Over the last 9 years, director/animator Dan Vislocky has worked on some of our favorite character-driven animated spots for powerhouse studios like Nathan Love and Psyop.
His recently released reel is an impressive tour of his work, but it’s also the signal that Dan is eyeing the horizon for new opportunities. We caught up with him to see what’s cooking.
Mini Q&A with Dan Vislocky
Does this mean you’re seeking representation and/or splitting from Psyop?
I’m splitting from Psyop in order to pursue a new venture into indie games. It’s been an interest of mine for a while, and it’s time to jump in and be scared, motivated, and really get my brain churning again.
I’m not really seeking representation as a director, unless it was somehow game related — although I’m not sure I have enough experience yet for someone to have the necessary confidence in me. I’m up for the challenge though, so we’ll find out soon enough.
What has been your favorite project and why?
Favorite project… that’s nearly impossible to choose. I’d say that the holiday spots for Best Buy and Norton “Stuff” are up there on the list.
Both had extremely tough schedules, but managed to come out looking great. Those spots really brought together some of my favorite people on the planet.
What does it take to be a successful director of commercial animation?
I think in terms of directing character animation in commercials, it takes a lot of bending (over)… just kidding!
There's a lot of different things that can bring you down in the art world, but if you're doing something because you enjoy it, then nobody can take that from you.
It can be extremely challenging to collaborate with clients and such, who don’t always understand exactly what it is that makes you tick as an animator. I’m not sure I even have what it takes in the end, but I’d say one of the key factors is flexibility.
I believe it’s very important to let your team have their own vision as often as possible. A director is only as good as the artists they work with, and with something as subjective as animation, I think animators tend to work harder when they have a hand in what we’re all creating.
What advice can you give to people just starting out?
Do whatever it is that makes you happy. There’s a lot of different things that can bring you down in the art world, but if you’re doing something because you enjoy it, then nobody can take that from you. If they do, take it back!