Marla Rausch: Animation Vertigo CEO on Kombat

Who’s behind the mocap in Mortal Kombat X, which had the best franchise launch in history in April? Or how about Call of Duty? Or films and television projects that require tech management and strategy skills only the best in...

What do you have as your home phone image?

It’s a picture of the ocean as we were driving the I-1 to San Francisco.

 Marla's Phone Image

And on your bedside table?

Books, lotions, iPad, phone, jewelry box

How about today’s breakfast?

Ham and eggs scrambled, piece of fruit and coffee.

We know you work out. What’s that like?

I work out 3 times a week (as much as possible), training with a physical trainer for an hour.

So, Marla Rausch, what do you love about being an entrepreneur?

I love the freedom to decide how to spend your time, and the ability to make a decision about your company and direct it according to that vision.

What do you do that matters most to you?

I work to find clients who are looking for partners to expand their animation abilities without getting a bigger overhead. I also work at making sure the team I have is able to support all my clients’ mocap needs, when they need it and how they need it. These things matter to me because the relationships I have built are important to me, and these relationships have become really great friendships that I value very much.

What’s your “entrepreneurial superpower”—your go-to strength?

Clear and open communication—the ability to speak, but more than that, the ability to listen and understand what people are saying. I think sometimes that important part of communication gets lost.

Entrepreneur you admire?

Elon Musk.

Why Elon?

Because he doesn’t think in a conventional manner, it seems. When everyone is thinking of proprietary use and confidentiality, he opened up his patents so everyone could use them. He tries things that are very risky—Tesla, Hyperloop, SpaceX, etc. He’s not afraid to try something big. It makes me think we should all try that—think big and do it.

Best thing about being an entrepreneur who’s female?

Building relationships in business is very important and it matters to us. We think about the relationships we’ve made with clients, vendors, and so forth and treat them as we would want to be treated.

Okay, so—worst thing?

Sometimes I think relationship-building is also the worst thing, because it does make business decisions tough. Also, sometimes the fact that I give importance to these relationships makes other people think that I am weaker and more vulnerable.

What do you wish for other entrepreneurs?

I wish we could all start with a relationship before thinking of the advantage the person/company contributes to my company. Sometimes I feel that networking opportunities become just that, an opportunity to see how I can better my company—I like meeting people and getting to know their company and who they are. But sometimes it becomes almost competitive to see how many people you can add to your network, instead of “I met really great and interesting people yesterday.”

Do you think male entrepreneurs differ from female ones?

I had to think about this deeply because my inspirational entrepreneur is male—I think men are different in their mindsets sometimes. How they deal with risk management, their ability to gamble more, and amass more companies it seems, with various products or services. I feel women entrepreneurs grow their business/company, focusing on how to improve it or how to better it as the years go by, but not necessarily selling it at some point to do something else. I certainly don’t have that desire, although I’ve had some business associates (male) ask me if I’ve thought of it. Neither practice is wrong, just different.

How can people connect with you or support what you’re all about?

You can reach me on our website at, our Facebook page, and LinkedIn page at Animation Vertigo.

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