Nothing brings back the feeling of childhood nostalgia like the magic of animation. Many of us have memories of eating sugary cereals while watching our Saturday morning cartoons, occasionally fighting over the remote control with our siblings.
To this day, we are still intrigued and delighted by animation, which can be assumed from the popularity of shows such as “Family Guy” and “Robot Chicken.” With that in mind, Tivoli Audio teamed up with the talented, Emmy-Award winning animator Sarah De Gaudemar, to create content to convey the playful side of our brand.
We sat down with Sarah to talk about her career as an animator, her inspiration behind our collaboration, and what she’s currently working on
Can you give us a little background on your career? Where you went to school, what films or shows you've worked on, any accolades?
I went to NYU Film School in New York. I’ve been working in animation for 23 years. I’ve worked on a mixture of shows and feature films such as “Robot Chicken”, “Family Guy” and “Coraline," to name a few. A full list of my work can be found on my IMDB page. I don’t have a big list of accolades, but I do have a primetime Emmy award in the category “Individual Achievement in Animation” that I received for an episode of “Robot Chicken."
What led you to animation, particularly stop motion?
I think the most influential moment for me was going to a “Spike & Mike” Festival screening when I was in high school and seeing “Creature Comforts.” I loved it so much, and was captivated by the stop motion animation. I like the charm of stop motion, the feeling of something tangible and real that has been brought to life — flaws and all.
You've worked on a number of films and TV shows, which did you prefer working on from an artistic standpoint?
They each have their own merits, but from an artistic standpoint, feature films allow more time to really focus on getting the animation right. TV animation tends to have a fast production schedule, and you end up churning out shots.
What inspired you to work with Tivoli Audio and can you briefly recount the project?
I like the simple design of Tivoli Audio products: classic and understated, but elegant. I’ve made a few little animated pieces for the Instagram account, involving products moving around on their own. I like the challenge of physically animating a product. There are a lot of limitations and as the saying goes, “creativity loves constraints.” To keep the budget down, I had to use whatever I had around the house, including raiding my daughter’s plush doll collection for an Easter Bunny. I got a lot of experience animating toys when I worked on “Robot Chicken.”
How would you describe the spirit of Tivoli Audio, and how did you incorporate that into the short animation?
I tried to keep the short animations simple and fun, which I think fits the product. Putting the product on a solid colored backdrop lets the product shine, the same way it does on a bookshelf. It’s versatile enough to fit into any decor. I really like making Tivoli Audio products dance, because I think that's what they would do if they could move. When you think of a Tivoli Audio product, you should be thinking about the joy of music and movement.
Do you have any projects you are working on at the moment that you can discuss?
I haven't had much time lately for personal projects, as I've been working non-stop on a feature film at DNEG studio in London. We're making a feature film for Locksmith Animation called “Ron's Gone Wrong.” It's not stop motion, but that turned out to be fortuitous during a pandemic. We've been able to continue production on home computers this whole time.
Aside from film and TV, you've ventured off to start your own side projects such as marketing content. What were your initial thoughts or intentions to start this new endeavor?
I'm a fan of Instagram, and I feel like the user experience is more enjoyable when the advertising adheres to the spirit of the platform. I think what companies need are lots of bite-size pieces of eye-catching animation, instead of long, expensive ads like you would see on TV.
Having animated for so many years, I can do it very quickly, which I thought could be very useful for companies. I like using materials I can find around the house, and doing everything from my home. In this new age of social distancing, this could be the best way for brands to have fresh content.
What do you listen to on your Tivoli Audio products while you work?
The answer to this depends on what I'm animating and what time of day it is. If I'm animating dialogue, I usually need something without words in the background, like Ratatat. If it's late in the afternoon and I'm starting to get sleepy, some Kid Cudi helps me get moving again. When the animating gets me stressed out, I need some old French classics to soothe me or some Polo & Pan. I'm a big fan of Spotify playlists, especially the "throwback" ones. The app connects so easily with my Tivoli Audio speakers too.
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