Seneca partners on Animated Short: DAM! The Story of Kit the Beaver

I really love teaching students in the Animation Illustration
Program. I like inspiring students. The exciting part is
sharing that passion for animation with these students and letting it come
out on the screen. HEATHER MULLAN:
I just love the storytelling of it all, that’s what I got in
animation for, that’s what we watch movies for,
we watch shows for. BARNEY WORNOFF:
Every summer then we have different films that we work at
here at Seneca. And in this case, the director Kjell had
this idea for a film, he brought it to Seneca. Mark Jones, and
then they basically greenlit it to be animated in the summer.
The story is basically the coming-of-age of a beaver that
wants to help out, wants to build this dam, but also
is very distractible. HEATHER MULLAN:
It’s like, him working with his family to create his dam and
then it falls down and then he has to get all his other
woodland friends to help him build the dam back up. ADAM UJHELYI:
It’s kind of about, breaking out of the norm, to befriend
other creatures. BARNEY WORNOFF:
So it’s a very community-based story, it’s a very
heartwarming and it’s a lovely little tale. It was
amazing being at the premiere at Roy Thompson Hall, watching this
cartoon in front of a live studio audience with a live
band, was mind-blowing. You spent so much time on each
individual frame, it goes by so fast and it brought a tear to my
eye and everyone in the audience as well. This is a special
project watching it with a live symphony orchestra, which when
does that ever happen? Probably never again. HEATHER MULLAN:
I feel like, the main message of that story is teamwork and all
the challenges that they went through, throughout that year.
And within the team that we were working in, all of the artists
and the director and everything. We all face challenges and
everything as well and then we ended up creating this amazing
film at the end of the year. BARNEY WORNOFF:
Students had to pick particular department to work in. So say if
they were character acting in here, then they had to not only
animate that character, but then get into the mindset of that
character in each one of these shots. Whereas the background
department had to think about, “Okay, where’s the animation
happening?” So there’s all this stuff running in unison.
It’s important that the students get to work on these kinds of
projects because it gives them real industry experience and
that’s what we try to do with the Summer Institute as students
will be out working in the industry, but before that, let’s
give them one little shot to work on an industry
level project, but without the stress
of a real job. ADAM UJHELYI:
I knew I wanted to animate, but I wasn’t sure exactly where
I wanted to go. When I came to Seneca, eventually I found out
that I really liked being a builds artist. The Summer
Institute helped me to kind of nurture that a bit more and
kind of more come into it. BARNEY WORNOFF:
Being nominated for a Screen Award is exciting for students because it shows them
that the projects they’re doing here, matter within
the Canadian landscape. HEATHER MULLAN:
As artists, we all kind of doubt ourselves a little bit.
Having that news I was like, “Wow, my work actually
meant something to people.” BARNEY WORNOFF:
I’d say a project like this, shows that Seneca is not
messing around when it comes to animation. We are one of the
leaders in animation, we are pushing the boundaries, we are
bringing in industry support. We’re working with partners.
So we’re not afraid to get our hands dirty in a creative project and win some
awards if we have to. ♪MUSIC♪

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