He’s lived in Knoxville, Seattle and Los Angeles, but animator Joel Trussell recently moved to a town you won’t find on any map — Electric City. Electric City is the name of the new animated series spearheaded by actor/director Tom Hanks, and it’s one of the first major animation productions specifically designed for online viewing. Premiering today on Yahoo’s video site Yahoo! Screen with ten five- to seven-minute episodes, Electric City is a co-production by Hanks’ Playtone shingle and Los Angeles animation studio Six Point Harness, who tapped Trussell to direct this unique animated series.
Trussell’s career has seen a steady uphill trajectory since graduating from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 1998, doing animated music videos to commercials and even segments of television shows like Yo Gabba Gabba. Cartoon Brew has followed Trussell’s career for years, beginning with 2005’s War Photographer music video . After doing a prodigious amount of work out of his Knoxville home far removed from the traditional animation hubs, Trussell moved to Los Angeles in 2009 to pursue opportunities for larger projects. In no short time, Trussell connected with Six Point Harness to do commercials which segued quickly into the opportunity to helm Electric City.
Chris Arrant: Electric City is the biggest project you’ve ever done – 20 episodes, 5 to 7 minutes each. How’d you get involved and did you have any concerns about such a large scale project?
Joel Trussell: For several years I directed animated many music videos (Jason Forrest’s War Photographer, M. Ward’s The First Time I Ran Away) commercials (Esurance, Nicorette) and TV/film segments (Yo Gabba Gabba, The Animation Show) while living in Knoxville, TenneAdd a Comment