In this feature we’ll get to know some of the women in the animation industry in Ireland. Today we interview Deirdre Barry, CEO of Salty Dog Pictures and founder of Women in Animation Ireland.
CEO and producer at Salty Dog Pictures. I work with the Creative Director on the development and finance of our inhouse projects, as well as oversee servicework.
How long have you worked in the animation industry?
I started off working in live action almost 20 years ago and moved into animation 13 years ago.
What does your job entail?
I manage the development, finance, production and distribution of animated and live action projects, both series and feature.
How did you get your start in animation and what drew you to the field?
I was based in Los Angeles for 5 years, working in live action in both television and feature. When I moved back to Ireland, I started working with a distribution company, Monster Entertainment, which specialized in animation, and eventually set up an animation studio for Monster to produce our own programming.
What roles have you performed during your time in the industry?
I’ve preformed a huge number of roles through the years, from Production Assistant, to International Distribution Coordinator, Acquisition Manager, Head of Sales, Head of Co-Productions, and Producer.
What is the project or moment in your career that you’re particularly proud of?
Finally seeing my name in the credits as Producer!
Do you have any advice for those entering animation on how to be industry ready?
Do plenty of research. Watch animation on TV and find out who is making what. Talk with studios. Don’t be scared to ask questions. And be prepared to offer yourself as an intern if it gets you into a position you really want to be in. If you do a good job, you’re one step closer to getting a full-time job in the area you want to be in.
Do you have any recommendations for those thinking of making the leap and starting their own company?
Plan very carefully. Ideally have some sort of cashflow figured out to tide you over as it can take a few years to really get a company off the ground. And talk to people who have already done it.
How do you maintain a work life balance having just started a new production company and having so many projects on the go?
We’re in post-production at the moment so it’s pretty full on. But generally I try to work from home at least one day a week. Having your own company means you are never completely switched off, but doing what you’ve always wanted to do makes up for it. I have three children so maintaining a work / life balance is extremely important.
Why do you feel there’s a need for an Irish chapter of Women in Animation?
It’s a great opportunity to connect women in various areas of the industry, both in Ireland and internationally, and to promote and encourage creativity among females. Personally I’m particularly interested in focusing on secondary schools and looking at what we can do to introduce animation to girls at an early stage.
You can find out more about Deirdre’s company Salty Dog Pictures here!