA Animation Examiner. What are some of your latest newsworthy projects?
JA: Most newsworthy is our feature Dick Figures: The Movie, on which I am one of the producers. After our successful Kickstarter campaign, I've been working with Brendan to interest the wider film community in our project. However, the most promising development I've been involved with has been our growing partnership with Mondo Media on plans for our digital release. We finish production in the spring and are working on our release plans now. We're planning quite an innovative roll-out in the digital space. I also oversee the merchandising area. We have a number of licensees for the series and our own web store at www.richardfigures.com.
Then, of course, there is our web channel RUG BURN, our joint venture with Titmouse [animation studio]. I'm mainly an observer and cheerleader for the brand, which is taking off in a big way, with the channel already totaling well over a million views. It's cutting-edge comedy for mid teens through adults. We will be on the lookout for great projects that can flourish on RUG BURN and migrate to other emerging platforms in the post-traditional-TV digital space. Is that a mouthful or what?!?
Unfortunately, since my role is development, most of the rest of what I am working on is not for publication, even though some pilots have been ordered or are currently in production. Stand by for announcements! The same is true for our work in the commercial arena. But, you can expect to see more of our work with classic cartoon characters in the near future.
The mention of classic cartoons seems to be an appropriate cliffhanger for gentle readers of this column. Stay tuned for part two of the dish with John Andrews in approximately one week. The LA Animation Examiner intends to corral him fully by then!