“A Dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.” – John Lennon
It’s about time that you meet Drew Hodges, Dear Readers.
I would usually start my introduction to Drew by describing his job here at Bix Pix, but that would take up my entire word quota. I’ll just give you Drew’s partial hyphenate credit-job description-title-thingy. Drew Hodges: Artist-Fabricator-Animator-Content Creator/Writer-Director-Executive Producer. Drew is so talented in so many areas. He and Kelli are two of a kind. They work together like peas and carrots. Drew created and then he and Kelli developed, “Tumble Leaf” – the Bix Pix award-winning series streaming on Amazon.
I want you to know more about Drew and his accomplishments, so I’m going to post his bio for you. The text that follows is his bio that goes out for public relations purposes.
Drew Hodges Biography
Drew studied animation and live action production at Columbia College Chicago in Chicago, Illinois.
After studying both live action film techniques and animation, Drew decided to focus on stop motion animation since it combined the best of both of those worlds. His student film, “Hue” was a finalist for the Student Academy Awards and screened at the Cannes Film Festival as part of the Kodak Emerging Artists program.
His first few professional jobs were for various Chicago produced projects, mostly in 2D. While 2D was interesting, Drew still pursued stop motion as his ultimate career goal.
The stop motion field at that time seemed like a small and specialized world, but luckily there was Bix Pix Entertainment in Chicago. His first project with Bix Pix was “Doh-doh Island” for Hasbro. Drew joined the team as an artist but quickly moved into puppet construction, prop design and he even animated a few elements for “Doh-Doh…”.
Drew set out to move beyond the art side of stop motion animation and focus on animation. After working with labor-intensive clay animation, Drew perfected his sculpting craft. Drew also perfected his emotional performance and timing skills. These skills took Drew to Germany where he animated complex station IDs for Arte, a Franco-Germantelevision network.
Drew came back to America and went on to animate television projects such as SNL and Comedy Central’s “Trip Tank”, as well as feature film projects, “Hell and Back” and “Anomalisa”. Drew won an Emmy for his work on, “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas” an episode of NBC’s “Community”. He also worked on world-renowned artist, Thomas Demand’s “Pacific Sun”.
A Knack for Creating Great Content
He returned to Bix Pix in Los Angeles to develop and executive produce “Tumble Leaf” and in its 3 seasons (out of 4) on Amazon, the show has earned 11 Emmys (including individual achievement award for Drew in character design and direction, as well as, 3 consecutive best animated preschool series), 4 Parent’s Choice Gold Awards, 3 Annies and a Special Jury Award from the Annecy International Animated Film Festival.
Drew loves to direct, but enjoys using his experience from other disciplines to bring projects to life from start to finish. CLICK HERE and take a Virtual Tour of the creative process of this Original Programming.
An Interview with Drew Hodges
I sat down with Drew for a short interview so that you can get to know him better.
Blogger: Were you creative as a kid?
Drew Hodges: “Yeah, I was pretty creative as a kid. I’d draw a lot and always have a story behind the drawing. One of my first was a boat with a hundred rocks going for a sail. Probably second grade. I won a drawing contest. That ended up being the only thing that I was good at in school, so I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the rest of it.”
B: After College and before you started your career, you did a short film almost entirely by yourself. Tell us about that.
DH: “I did. “The Fallen Tree”. I thought that I would finish it over the summer. It took me a little while longer than that. I worked on it between professional projects and it only took me sixteen years… that film, along with the early jobs at Bix Pix, taught me how to do every aspect of stop motion production.”
B: Tell us how you met Kelli Bixler.
DH: “Bix Pix reached out to Columbia College looking for a production designer. They told me about the job and I was bold enough to show up for an interview with nearly zero experience. I actually thought that I had a chance. Needless to say, it was not meant to be and, when they asked for my portfolio, they took another look and thought that I might work as a puppet helper for a couple of weeks. I didn’t say more than two words for the first couple of weeks that I worked at Bix Pix, then eventually I ran into Kelli in a hallway and said my third word, ‘Hi.’”
B: What brought you out to Los Angeles?
DH: “Bix Pix went out to L.A. to work on a big project where it made sense to be near the client and the talent. Kelli had asked me to do the character designs for the project. At one point, I decided to take the leap-of-faith and buy a car and drive out to L.A.”
B: Tell us how your and Kelli’s professional relationship evolved on that project.
DH: “I think that we probably just learned to trust each other, to have each other’s backs, and fill in where the other might be lacking.”
B: You are an accomplished director, but you also serve as executive producer and writer on your projects. Is there a favorite task in that impressive list?
DH: “Yes, I do enjoy my work, but there’s nothing like stepping away from all of that and watching a team come together to make something that they can be proud of.
B: Thanks Drew.
DH: “Thank You…”
DAYTIME EMMY PHOTO - Copyright: Joe Seer - Drew Hodges at the 44th Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Gala at the Pasadena Civic Center on April 28, 2017 in Pasadena, CA