Friday, November 30, 2007

Rainmaker sells to By Deluxe

Its official, Rainmaker VFX and Post had been sold to By Deluxe.

Remember at the end of the credits of any movie a little logo saying, "color by Deluxe"?, well its a multi-billion company that has been acquiring other companies around the globe, its latest Rainmaker Vancouver.

Here is more info:

Playback Magazine

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Rainmaker Animation and Visual Effects

If you are considering applying to Rainmaker Animation and VFX, here are some pointers to help you understand its VFX and Animation divisions.

Rainmaker has two main facilities, the original Rainmaker VFX building (The one with the Graffiti) and the recently acquired building that used to be "Mainframe" (Skin Color Building). Both buildings are 20 mins. drive from each other.

The VFX facility used to have around two hundred employees, while Mainframe had about three hundred employees when fully loaded. The acquisition made Rainmaker the largest studio in Canada currently led by CEO Warren Franklin, an ex-ILM veteran.

The type of work from both facilities its easy to understand, the VFX division takes care of visual effects for TV commercials, TV series, In-Game cinematics and Feature films. While the Animation Division takes care of Animated TV series, in game cinematics and the recently announced feature film "Escape from Planet Earth".

In both divisions you will find positions such as Lighters, Animators, Modelers, Matte painters, Compositors, etc. What varies is the type of projects that Rainmaker is currently working on.

Some Rainmaker VFX projects include: I-Robot, Garfield, Garfield II, Night at the Museum, Vantage Point, Blades of Glory, Stargate Atlantis, Tropic Thunder, etc.

Some Rainmaker Animation projects include: Reboot, Popeye 3D, Barbie, Hot Wheels, Tony Hawk, The Nutty Professor, Escape from Planet Earth.

Put your demo reel together and make sure you send it to the division of your preference.

Rainmaker VFX
West 2nd Avenue,
Vancouver BC, V5Y 1B3

Rainmaker Animation
Suite 200
2025 West Broadway
Vancouver BC, V6J 1Z6

Sunday, November 25, 2007

New Look!

Dear reader!!!

I get 50 visits each day, yes 50 visitors!! I decided you deserve much more, a lot more!!. I totally made over the look of this blog to be more dynamic, informative and fun to read. In the other hand, I always wanted to be a reporter (strikes Olympic pose, kzahh!) Each week I'll try to give you news mainly from Vancouver and from whatever other venue in the world.

All this just for YOU and YOU only!

Also, from all the emails I am getting about animation advice, critiques, career coaching, animation mentor, etc. keep them coming!! or feel free to leave a comment on this blog for everybody to see. Remember that if we do this together it will be interactive and is much more fun and interesting. Don't be shy!

Original template by:
Designer: Liz Lubowitz

Thanks a lot!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Philosopher Mime

Do you like Philosophy?, Do you like Mimes?

Well well well, what about a Philosopher Mime?

If you enjoy the greatest minds of all times such as Voltaire, Plato, Spinoza, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Francis Bacon, Will Durant, etcetera, etcetera; then you will love the Philosopher Mime.


...Because knowledge is power..

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

2d or not 2d Animation Festival: Don Hanh

Don Hahn,

A veteran from Walt Disney Feature Animation, during his presentation
he might have shown a thousand images, he talked about artists in
general, animators, painters, storyboard artists, live action films,
composition, etc. He had a lot of pictures from the old times at
Disney, famous people like Tim Burton, Brad Bird and John Lasseter
in their twenties.

He also showed drawings made by the animators, there were a couple
that today they have a lot of weight. Don asked not to put them up
on the internet because they were given to them with great care. I will
describe to you 2 drawings that caught the audience's attention:

1.- Tim Burton had a lot of early sketches from "Nightmare before
Christmas", he made these ones during his Disney years and they look
a lot like the final product. Tim Burton knew for sure where he was

2.- This was Brad Bird caricature, I don't know if it was made by
him or by somebody else. Picture Brad Bird on his feet, pulling
frantically his hair out while saying --"I'm gonna change the #@%!! world of animation". If you have seen the Incredibles you'll know
what he was talking about back in those days.

Monday, November 12, 2007

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:

2d or not 2d Animation Festival

My film Marcelino and Bartolomeo was screened at the 2d or not 2d Animation festival, I decided to go and check it out.

The Festival took place in a small and very cute town called Everett in Washington, just 2 hours away from Vancouver.

You might not know these 2 guys I'm with in this picture, or even their names but the projects they have worked on are big hits. Peter Fiala was the lead modeler for the highly anticipated movie Vantage Point. Ken Priebe is the author of the recently released book "The art of Stop Motion Animation".

New Animation & Stuff Blog

Since I won't be posting anymore Animation Mentor assignments, I'll start a new blog about animation, things that I consider worth watching and knowing of. I'll be updating it at the least once a week, also you'll hear some news about my short film and how it is doing on the festivals.

If there are things you would like to see/hear from Vancouver regarding animation, please leave me a comment.

Vancouver Animated News by Mario Pochat