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2d or not 2d Animation Festival: Michel Gagne

One of the festival highlights for me was to be able to attend Michel Gagne's presentation. Here is a sneak peak:

Michel is a French Canadian animation legend, his art is amazing. During his presentation, he was telling how he got into animation, he showed his student work from Sheridan College in Ontario Canada, how that helped him to get his first job with the legendary Don Bluth.

Later on his career he did a short film called "Prelude to Eden", which is very impressive. He explained how he got this deal, to whom he worked with and how he managed to finish it with an musical orchestra; the entire story is hilarious, Michel seems to be very laid back with a big sense of humor.

He also was one of the first people (if not the first one) who modified the Warner Brothers logo at the beginning of the movie, this happened when animating Osmosis Jones. He got the idea about animating the WB logo as an amoeba, with microbes!! The proposal wasn't that welcomed from the studio executives because the logo is untouchable; and it got out of hand. Somehow Michel got away with it and you can see it at the beginning of the movie.

Michel felt the need to move on from being a character animator to an effects animator. He started designing explosions, smoke, magic, water, etc. for Warner Brothers Feature Animation in a very powerful and unique way. In fact so unique that Brad Bird asked him to do some effects for The Iron Giant.

He doesn't restrict his art to animation only, he believes that any medium is a form of art and its worth exploring. He animated to music, sound effects and soundtracks, he produce visual abstract pieces. This type of animation years later caught again Brad Bird's attention, resulting in a couple of sequences in Ratatouille where Michel animated the visualization sequence to **feel the taste**

Towards the end he surprised his audience by showing a clip that few people have seen, this was his latest animated clip to a soundtrack that will premiere at the Vancouver Jazz Festival. His work very simple yet solid, indeed has his signature.

One of his recent successes is the Insanely Twisted Shadow Puppets, a project that MTV showed a lot of interest and produced it with Michel. Later on a gaming company envisioned a side scroller type game and contacted Gagne, check it out:

Gagne is a true artist, he is unstoppable; His entire life is molded to give way to art, to produce art. Art comes first. He wishes days way longer and even more so that life was longer to be able to complete so many projects he has in mind.

If you want to find out more, follow this link:

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Vancouver Animated News by Mario Pochat