How To Be A Movie Animator With Turbo Director David Soren

David Soren may not be a household name, but he’s worked his way to the top of the animation industry, having recently written and directed Turbo .

Turbo tells the story of an optimistic snail (voiced by Ryan Reynolds), who dreams of a life beyond working at the tomato plant day in, day out. Specifically, he dreams of being a racer, and gets a shot at his dream after a chance encounter with a nitrous oxide-boosted engine.

He becomes involved with a group of racing snails belonging to a taco truck owner, and sets his sights on the Indy 500…

Soren is familiar with lofty ambitions himself, having started out in the animation department on cult videogame Toonstruck , before landing a job as a storyboard artist at DreamWorks and working his way up to feature writing and directing.

We asked Soren to talk us through his tips for success in the animation industry, and you can follow the story of his career path in the video below:

Even if you’re a tech whiz and story genius, it’s still handy if you can actually draw. As Soren told us, “When directing an animated movie, or any movie really, it helps to be able to be able to quickly sketch out an expression or a pose, or even a composition that I’m looking for, there’s less room for misinterpretation - a picture says a thousand words.”

We asked him to sketch out some of the film’s characters for us, and you can see the results below:

Turbo is out now in UK cinemas.

Matt Maytum
Editor, Total Film

I'm the Editor at Total Film magazine, overseeing the running of the mag, and generally obsessing over all things Nolan, Kubrick and Pixar. Over the past decade I've worked in various roles for TF online and in print, including at GamesRadar+, and you can often hear me nattering on the Inside Total Film podcast. Bucket-list-ticking career highlights have included reporting from the set of Tenet and Avengers: Infinity War, as well as covering Comic-Con, TIFF and the Sundance Film Festival.