Working with Jayson Again
August 1st, 2016
In the summer of 2004, while visiting Vancouver, I met a young animator named, Jayson Thiessen. At the time, I was so impressed by his Flash skills, that I invited him to accompany me to Los Angeles to pitch a series of interstitials I'd come up with, called Insanely Twisted Shadow Puppets. I needed a Flash animator and Jayson was my perfect choice. On that trip, we saw top animation executives at Disney, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. It was a fun trip and something we'll never forget.
Eventually, Nickelodeon commissioned 10 interstitials and I hired Jayson. Working from my Photoshop images, Jayson used Flash to animate two of the interstitials. However, even at this early stage of his career, Jayson was already in demand. Barely had he done any work for me, that he was offered to co-direct the animated series Pucca: an offer he couldn't pass up. I gave him my best wishes and hired Mike Hogue to replace him. Jayson went on to forge a successful path into the Canadian animation scene.
Since 2010, Jayson has been helming the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic animated series for DHX Media and Hasbro Studios. After six successful seasons, he's now given the opportunity to direct his first theatrical feature film.
On Jun 10 2015, I received an email from Jayson enquiring about my availability and asking if I'd be interested in working on the My Little Pony movie. I didn't know much about the franchise, but the thought of collaborating with Jayson was extremely appealing. I really like the guy!
Early this year, I was invited to Vancouver where I was pitched the project. The animation tests I was shown looked fantastic and the potential for amazing 2D FX is huge. I thought to myself, this will be a great canvas for my FX! It's like they boarded part of the film with me in mind! At the time, I was still finishing up Battleborn, but my mind was pretty much set that this would be the next project I would tackle, once my obligations with Gearbox were over.
Then, came the call from Sony about the Spider-Man movie, another project I wanted to do (see previous post). I'm so glad that Sony and DHX were able to find a way for me to do both films.
So where does The Saga of Rex movie fit in? Well, this is where things stand: Grid Animation is STILL working on the financial/distribution side and as long as I keep renewing their option, I'm in a gridlock as far as that property goes. My goal is to get Rex into production as soon as I finish the two projects I've already committed to (MLP and Spiderman). Hopefully by then, Grid Animation will be ready as well.
Spider-Man VFX Phase One
July 22nd, 2016
Today is the last day of my first stint on the Spider-Man Animated feature coming out in theaters, December 21, 2018.
When I was approached by Sony for Spider-Man, I had already committed to another feature film being done in Vancouver. I asked Sony if it would be possible for me to do both projects, and when we looked at the schedules we realized it was totally doable.
My first stint on Spider-Man was to work with the pre-production crew to develop the visual effects style for the film. It was a challenging and exciting three months and I'm very much looking forward to join the full production team in March 2017 for a year and a half.
Being under NDA, I can't discuss any aspect of the film—the best I can do is link to articles. Here's a recent one from Collider announcing the director of the film.
On April 2nd, I will start on the other feature which I'm equally excited about. What is it, you ask? I shall make the announcement on my next post, so stay tuned.
Battleborn Gallery Page
June 25th, 2016
Once a big project I worked on gets released, I usually create (time permitting) a page for it in my Gallery. Here's the one I just finished for Battleborn. Click here to check it out.