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Podcast EP91: Arcana Founder Sean O'Reilly Reveals How He Built A 3D Film Studio from Scratch

The entertainment studio CEO discusses expanding from indie comic publishing into 3D feature film, TV series, and short film production.  

Take a moment to head over to Terry Ibele’s Animation Industry Podcast, home now to 96 in-depth interviews he’s done with a very cool selection of artists from animation and related industries. With a new podcast every week, Ibele is dedicated to sharing the stories of today’s animation professionals - how they got to where they are, and what they learned along the way.  Episodes cover all areas of the industry, including storyboarding, writing, animating, directing, visual development, game design, and more. Guests have included the notorious JJ Villard, Spike & Mike’s Spike Decker, Disney Director John Musker, Sony Lead Animator Humberto Rosa, Cuphead’s Tina Nowracki, Frederator’s Fred Seibert, Tumble Leaf’s Scarlet Nelson, and many others from major animation studios all over the world.

His most recent interview is Episode 91: Arcana Founder Sean O'Reilly Reveals How He Built A 3D Feature Film Studio from Scratch

This episode features Vancouver-based Arcana Entertainment and Animation Studio Founder and CEO Sean O’Reilly. O’Reilly began his journey into animation by traveling to comic book conventions trying to sell his independent comic book. That experience led him to create a comic book company, Arcana, which now boasts over 300 titles and 5,000 unique characters. From there, Arcana expanded into 3D animation and has since produced a number of features, television series, and short films.

Tune in to Ibele and O'Reilly to hear:

  • The unique pipeline Arcana has built
  • How Sean evaluates business decisions to mitigate risk
  • Arcana’s hiring process for 3D animators

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Ibele, himself a stop-motion animator (see AWN’s Fresh Takes piece on his whimsical short, The Silly Duck Wizard), deftly digs into all manner of topics, encouraging interviewees to share insights and opinions on a wide range of topics like pitching shows, marketing your work online, key skills studios look for when they bring on talent in storyboarding, vizdev, character design and animation.

In 2018, Ibele, who lives in Toronto, decided to quit his career as a Marketer and pursue his love for animation. Since then, he’s become well known for his viral animation productions, which include the previously mentioned Silly Duck Wizard, which is how AWN first came to know him and his work.

Learn more about Ibele’s work and podcast by visiting You can find all The Animation Podcast episodes on his Soundcloud site:

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Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.