Style5.TV TAAFI Fest Bumper: The Artists

by Sam Chou

Early this year, TAAFI approached Style5.TV with an opportunity to create a 30-second intro bumper as part of the pre-show for Festival screenings. Needless to say, We jumped at the chance to Partner with the inaugural Fest!

After some thought the concept I came up with was: Toronto is a Mashup.  Over 140 languages/dialects are spoken here and it's heralded as the most multicultural city in the world.  I wanted a piece that focused on the people, the sights and sounds and the frenetic pace of our city.  It seemed only natural that the piece was an animated montage of "Toronto-in-a-day", showcasing a variety of different styles of some of the most talented local animation artists.

The mash-up of artists listed below were chosen by Style 5 for a number of reasons 1) they are Torontonians 2) wield a visually unique style 3) I am a BIG fan of their work!  Each artist came with a different style and technique, some went completely digital, some worked with pencil and paper and others with ink. Like Toronto itself, every piece was unique, though when everyone's shots were done, I was pleased at how well it strung together! Differences aside, our crew shared a passion for the work, love for this city and excitement about an International festival coming to town and I feel all of this is apparent when you watch what we've created together! Myself and Style 5 are lucky to work with such talented people in this city everyday and if their enthusiasm is any indication of how TAAFI will do, this is the beginning of a great thing. 

We hope you enjoy this style mash-up at the Festival.  Style 5 would like to present the talented contributors who made this piece possible!

INTRODUCING:

 

Seo Kim

Style 5 TAAFI bumper artist Seo KimSeo Kim is an illustrator, animation designer, comics drawer and award winning caricature artist.  She is a graduate of the Sheridan animation program and currently lives and works in Toronto.

How she approached her shot:

I'm not much of an animator but I had fun creating these shots, given full creative freedom and un-intimidating scene lengths.  The programs I used were Flash and Photoshop.  I have hardly ever used Flash so that was a big learning curve for me, though I was happy to discover off the bat that I could achieve an organic look with the pencil tool!   The classroom shot confused me initially because of all the desk overlays, but I ended up treating everything very simple and drew all the characters with the desks and chairs in Flash (no overlays). 

 

W. Scott Forbes

Style 5 TAAFI bumper artist W. Scott Forbes

W. Scott Forbes is a filmmaker/illustrator/artist who made his professional debut providing covers and interiors for Image Comics' acclaimed miniseries 'Forgetless'. He has since gone on to provide covers for Charles Soule's smash sellout series '27', also from Image Comics. Scott's work on '27' was recently recognized by IGN's Top 100 Covers of 2010, where his cover for issue one ranked 25th. In 2012, he released his first short film titled “A Good Wife”. The film has garnered over 100,000 views and was selected by Vimeo to screen at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival.

How he approached his shot:
I was persistent in the sense that I'd either be using Summerhill or Rosedale station for the shot... And I was also certain that I wouldn't be using the new cars (I prefer the T-1 cars myself). Aside from that, it was pretty straightforward.  Roughed out the layouts and started painting away.  I enlisted the help of my very talented and close friend Anna Bron to help flesh out the characters on the platform and in the train.

 

Tabitha Fisher

Style 5 TAAFI bumper artist Tabitha Fisher

Tabitha Fisher graduated from Toronto's Max the Mutt in 2007 and she has worked as a Freelance Illustrator and a Designer on various television series.  Tabitha recently completed her first short film with the National Film Board of Canada titled "Missed Connection", a whimsical take on the universal desire to connect in a city of strangers. Her personal work revolves around on-site sketchbook drawing, a bold and truthful exploration of the urban narrative. Through regular artistic expeditions Tabitha captures the tiny, seemingly insignificant moments that richly shape our experience of life in the city.

How she approached her shot:
When Sam approached me to work on the TAAFI Bumper I was most excited by the concept of a "mash-up" film that would unite animators with different artistic styles in a singular voice. It was especially rewarding to see how each artist interpreted the script and delivered scenes that were uniquely personal.  It's a concept that could only work as an animated piece, which is the magic of hand-drawn imagery.

 

Sean Branigan

Sean Branigan went to Sheridan College after being completely blown away by the animated film Akira.  In his 15 year career, he's managed to stick with 2D animation working with some of the best animation companies in Canada. 

How he approched his shot:
I dunno,  I've got a love/hate relationship with animation and would like to see a 2d renaissance.  Maybe that's why we made the silhouettes look ghost-like.  Because of the dying state of the industry. The three final shots I did, were all done in Flash but I still would rather use paper.

Style 5 TAAFI bumper artist Sean Branigan


Marko Bajic

Style 5 TAAFI bumper artist Marko BajicBorn in Bosnia, raised in Hamilton, Marko Bajic is an animator and storyboard artist currently drinking a cappuccino and writing a biography of himself in Toronto. A Sheridan College graduate, he has toured Toronto’s animation scene as an animator at Smiley Guy Studios, Solis Animation, and Cuppa Coffee. His artistic passion is to make deeply serious comedic films and to learn how to draw ears.

How Marko approached his shot:
The construction workers: Since the scene takes place in the early morning, my aim was to capture a sense of morning quiet and somberness amongst the construction workers. My approach was to use dreamy, early morning colours, and to spread the street out and make things feel more spacious than a street usually is. The most fun and challenging part of the scene was finding a style for the BG that fit the mood.


Andre Guindi

Style 5 TAAFI bumper artist Andre Guindi

BAA Animation Graduate, freelance artist, designer and Toronto native, Andre Guindi met Sam Chou and the rest of the Style5 family while interning at Chuck Gammage Studios. There he assisted in development, storyboards, design, and animation for the animated short The Wrong Block. Most notable is Andre’s teaching career at U for Change; an art school in Cabbagetown that provides at-risk inner-city youth the opportunity to learn a variety of arts from creative professionals. Andre has taught Animation, Digital Arts, and Illustration to more than 40 youth over the past two years.

How he approached the shot:
Dundas Square represents some of the most remarkable elements of this bustling metropolis. The diversity of the crowds, the clashing sounds of the street musicians competing for your quarters, and at least one motionless silver-painted mime. This shot was drawn and animated entirely in traditional mediums, graphite and ink on paper. Scanned and coloured digitally, I used a combination of painting and photographs to make the square appear as heavily populated with lights and advertisements as the real Dundas Square.


Brentton Barkman

Born in Tacoma Washington, and raised in Canada Brentton pursued his dream of becoming an artist. His first animation job was at Pipeline Studios and shortly after graduating from Sheridan College, he landed a job at "Cuppa Coffee Studios" as a stop motion animator, flash animator and BG artist. Since then he has had the privilege of working for Headgear, Solis Animation and Style 5.TV. He now currently works at Ganz Studios as an animator and designer and lives downtown Toronto with his fiancee.

 

Lettie Lo

Lettie grew up in the colourful and multicultural cities of Hong Kong, and Markham.  She mastered the art of holding chopsticks at the age of 8 and discovered the joy of drawing on tissue paper while pretending to be doing her math homework. (She would habitually flush those doodles down the toilet to keep her secret safe)  As fate would have it, Lettie now "Does Art" as a living and draws on big bright monitors.In her free time she people watches and makes up stories about them, goes on food ventures, and collects memories of different people she encounters, sometimes through her camera lens,  sometimes hidden behind a tree.
She lives in a concrete building with her plant Sebastian and eats pie for breakfast.

Style 5 TAAFI bumper artist Lettie Lo


Tattoo Sound + Music

How they approached the music
Sam's visual ideas really captured the diversity and the grandeur of the festival, so immediately got inspired to use the whole world as our musical palette, while still making it cool and fresh.

Sam Chou

Sam Chou is an award-winning Director with over 13 years in the animation field.  Born in Ottawa, Sam started his career animating on feature films for Warner Bros, Sony, DreamWorks, Disney, and then mentoring under world renowned animator Chuck Gammage. At Chuck's, he advanced to senior Director of Animation working on many international campaigns for Agencies such as Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi, DONOR and Taxi.  
In 2007, Sam opened Style5.TV, a boutique studio specializing in 2D Animation for Film,Web and Television.  His films have played in numerous international festivals including Hiroshima, Sao Paulo, New York, Chicago, Sydney and also toured the United States in a traveling Eco-Film Festival.  

Now you know us so we hope to see you at TAAFI 2012 to share this Toronto talent mash-up by the Style5 crew. Enjoy the show!