Dive into the captivating behind-the-scenes of animation with a Rigging expert in an exclusive interview on the making of “The Tiger’s Apprentice.” Explore unique challenges, memorable moments, and intense collaboration with Paramount’s creative teams. Uncover the secrets of Rigging and the fascinating stories behind this exceptional cinematic journey!
- To start, can you tell us more about your journey in animation?
I graduated from Animations Institut in Ludwigsburg, Germany, in 2014. Since my time during and after studies, I have had the opportunity to work on a great variety of projects, both big and small, national and international, focusing mostly on Character Rigging. Along this journey, I gained experience that led to trusted leadership roles in my field. About three years ago, I was given the opportunity to fill the role of Rigging Supervisor on The Tiger’s Apprentice. Since then, I’ve been enjoying providing support through rigs for the talented animators at Mikros Animation!
- What was your role on TA?
When I joined the project, it was already in full swing. I stepped into my role, finding an experienced Rigging Team familiar with the project and pipeline. Stepping into unknown territory, I reflected with fresh eyes and needed to adapt to keep the ball rolling and support the team through challenges ahead. With the help of the team, I learned the “Ways of Rigging” at Mikros while applying my past experiences to solve complex character demands. Another focus was keeping motivation alive and fostering a remote team spirit, which was very important to me!
- What was it like working with the directors, the creative teams at Paramount, and the Mikros teams?
I really enjoyed the direct and collaborative nature of the exchange we had both internally at Mikros and with everyone on the side of Paramount! Everyone understood the challenges the characters faced, and solutions were welcomed from all directions. We had great sessions with the directors looking at Character Facial performances and deformations that led to productive feedback for our work. It was very motivating to have such a direct connection to the people whose creative ideas we are working to bring to life.
- What were the main artistic and technical challenges on TA?
The biggest challenge was the sheer variety of different styles of characters needed. While computers help us copy/paste, this was not a show for that. Characters had their own demands and we needed custom solutions for many. On some, we needed to grind through, on others we could be smart. This is where Riggers walk the fine line of fun and frustration. Fortunately, we mostly stayed on the fun side!
Oh, did I mention that the characters also needed to transform from Human form to Animals? Well, …
- What’s your favorite scene?
The moment where Mistral jumps from a high building while transforming into her Dragon form. It’s beautifully animated, dynamic and just really kicks ass.
- What are you most proud of on TA?
Clearly, the bonding with the Rigging Team and the results of our collaboration! Joining as a Supervisor to an established team, being German and lacking French speaking skills, during COVID through a camera, could have easily led to them throwing baguettes at me. Instead, we ended up eating Chouquettes during morning meetings in Paris, passionately geeking about Rigging and collaborating on characters we all cared about! It was très bien, and I now speak un petit more French! Merci beaucoup to my awesome Riggers! I will always be grateful to you for that!
- Describe the film in 3 words 😊
Yellow, Transforming, Furry
- Any final words?
Again, thanks to all the Riggers on the show for their hard work and passion invested in the characters and the team! Gratitude to all the great Animators who challenge us daily, compelling us to deliver the best Rigs! Also, big thanks to all the coordinators and production team; you really keep us from drowning! Hats off to everyone else involved! It was a great experience working with all of you! Special thanks to Sabine Heller for her appreciation towards the Rigging team and her constant support!