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Interview with George Gendi, creator of Apple & Onion

During the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, we had the chance to interview this London-based animator who, after a few years as a storyboard artist on Gumball, is working on his very own Cartoon Network show! Enjoy!

During the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, we had the chance to interview this London-based animator who, after a few years as a storyboard artist on Gumball, is working on his very own Cartoon Network show! Enjoy!

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Animac Magazine: It's so nice to meet you! First off, we'll once again start with the same question: what's the first thing that drove you towards loving animation and wanting to work on it?

George Gendi: I think the first thing that drove me was watching cartoons that I liked, then after that it was the fact that I was good at drawing, I loved it; so I was thinking "where can I go with drawing?". So I did a course in illustration and animation. I particularly enjoyed the animation and the kind of emotional connection you can get with your audience, and then I decided "I'm getting into animation". Then I specialized in animation in a university course, and that's how I started.

Animac Magazine: Before getting into Apple & Onion, I wanted to know a little bit about your previous work on Gumball. How did you first join the storyboarding team and what was the most rewarding experience from those years of your career?

George Gendi: The Gumball crew had seen some of my student films online and liked my sense of humor, so they got in touch with me and asked me if I would try out as a storyboard artist for the show. I did, and I did well! They enjoyed it, and that's when I decided "I'm gonna pitch my own show". I went to the executive producer, Daniel Lennard, and I said "I've got my own idea for a show, Apple & Onion, would you be interested in it?". He said yes, we had a meeting and that's how it took off. So it was through Gumball!

Animac Magazine: Regarding Apple & Onion's original pilot, how long was its production and what lessons did you learn during that process that you think you'll be able to apply to your projects from now on?

George Gendi: I think its production was like nine months. And I learned a lot about working with the team. So now I've got other people doing designs and all that, so I learned about how to communicate with them and how to give the right notes - if I'm not designing something, then that weight is off my shoulders as long as the other person knows what he's doing, so it's in my best interest to be able to communicate to them.

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Animac Magazine: You mentioned during the pilot screening that your show is mostly about honesty. Could you...?

George Gendi: Did I say that? I was lying! [laughter] Nah, I'm joking, tell me.

Animac Magazine: Sure! So could you tell us a little bit more about what that feeling means for you regarding the show?

George Gendi: About honesty? It's just about what happens between Apple and Onion and all the other characters. I want it to be real, like it would happen in the real world if these two characters were there. Because I think that when something is real, you really connect with it. And when something is real AND funny, it especially makes you laugh. So the way Apple and Onion see our world, the world that we're used to as adults and that we take for granted, they see it with fresh eyes. They see the essence of what everything is about and they bring it out for the audience to see it too, to connect to that.

Animac Magazine: Final question! If you could have a few moments to tell all of our readers why they should watch your show, what would you say?

George Gendi: Because it's funny, and it'll make you feel good. And you're gonna feel like you're spending time with friends.


Interview conducted by Adrian Carande

Photos by Carolina López


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