We had the good fortune of connecting with Michaela Wadzinski and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michaela, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
When I was in 3rd grade I used to draw pictures of Spongebob Squarepants obsessively. When I realized that people actually had to make those cartoons I was watching, I was stuck. I wanted to do that! So from a young age, I set my eyes on an artistic career and never looked back. I honestly never even considered changing my mind, it just felt right. So I spent a lot of my childhood drawing and eventually went to film school. Where along with continuing my love for animation, I found a second love in live-action filmmaking. As long as I’m telling a compelling story I’m a happy camper!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Currently, I’m a storyboard artist at Bento Box Entertainment on “The Great North”. I went to film school at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and when I was there coming to LA and working in the industry seemed really daunting. I honestly wasn’t even sure where to begin, so like many students, I just started applying for internships and hoping! In my junior year, I got extremely lucky and was able to intern with the Television Academy Foundation. My internship was in traditional animation, and I was hosted by Bento Box on “Bob’s Burgers”. I had been a huge fan of Bob’s so I was ecstatic about the internship. Up to that point I had always wanted to be a 2D animator, but during my internship, I realized I really loved storyboarding. During my senior year, I applied desperately to hundreds of jobs with very little luck and felt pretty demoralized. So after graduating my boyfriend and a friend of ours decided to just move to LA with no jobs and no apartment. (Which thank goodness we found one on the drive down.) Once I moved I finally landed a job as a PA at Bento Box on “The Great North”, and it’s kind of just been a rollercoaster from there. It hasn’t been an easy journey but it was been a very fulfilling one. I genuinely feel so lucky for each experience I’ve had and am so grateful for everything I’ve learned thus far. I’m very excited for Season 3 of “The Great North” to air in September. It’s the first season I was a full storyboard artist, and I can’t wait for people to see all the great work our team has done!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh gosh! That is something I love about LA, there is always something to do, and ALWAYS something amazing to eat. Unfailingly, you have to do a beach day, and I absolutely love Hermosa beach and the breakfast spot “Good Stuff” down there. I love museums, so the Getty and the Gene Autry Museum are always on the schedule. Thift shopping on Magnolia Blvd in Burbank is a must, I especially love Playclothes Vintage. Some of my favorite food spots are We’re Pouring, Love You Latte, Din Tai Fung, Ike’s Love and Sandwiches, Pitfire Pizza, Taco Azteca, Tallyrand, and Home. I’m a huge theme park fan, so inevitably, Disneyland, Universal, Knotts Berry Farm, or Six Flags Magic Mountian are on the list. And last, but certainly not least, we would have to do an escape room. I am obsessed with them, and always on the search for the next best one! My absolute favorite in LA thus far has been Labrat by Hatch Escapes.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to shout out my older brother, Ryan Wadzinski, who is also a filmmaker. He is at least half of the reason I love film as much as I do. Some of my fondest childhood memories are the two of us staying up late watching films and then staying up even later to discuss them for hours. He really helped me learn how to talk about and understand film as a craft. The first sets I was ever on were his. He is such a creative person with a really unique point of view. Whenever I need notes on ANYTHING I do, I always turn to him first because he always has the best ideas. I really admire him and I know I would not have seen any of the amazing films that were so formative to me without him. Plus I always thought Ryan and my older sister Melissa had the coolest taste, so probably without knowing it, they helped me be slightly less lame than I would’ve been otherwise, haha!
Television Academy Foundation (Photo in front of Bento Box Logo)