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In Conversation at the Ottawa International Animation Festival - Part 2

Tags: Storyboard Pro Harmony Community

This is the second half of our series of interviews from this year’s Ottawa International Animation Festival and its sister event, The Animation Conference. Each year the festival and conference attract more than 28,000 artists, producers, students and animation fans from around the world, and creates opportunities for creatives at every level of experience to engage in discussion about their work and the industry.

We wanted to share a sample of those conversations with our wider community of artists, animators and professionals. The following videos were recorded during the Ottawa International Animation Festival in September 2019 at The Ottawa Art Gallery and Strathcona Park. Be sure to watch the first half of this interview series.

Eric Calderon, Producer and Writer


We spoke with Eric Calderon about the value of attending animation festivals and conferences. Eric moderated this year's Pitch This finale at The Animation Conference. He is a writer and television producer who also runs a channel on YouTube called Surviving Animation.

Barry Sanders, Animation Supervisor


Barry Sanders works as an animation supervisor and has friends that he meets every year at the Ottawa International Animation Festival. Barry’s advice for finding community in animation is: “Talk about what you like about animation.”

Steph Blakey, Storyboard Artist and Director


Steph Blakey is a storyboard artist, as well as the director behind Women in Animation's Five in Focus short film “The Butterfly Affect,” which is debuting at SPARK this month. We spoke with Steph at the Ottawa International Animation Festival, and you can find more of her work here.

Pilar Newton-Katz, Animation Professor


Pilar Newton-Katz is a freelance animator, animation professor and visual narrative graduate student. Her advice for finding work in the industry is to attend events and meet other animation professionals: “If you have a nice conversation with someone and give them your card, you never know. The next day they may say, ‘I met so-and-so and they design backgrounds. I need backgrounds.’ You just never know.”

Brent Smith, Layout Artist and Animator


Brent Smith is a layout artist and freelance animator. Brent recommends attending events like the Ottawa International Animation Festival: “Nobody is expecting you to be the all-star, the next best thing in animation. Everyone here is generally wanting to meet and encourage.” You can find Brent’s work on his website.


This is the second half of our two-part interview series from the Ottawa International Animation Festival. If you have not yet seen the first half, visit Part 1.

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