Rochester Native Working on Major Hollywood Production
The Med City Movie Guy must know I have a soft spot for stories about people who grew up in Rochester and went on to significant accomplishments.
Chris Miksanek(a.k.a. The Med City Movie Guy) joined me for Rochester Today on Friday and shared that a former Rochester man is involved in the production of a soon-to-be-released movie. Peter Aksamit is a graduate of Lourdes High School and for the past six years has been employed by Bento Box Entertainment as a production supervisor for the popular Fox Television animated series Bob's Burgers.
Listen to the podcast by clicking the play button.
While he is still involved in the production of the weekly series, Aksamit is also a production supervisor for The Bob's Burgers Movie.
Aksamit, who now makes his home in Los Angeles, graciously agreed to a Q & A session with The Med City Movie Guy and he graciously shared both his questions and the answers.
The Med City Movie Guy: Your IMDB profile actually requires scrolling, that’s impressive. (Mine has only one entry because I paid a guy $20 to help with his student film.) Exactly what does a “production supervisor” do on the show?
Peter Aksamit: It’s not a very glamorous position, but I basically oversee the pre-animation process to make sure that the storyboards are working on both a creative and technical level. Our show goes through a number of internal reviews and rewrites so that the end result is as funny and heartfelt as fans have come to expect, so it’s my responsibility to make sure those notes get implemented appropriately across multiple episodes at a time.
The Med City Movie Guy: Bob’s Burgers is in season 12 which is more than a milestone, I mean, “The Brady Kids” animated series only ran for two seasons. You joined in 2016. How did that transpire?
Peter Aksamit: Shortly after graduating college, I started working for “Bob’s Burgers’’ production company Bento Box Entertainment on a few different shows that, much like “The Brady Kids”, were unfortunately canceled. I wasn’t out of a job for long though, because as luck would have it there was an opening on “Bob’s Burgers” that I was considered for based on my prior experience with the company. I immediately accepted and have been with the show ever since.
The Med City Movie Guy: What can you tell me about the upcoming film that opens May 27? Did I read that it is an, OMG, musical?!
Peter Aksamit: You read that correctly! “Bob’s Burgers” the series has a rich history of inserting various musical numbers into episodes from time to time, and with the move to the big screen it seemed like a no-brainer to include a few songs and keep the theatrical 2D-animated musical tradition alive. For any musical-haters out there, don’t fret as it’s not constant singing like “Hamilton” or “Cats”. As far as the movie goes, I can’t say much more than what’s been revealed in the trailer already, but it is a fun mashup of comedy/mystery/musical that finds the Belcher family against the ropes with the future of the restaurant in the balance.
The Med City Movie Guy: There’re a lot of miles and a lot of degrees between Rochester and Los Angeles. How long ago did you know you wanted to work in comedy/animation?
Peter Aksamit: I’ve been a bit of a ham my whole life, so comedy has always been my way of getting attention and communicating with others. After college, I knew I wanted to work in the entertainment industry, but I really didn’t have an idea or plan of how to do that. I knew that the best opportunities were in Los Angeles, so after months of hemming and hawing, I eventually packed up my car and drove West and the rest is history. I really have no business being in animation as my drawing skills plateaued at about age 9, but I’ve always had an affinity for animation whether it was watching cartoons as a kid or more adult-oriented animation as a teen and young adult. Something about its unlimited nature attracts me because you can really say or do anything in animation as long as you’re willing to take the necessary time to make it work. Animation is not really an industry I planned to get into or knew much about, but I am so grateful that I am able to say working on an animated show with a dedicated fanbase is my “real job.”
The Med City Movie Guy: Is there anything from your growing-up in Rochester or time at Lourdes that’s prepared you for L.A. and/or your job?
Peter Aksamit: Living in the Midwest (and Minnesota in particular) I think both humbles and hardens you in a way that sets us apart from other parts of the country. Not to say it’s better, but I believe you naturally develop a solid work-ethic and a focus on what’s important when you have to deal with the elements on a daily basis. That work-ethic, combined with the lessons of fellowship and respect instilled to me at Lourdes, really helped me hone my team-work skills which are crucial in animation. A lot of different hands touch each episode, so navigating creative relationships in a respectful, constructive manner goes a long way.
The Med City Movie Guy: Who’s your favorite character? Mine’s probably Jimmy Pesto (Sr.). I heard fans ask y’all most for a custom answering machine message from “Linda Belcher.” A. Is that true? B. Can I have one?
Peter Aksamit: There are so many great characters on the show, but I think I relate to Bob the most because while he is a simple man on the surface, he is also extremely passionate, caring, and creative without being obnoxious, usually to his own disservice. I can see why Linda is so popular, her cheery attitude can put a smile on anyone’s face. I’ll get in touch with her and see what I can do for you.
The Med City Movie Guy: Any truth to the rumor that Bob’s Burgers was inspired by Snappy Stop?
Peter Aksamit: can neither confirm nor deny that the creator of the show has ever been to Snappy Stop, but I can say that they’ve been serving up tasty and affordable burgers in the same location for as long as I can remember and that’s an incredible feat in this day and age. Don’t be afraid to support your local burger joints, people!
The theatrical release of The Bob's Burgers Movie is currently set for May 27th. The Bob's Burgers TV show airs Sunday evenings on Fox TV.
The Med City Movie Guy is a regular on Rochester Today, appearing the third Friday of every month after the 11 AM news on KROC-AM and 96.9 FM.
Listen to previous Med City Movie Guy episodes of Rochester Today below: