In celebration of International Animation Day, the Vancouver Short Film Festival brings you four animation experts to talk about "Using animation in your short film." Vancouver has long been a hub for animation talent. Now, more than ever, it is home to some of the best innovation. What's making us stand out? We'll meet some of our brightest stars and learn how they're using their talents to build a career. We'll also find out what future animators can do to break in. Finally, we discuss what the future holds for animation in this transmedia world, where technology, funding, and the way in which we share content is changing rapidly.
Jeff Chiba Stearns
Jeff Chiba Stearns is an independent filmmaker born in Kelowna, BC, of Japanese and European heritage. After graduating from Emily Carr University with a Degree in Film Animation in 2001, he founded Meditating Bunny Studio Inc. specializing in creating animation, documentary, and experimental films aimed at children and adults that combine different philosophical and social elements together to create humorous, inspiring stories. The studio has also produced animated commercials for 3M Canada, Sharpie, and Anythink. His animated shorts, Kip and Kyle (2000), The horror of Kindergarten (2001), What Are You Anyways? (2005), Yellow Sticky Notes (2007) and Ode to a Post-it Note (2010) have screened at hundreds of film festivals around the world, garnered 19 awards including the Prix du Public at the prestigious Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival, and broadcast internationally.
Jeff just completed his first feature live action/animated documentary, One Big Hapa Family (2010), about children of mixed-Japanese decent and the high Japanese Canadian interracial marriage rate. Jeff is also a college animation instructor who has written articles for national publications and lectured around the world on topics of multiracial identity, cultural awareness, filmmaking, short film distribution, and animation.
Mario Pochat has been an animator for AMPED III, NEED FOR SPEED: THE MOST WANTED, DR DOLITTLE 3, GARFIELD II: A TALE OF 2 KITTIES, a Lead Animator on the MTV-Award winning Feature Film BLADES OF GLORY, and an Animation Supervisor for Disney's series of movies SNOW BUDDIES. He animated on Ben Stiller's latest movie TROPIC THUNDER and act as a Lead Animator on NUTCRACKER: THE UNTOLD STORY. Mario is part of the faculty at Animation Mentor, best known for his animated short film: "Bye-Bye!"
Emilie studied at Concordia University where she got a BA in Film Animation. She first worked in traditional animation for television in Montreal for children’s shows. As the local gaming industry was flourishing, she went to work at Artificial Mind and Movement (A2M), an independent game developer. She animated on games such as Scooby Doo Unmasked, Teen Titans and Monster House. She moved on to work at Electronic Arts Montreal animating for the games Boogie, Boogie Superstar and Spore Hero.
While working in games, Emilie did the Animation Mentor program, an online animation school. She recently finished working on her first film, Open Season 3, for Reel Fx. She now lives in Vancouver where she just started working as an animator for Sony Pictures Imageworks Canada.
Martin Rose is an Associate Professor at the Emily Carr University of Art & Design and has been an independent animation filmmaker in Vancouver for two decades. In addition to his faculty responsibilities at Emily Carr, Martin recently worked as a producer at the National Film Board, Pacific & Yukon Centre. There, he coordinated several auteur animation projects, both in development and in production, including the "The Trembling Veil of Bones," an Irish-Canadian co-production, "Animate Everything" and "How People Got Fire."
As a filmmaker, he directed "Trawna tuh Belvul," a 15-minute short film produced by the NFB. An interpretation of a sound poem written and performed by the noted Canadian poet Earle Birney, the film depicts a train and its array of occupants traveling between Toronto and Belleville, Ontario. The animation was created with cut paper puppets, and filmed on a 35-mm multi-plane camera.
Martin has participated with many other animation productions. They include "Joe," a 9-minute film directed by Jill Haras at the NFB Pacific & Yukon Centre, and "When the Day Breaks." Produced at the NFB Animation Studio in Montreal, "When the Day Breaks" is a highly-acclaimed film created by Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis.