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21 Questions: Jason Tammemagi [Artist]

With: Jason Tammemagi

Tell us about your career and what you are currently working on or involved with?
I make TV shows for young children. I created, wrote and directed a preschool show called Fluffy Gardens and have directed several other shows. I arrived here by way of animation, moving from animator to director, on commercials then to children's television. I'm currently working on a new show, COSMO, which aims to teach young children the basics about the Solar System through fun, silly adventures.

Is this what you thought you would be doing with your life, what was your first passion?
You know, I had no idea what I would do with my life. I watched a lot of children's television and I was always drawing but it wouldn't have been something I thought of early on. I mean, I don't think I knew that people could do this as a job. I've had a lot of passions and went down a few roads but this is the one that stuck. And I love it. There are few things as rewarding as making children smile and knowing you're giving them something really good.

To whom do you credit your success to, who gives or gave you the most support?
I've had people believe in me at points in my life, probably more than I did. I probably never would have arrived here at all if not for my mother's willingness to allow me to act on my uncertainty, which is probably a lot harder than being supportive when your child is certain. I dropped out of University not because I knew what I wanted to do, but because I knew what I was doing wasn't it. I found animation. In animation, my biggest champion has always been my producer, Gerard O'Rourke, who took a lot of chances on me over the years. He pushed me into writing, for example, believing I could do it long before there was any evidence that he was right. And, of course, my wife is always supportive. She sees all the work that doesn't get out there and knows what I can do (or can't) more than anyone as a result. She understands fully where I'm at and it's so important to have someone like that.

If you could meet or work with [living or dead], who would that be and why?
I'd love to meet William Shatner. That man is a god. He has so much personality and he's comedy gold, something he didn't seem to get much credit for early in his career. I think he's fantastic. Bruce Campbell too. The chin. I'd love to work with both.

What would you like to be remembered for 100 years from now?
If I'm remembered at all, I'll be doing well. But, secretly, I hope I won't have to be remembered because I'll actually still be here. Maybe in a robot body.

Who inspires you?
Most of the people I work with. I'm lucky to work with really creative people. And I have a lot of classic cartoon influences, particularly in UK television: Oliver Postgate, Roger Hargreaves, Bob Godfrey and so on.

How are things different today, than the same day 1 year ago?
I'm older. Little closer to that robot body. But things are less certain. I'm in a fragile business, one I don't even really consider a business. I'm just lucky to be doing what I'm doing. I was still doing my one-a-day zombies a year ago. That was pressure! I have been going a bit easier on myself with the zombies.

What is the last song you bought or listened to in your musical device [ipod, computer, stereo, etc.]?
I just bought Myth, a Xenogears arranged album by Mitsuda. As I'm answering these questions, I have Devlin, a UK rapper, on in the background.

Last good film you had seen, and the best movie you would recommend to someone asking?
Last film I saw in the cinema was Tron Legacy. I loved it. I was so hyped for it and it didn't disappoint. As for best movie I'd recommend, probably Session 9 because I know it's one a lot of people haven't seen. It's a wonderful horror film.

What is the single greatest moment in your life?
I'm hoping I haven't had it yet! I've had some great moments but I'm working towards even greater ones.
Favorite Horror Film?
Day of the Dead.

Favorite Book?
Right now it's an encyclopedia of the Universe.

Favorite Song?
Agh! Do I have to choose? There are too many. Noel Coward's 20th Century Blues is coming to mind.

Favorite Film Character?
That's tough too. McDermott from Day of the Dead.

Favorite Film Composer?
John Harrison (spotting a theme?)

Favorite Thing In Your Home?
My latest handheld (now PSP Go but soon to be 3DS)

Favorite First Pet?
Favourite pet was my dog Reg, who was my best buddy for 17 years. I still miss him.

Favorite Coffee Or Tea?
Coffee. Though I drink more tea.

Favorite Phrase?
Poopy-yuk. My two-year-old keeps throwing that at me and I keep on laughing.

Favorite Hiding Place [Not that we are looking]?
My own head. I spend a lot of time there.

If you could tell someone something someone told you, "words to live by" what would that be?
Strive for excellence.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Wicked cool interview. Those questions were very insightful and different. Day of the Dead is one of my favorite films, too.