You seem to be a jack of all trades in the industry, what is your favorite hat to wear and why?
Yeah, I’ve done pretty much everything from getting coffee to audio engineering to editing to art direction to producing to directing to writing to acting, voice acting. I think writing is my favorite thing I do. It’s what I always wanted to do and I think it’s what I’m the best at. (Some people might debate that.) So it’s really amazing to be able to earn a living doing something that I’m good at and that I love doing. It’s a privilege and It’s not lost on me how lucky I am to do what I do. Plus there’s no better feeling than when you finish a script. It’s the best. A lot of the time the actual writing of the script can be pretty tough though. It’s sort of like being in a fist fight a little bit. But also like running a marathon. But also sometimes you feel like you’re drowning in the ocean. So yeah, it’s like running 26 miles while drowning while also being punched in the face and body. But it’s great.
What do you want visitors and locals to know about the entertainment industry that they may not already know?
Most of the people working in the entertainment industry are hard working folks that have a really tough day of work ahead of them. It’s a lot more blue collar than people probably think. I certainly didn’t realize that when I came out here. The guys and gals hanging lights and pulling cables, doing sound and building sets, they work long hard hours. Animators too man, they really get put through the ringer with the hours they put in. This is not an industry you can work in if you want to have a nice easy little job.
How has the industry evolved over the years?
Over the years?! How old do you think I am Mike? No, you’re right, I’m old as shit. It’s fine. You know, there are a lot more people looking for the type of things that I do. The biggest thing is that it’s so easy now for people to consume entertainment. So there are a lot more opportunities to make things that people will see.
What’s the craziest thing to happen on set?
It’s not really a great “set story” but one thing that stands out in my mind was on one of my first jobs. I was a Production Assistant on The Man Show (see, I’m old as shit) and we were shooting on a sound stage and the Juggy Dance Girls come running onto the set bouncing all over the place while a couple of little people dressed in lederhosen run around chugging beers and then Lou Ferrigno was involved somehow. It was just this flurry of ridiculousness. It was my first time ever being a part of anything like that. I remember thinking, I’m in chase scene at the end of PeeWee’s Big Adventure. I knew I wanted to do this forever.
What’s it like to work on and act in the same project?
It’s great. Because if I’m acting in a project, then I know I’ve really tricked someone. Like “Can you believe they let me be in this thing? What a bunch of dummies! What a bunch of idiots! Hahahaha!” And then I usually hit my head on something and knock myself unconscious and then they recast the part with someone good.
What’s next for you?
I co-wrote a movie called Supercon with my friends Dana Snyder and Zak Knutson.You know, Dana and I have been going to Mike Broder’s Supercon show in Miami since 2009. So we’ve been kicking around this idea for a movie set in a comic book convention for like 5 or 6 years now. We wrote the script in 2014 and shot it over the summer in New Orleans. Zak directed it, we have a super cool cast and it’s a really really silly movie. I love it in all it’s stupidity. It’s a just a low budget indie film so once it’s finally done (another good friend of ours, Jay Edwards, is editing it now) we’ll take it out to some festivals and then hopefully, with some luck, get wide distribution so that lots of people will get a chance to see it. It’s so neat to work on a little project with your friends for years and years and then finally see it get made. It’s amazing really. Plus we got John Malkovitch to be in it so… it doesn’t get better than that. I’m very very lucky.
What social media do you use?
I’m on all the medias but the best place for readers of this blog to find me is Twitter. @andysipes
Describe the entertainment industry in 5 words or less
Help, my ulcer just exploded.