To bring Bart Simpson and the rest of his peculiar but beloved television family to life each week, five directing teams supervise the work of nearly 100 animators in the United States and hundreds more in Korea, producing over 23,000 drawings in a process which takes six months.
David Silverman was the Supervising Animation Director behind this massive effort, from 1990 to 1997, and one of the reasons behind the phenomenal success of The Simpsons, Fox Broadcasting Company's Emmy Award-winning, prime time television series. Silverman is now the Supervising Director, overseeing seven production teams. He is also the director of 2007’s The Simpsons Movie.
Silverman's big break came in March of 1987, when he and fellow animator-friend Wes Archer began drawing the one-minute Simpsons spots for The Tracey Ullman Show. Two years later, The Simpsons had its own place on the schedule and Silverman and Archer became directors. During the show's first season, Silverman directed the main titles and five of the 13 shows (including the premiere and the Christmas show); the remaining shows being divided among three other directors. In its first season, the show won an Emmy for the best-animated program. Later in 1990, Silverman was made Supervising Animation Director.
Even while in high school, Silverman won several awards for animation films (including a major award from Eastman Kodak). Later, he studied animation and filmmaking at U.C.L.A., and did freelance cartoon illustrations on the side. After receiving his Master of Fine Arts degree from U.C.L.A. in 1983, he worked as a character designer for a couple of Saturday morning shows and later as an animator and director at a laser graphics/animation house. Eventually Silverman had the good fortune to work on a 10-minute animation section of the film One Crazy Summer, an effort which led to the friendship with Archer. Archer had worked for the then small animation house Klasky Csupo, and they in turn got the contract to do The Simpsons. And that's how Silverman and Archer got their break!
In 1996, Silverman went to work at DreamWorks to co-direct The Road to El Dorado. He left the project and the company in 1998 to work at Pixar, where he was co-director of Monsters, Inc.
In his presentations to audiences around the country, the 44-year-old Silverman provides a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at one of the hottest, most creative, and yet most technology-driven areas of filmmaking - as well as an insider's look at America's favorite underachiever and his family The Simpsons.
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