Female Filmmaker Friday with Senior Animator Lisa Allen Keane
Hi Lisa, thank you for joing us today, especially on the last Friday of Women's History Month! To kick things off, tell us what you do here at Blue Sky?
Hi! I'm Lisa Allen Keane and I'm a Senior Animator here at Blue Sky. Currently, I’m working on pre-production for Nimona. This entails 2D animation tests, rig draw-overs, and character development. However, since last week it’s been all hands on deck to finish our next film Spies in Disguise!
When did you know you wanted to be a filmmaker? What is your earliest memory of feeling gravitated toward animation or story telling in general?
I never really considered being an animator a job until much later!
However, I always loved to draw. Especially from Disney movies. I had one of those 'learn to draw' Little Mermaid and Aladdin books and spent a lot of time drawing my favorite characters from those movies.
I also loved making up new characters to tell stories with, filling pages and pages of notebooks with illustrations. For some reason though it never clicked that I could do this as a job. It was a dream that was too good to be true. I was pretty good at math, so I went to college for engineering at Cornell. Luckily, I had my mid-life crisis early and realized I needed to do something creative, so after graduating with my engineering degree, I decided to pursue animation!
What were some of your first jobs like in the industry?
My first industry job was at Rhythm and Hues right after graduating from Academy of Art. I felt super lucky to get a job animating right out of school. I started with a big group of 20 new animators on the movie Hop. There's something special about your first job and the people you meet there. There's a really deep camaraderie built when you're all new and figuring everything out together. I made some great lifelong friendships there - including my husband, Jason Keane!
Who were some of your female role models? Why do you feel it’s important for young girls to see more female representation behind the camera?
As a kid my role models were probably animated characters. I wanted to follow my dreams like Ariel, be super smart like Belle, and strong like Mulan! Ha, I'm such an animation dork! But this is why animation is important! The characters we create leave such lasting impressions on kids, and it’s our job to make them inspiring, memorable, and relatable.
As for real life role models? The real life answer is all the ladies I work with here at Blue Sky. They inspire me every day! It’s great to see more female directors like our own Karen Disher. I feel like it’s super important to have female filmmakers because I mean, we're half the population. Everyone has a unique perspective and story to tell, so it just helps us tell better stories when we have more women representing!
You've been an animator at Blue Sky now for 6 years! What keeps you coming back for more each day?
Everyone here feels like family. It’s such a great working environment when you can create films with all your friends. Also, I feel like right now is a super exciting time to be at Blue Sky, I feel like we're part of a Blue Sky renaissance. There are a lot of cool changes happening, and I'm super excited for our upcoming slate of movies!
What advice do you have for young women in the industry?
Don't doubt yourself and always follow your dreams! I mean, maybe it sounds silly, but it's the reason I'm here!
Thank you Lisa for taking the time to chat with us today. We can't wait to see your incredible work in Blue Sky's next feature film Spies in Disguise (2019) and in Blue Sky's following feature film, Nimona (2020)!
Be sure to follow @blueskystudios for more behind the scenes updates and for our next #FemaleFilmmakerFriday.