Here's the latest interview from my Blog.
Eighteen-year-old Josiah "Jazza" Brooks, creator of the Paladin series, has been animating since his first year of high school. Now, with five successful episodes and a game under his belt, he's ready to move on to new storylines and accomplishments. Here's how he got started and what he hopes for the future.
"After a school assignment to animate in power point, I was obsessed. Then a friend showed me flash and I haven't looked back since. I began submitting to sticksuicide.com until I discovered Newgrounds. NG was much harsher to win over the vast audience but after four or so years, I think I've gotten to a reasonable stage. :)"
After high school, Brooks has been able to make decent money doing what he loves, "I currently have the best amateur job in the world; graduated school last year and now I animate full time! I love it. I don't make BIG bucks, but enough to get by living at home with my parents XD lol. I have only been to high school, no college education so far. I plan to do some director's courses."
Brooks says that, while he enjoyed working on the series, he's glad he can move on to other storylines and ideas, "I was glad to move on from paladin and bring closure to it. Truth be told I sort of trapped myself by starting off with such a cliché plot. I tried desperately to worm out of it though the series and can only hope I improved the story. In the beginning I had no idea what would happen beyond the first episode! For the earlier episodes I came up with the story at the beginning of each episodes production. In the final 2 (4+5) I had it all planned and storyboarded."
"I think I'll give paladin a break for now. I DO have a really epic story for another time that uses the paladin story as a prologue of sorts, but I need to explore more genres and gain more experience before I try to push the same theme/genre again."
Paladin, the Game was a major achievement, and Brooks says his partner, Moonkey, was a driving force towards its completion, "I couldn't have asked for a better workmate! He's INCREDIBLE and we've overcome some massive obstacles in making the game, but I think it paid off. We both had so much fun bringing the Paladin game about we're already starting work on another game! (Completely different story and style to paladin.)"
As for the future, "I want to be a director, I love bringing things together, every piece of a work from music to credits. I think that's my passion more then animating, as animating has been my only available means to do so! I love telling stories. In ten years I see myself building a career directing. I know it'll be hard, but it's the kind of thing where I wont stop when it gets hard coz it just feels right for me... I might come back to animation one day, I've always had a soft spot for it."
Brooks leaves us with this thought, "The only thing I can encourage aspiring storytellers to do is practice every medium and explore your niche for means of expression and storytelling. My art teacher told me once that there's no point doing something unless it brings a positive message, so if you do this sort of thing for a living try and make it effect others for the better. I'm still working on it. :P"
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