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Meet North Hollywood Visual Development Artist: Hans Ranum

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hans Ranum.

Hans, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born in Aarhus, Denmark in 1978 and have been drawing since I could hold a pencil. After 10th grade, I worked at an Add firm as a runner for a year, before I started my education in design and classic animation at “The Animation Workshop” in Viborg, Denmark. In 2000 I graduated with a B.A. and got my first gig as a background lay-outer and assistant animator at a London based studio, working on my first animated full feature film (“A Christmas Carol: The Movie”). Upon completion of the film and about a year later, I moved back to Denmark, to work on my second film (Eight Crazy Nights) at a studio in Copenhagen. During my stay in London, I also met my now wife of thirteen years. Her being American, I decided to take the big leap and move to the States in 2003, where we spent the first year in her hometown of Indianapolis, then five years in Tampa, Florida, before finally moving out to Los Angeles in 2009. Best decision we’ve ever made! In the seven years I’ve been in L.A., I’ve had the pleasure of designing on countless exciting projects, for many different studios, including 20th Century FOX (Family Guy/Cleveland Show), Disney (Planes), Warner Bros. (Justice League Adventures), Nickelodeon (Dora and the Explorer Girls) and currently doing visual development on new projects at Bento Box Ent., where I have been for three years.

Has it been a smooth road?
There will always be bumps on the road when you chase your dream, but looking back on it all, I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s about taking chances and truck through whatever obstacles that might get in your way and of course, always get back on the horse and never give up. All those things sound a bit banal and cliche, but not without reason, cause it couldn’t be more true. In the animation industry, getting your foot in the door is the hardest part, so it’s super important that you go the extra mile and give it your best when you finally get the chance. There will be times, especially in the beginning, where you will doubt yourself and start getting a little anxious when too long goes by without any work, but it always happens and then suddenly it all comes on top of each other. That’s just how it works and you get used to it.

What role has luck had in your life and career?
Some luck always plays a role in achieving your goals, but if you’re are not ready to act on it, or haven’t done the prep work to prove yourself, when that “lucky” moment comes about, it means nothing. Success is usually a combination of stubbornness, perseverance, hard work, taking chances and being at the right place at the right time (luck). All of these things are bound to collide at some point if you keep trying and never give up, so that would probably be my main advice if someone was to ask me. Just, never give up.

Is there a quality or characteristic that has played an outsized role in your success?
Stubbornness and perseverance. I also feel it has helped me a lot, not to have a plan B. When there’s no other alternative, you will focus more concentrated on what you really want.

What do you love about our city and what do you dislike?
I love Los Angeles! I have lived in eight different cities and three different countries and I think L.A. is my favorite. I love how many different things there are to do and how much your surroundings can change in a matter of hours. Not many other places, can you go skiing/snowboarding, go to the beach, hike in the desert, shop downtown, visit a farm, have fun at a theme park or go for a walk in the forest etc, all within a couple of hours from the city. It’s quite unique. What I like least about L.A. is (surprise, surprise), the traffic! I shouldn’t complain, though, since I’m fortunate enough to live less than a mile from work.

Contact Info:

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Image Credit:
Hans Ranum

1 Comment

  1. Susanne Hvass Aalders

    November 21, 2016 at 10:56

    A wonderful positive story of a “boy” comming from the country of H.C. Andersen.
    Keep on the great Work.

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