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July 21, 2016

Early Show

Sarah Hirsch
  • Mel Bradshaw Photography

It couldn't have been much of a surprise to writer-producer Bill Freiberger — who has contributed to the animated series The Simpsons, The PJs and Drawn Together, to name a few — when his son, Sam Sandak, decided to go into the family business,

Sandak, 24, is also a writer and producer, as well as an editor and director. He and his father work together on Cartoon Network's Sonic Boom, a computer-animated children's series.

Their working relationship began when Sandak, as a 12-year-old budding writer, got to sit in on table reads for Drawn Together and learned how to punch up a joke. "On the days with a big rewrite, I would stick around and pitch jokes," he recalls. "Until they finally gave me an episode to cowrite. So I had my first television credit at a pretty young age."

At 14, to be exact — two years after cowriting that episode with his dad. Sandak — a graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where he studied film and television — may have started young. But he has no intention, as he puts it, of "skipping steps."

In 2014 he began to steadily rack up credits as an animatic editor on Sonic — using his grandmother's maiden name as his professional surname to help carve his own path. He worked on practical special effects for Syfy's upcoming television movie Cozmo's, and he's written and directed a live-action short film, The Dead Enders, which he describes as an "apocalyptic nihilistic comedy."

When he looks back on how it all began, he sees that he couldn't be doing anything else. "Nothing made me happier than whenever I found out I could get out of school and go visit the set," Sandak says, reminiscing. "I was absorbing everything I could, and falling in love with television, movies and the visual medium."

You might even sav he was drawn to it.

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