Henry Selick’s New Studio Cinderbiter Hiring Head of Story

New details have emerged about Henry Selick’s new San Francisco animation studio Cinderbiter Productions. A job recruitment post on CreativeHeads offered the following details:

Cinderbiter is a new stop-motion company whose mandate is to make great, scary films for young ‘uns with a small, tight-knit crew who watch each other’s backs. Joining Henry on Cinderbiter’s first production will be veteran team members Eric Leighton and the celebrated production designer, Lou Romano. That’s right — Lou Romano!

They’re currently hiring a head of story for their first project, titled Shademaker, and if you want to work alongside Lou Romano–that’s right, Lou Romano!–here are the the requirements:

- Experience on at least one animated feature as a key story artist.
- Strong drawing skills that don’t require tone and embellishment to make their point.
- You know to draw funny without relying on tiresome, bloodless cliches.
- You possess a quirky sense of humor that comes through in your drawing.
- Ability to lead a small team of other highly-talented story artists.
- You are self-confident but not arrogant; you know how to keep working a scene and support the director’s vision.
- Know how to use different shots to tell the story well and don’t rely on a layout department to figure it out for you.
- Experience with Toon Boom and Cintiq a plus


  • Animator

    I’ve had the misfortune of working on A Henry Selick production. I found it to be a soul crushing nightmare. He always creates a horrible work environment.

    • Some Kid

      I have heard the same from some people that have worked on projects with him. I still want a try though!

    • another kid

      how so? care to elaborate..

    • es

      Have met him a few times at industry events and he’s always seemed a bit… off. He made me a little uncomfortable at times, honestly. I can understand how a work environment operating under him would be a tense affair.

  • Bruce Wright

    Wow, those requirements are phrased a bit… bitter? I guess they want a crew of some frustrated, pissed off story people.

    I mean, EVERYONE wants story artists who draw clearly, draw funny, have a quirky sense of humor, good layout skills and avoid cliche. Right? Does anyone really post: “hack story guy wanted, must be great with the fart jokes, draw like ass, suck at layout and be difficult to work with. Cintiq and ToonBoom a plus.”

    That aside, hats off to these guys for starting their own thing and doing it. Good luck to them.

  • http://franticfilms.com Bill

    “Right? Does anyone really post: “hack story guy wanted, must be great with the fart jokes, draw like ass, suck at layout and be difficult to work with. Cintiq and ToonBoom a plus.”

    Wow that describes the perfect person for Dreamworks!

    • JMatte

      Erm.
      Seeing as artists move between companies, your perfect person for Dreamworks may be someone from Pixar, Sony, Blue Sky, etc.
      And vice-versa.

    • NC

      50 bucks says you’ve never worked at Dreamworks otherwise you’d probably already know that it’s not the board artists’ fault for the end product.

    • captainobvious

      Imagine my surprise to see that this comment came from a grown, employed man and not a 12 year old child! Kudos, Bill, on retaining that snarky, bitter, inner child alive.

      • Bruce Wright

        Perhaps he should apply for the job.

  • Mapache

    I only have the toonboom/cintiq requirement. Bad bad.

    Anyway I can’t wait to see what do they came out with. Loos like a killer combination of minds.

  • http://chippyandloopus.com/ John Sanford

    Hey Bill,
    What do you want to bet that ANY one of us could out-draw and out-write you?
    Tell you what, next time you are in LA, let’s meet. We’ll see how funny you are then.

    • Tee

      ITG reported.

    • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com Elliot Cowan

      Ahahahaha!

    • Mike T

      That sounds like the plot to the perfect animation industry themed blockbuster movie that we’ve all been waiting for! It’ll be just like those dance competition movies where the inner city underdogs strive to prove themselves, except this will be about drawing!!
      It could be called “Draw To Live”!!!
      Why you frontin’? Put your sketchbook where your mouth is!
      That sounds ridiculous!

      • http://chippyandloopus.com/ John Sanford

        Bill insulted not just me, but 75 other story artists, some of the best in the business. When I hear bullshit like that, I’ll respond. I chose not to malign his body of work, although there is plenty of ammunition there, believe me. Just click his link.

  • http://www.bishopanimation.com Floyd Bishop

    Best of luck. As someone who once ran a non profit animation studio (not on purpose), I know it is not an easy endeavour.

    I finally saw Coraline the other day, and liked it quite a bit. I’m anxious to see what these guys come up with.

    • meh

      Ha! Yea, I’ve head up (accidentally) non-profit productions before too. Personally, I’m pumped to see what this foundation builds :)

  • http://anonymous Anonymous

    I have never worked on a Selick production so whether or not these stories of him being difficult to work with I cannot comment. I can go by his films though and sometimes it takes a hardlined approach to get your vision up on the screen.He and the people he surrounds himself with are extemely talented. Congratulations to him . Can’t wait for their results

  • http://MrFun'sBlog Floyd Norman

    Only one guy I know fits those requirements.

    Unfortunately, he has since passed on.

  • http://MrFun'sBlog Floyd Norman

    Very good, Floyd. I once ran one of those non profit animation studios as well. (again, not on purpose)

    Best of luck to Henry Selick. I still remember his earlier San Francisco studio some years ago. It was a very cool place.

  • http://www.wardjenkins.com Ward

    Wait, did I miss something? I thought Lou was at Laika and Henry was working for Disney/Pixar. Or, is Henry working on this FOR Disney? I’m all cornfused.

    • Gobo

      Sounds to me like this is a similar situation that Selick had with Skellington Studios — he’s signed a distribution/development deal with Disney/Pixar to put out films under the Disney name (or Pixar, probably depends on what nameplate the movies fit best under once he does them) but produced independently in SF by Cinderbiter.

    • G. Melissa Graziano

      That’s what I was wondering. :s

  • http://cartoonlandanimation.com Kevin C.

    I’ve worked with Henry several times- once on an old Pillsbury Doughboy spot when he was hand animating these (at the old Colossal studio in San Francisco) and needed some 2D special effects and once on Nightmare Before Christmas-I did the 2D animated ghouls that enter from the side of the frame during the scene when Oogie Boogie is torturing Santa Claus.
    I found Henry fun to work for, and extremely creative.
    He was demanding, and expected the very best you had, but he recognized great work when he saw and there’s a reason Nightmare before Christmas is still shown in theaters across the country in frequent reissues.
    For me Coraline is a modern masterpiece- one of a handful of the finest animated films ever made.

  • http://joelbrinkerhoff.blogspot.com/ Joel Brinkerhoff

    Animation is extremely difficult and is frequently frustrating for someone trying to get a singular vision on the screen.

    I’ve never worked with Henry but I wish him well.

  • claus

    It actually says ‘scary’ in the business policy book? Well, glad they’re opening their opportunities!

  • http://www.animatress.com Ashanti

    Selick’s job description is a very good example of what skills are really needed for story. I’m going to save to show this to my students the next time they whine about having to draw something over and over and over again.
    You gotta know how to draw and not expect the computer to do everything for you. Storyboard is no joke.

    • http://n/a Somcol

      You Got That Right….it’s “NO Joke”…FO’SHOW.

  • Darkblade

    Will they be doing stop-motion animated films on the terms of PG to PG13? That would be sweet, this news is just great. Looks like Doug tennapel may have a place to pitch the neverhood film he was trying to do.

  • Jerome

    I had the chance to work with Eric Leighton recently and no doubt he is one of the most talented and passionate person I’ve ever met. Henry+Eric is a killer combo and I can’t wait to see what they come up with.

  • Toonio

    If Henry Selick is taking apprentices (which I highly doubt) I’ll move to SF tomorrow.

    Like Bluth & Willliams, Selik has passion for what he does. If he had access to better distribution and marketing Coraline would have won the Oscar (And the most die-hard Pixar fan would have to admit Up wasn’t at par with Coraline).

    • Doug

      Bluth?

      • Seaward

        I thought Bluth burned down that banana stand years ago.

    • Mr. Critic

      As someone who thinks Pixar makes above average animated movies but only average movies with a few notable exceptions, I think Up was far better than Coraline.

      However, I’m willing to admit I don’t speak for everyone and that taste is subjective.

      Best of luck to Mr. Selick. Perhaps he’ll be lucky enough to work out a distribution deal with a studio that knows how to handle independent animation.

  • Darkblade

    He must be talking about Don Bluth Doug.

  • http://highlyrecommended.blogspot.com Satorical

    Not much news from LAIKA these days…

  • http://www.davemackey.com/animation Dave Mackey

    I pretty much know who Floyd is referring to. Yes, he would have been perfect.

  • Jackson Lee

    I thought he was going to work at Pixar – what happened to that?

    • http://tomboycomics.blogspot.com Emily

      Hey Jackson,

      As I recall, Selick’s new studio was supposed to be a satellite studio connected to Pixar: Selick doing his own thing with the support of Lasseter.

      I loved Coraline and can’t wait to see what’s next!

  • http://abandonallhappiness.blogspot.com Matheus Ferrarezi

    I would love to work with him, or Tim Burton =D

  • Edward

    I’d like to see Selick do a couple more works. I’ve always been a fan of his stuff.
    I once saw this book called Ghost Girl on an airport. I haven’t read it, but from the cover alone my mind sprouted a Selick-produced film.
    I enjoy connecting and contrasting things to his work. It just brings this lovely atmosphere to whatever I’m doing.

  • Antonio

    I was very disappointed to read that Henry Selick was not directing Paranorman. However, I am VERY excited to hear that he started Cinderbiter and will continue to make great films! Coraline is still THE best 3-D movie I have ever seen and one of my favourite films of all time. I, literally, CAN NOT WAIT to see what he and his new team come up with.