Creative studio Reel FX is expanding its global reach. A Montreal satellite studio is in the offing, added to Reel FX’s existing offices in Dallas and Hollywood, Calif. The new locale will be another hub for Reel FX Animation Studios, its feature film division, and will also serve as an outpost for the studio’s commercial and VR/AR divisions. Reel FX’s global headquarters will remain in Dallas’ vibrant Deep Ellum artist community.
“We’re aggressively ramping production in Montreal for a short list of theatrical budget animated film projects and more things to come,” said Reel FX CEO Steve O’Brien. Partners and clients include major studios as well as high profile game producers. With a track record of producing original animated feature titles, including The Book of Life and Free Birds, this expansion will position Reel FX Animation Studios to partner on the development and production of more top tier animation titles going forward.
The Montreal studio will be located near the city’s downtown district in the historical building Le Nordelec, which has been recently renovated into an urban loft development with commercial, retail and residential units by Allied REIT. The phase one studio build-out will house up to 220 artists, with further expansion plans on the horizon.
ODD Addition Complements Oscar-Winning Icarus
Animation from ODD (Office of Development & Design) in NY is featured in director Bryan Fogel’s Icarus, which won the Best Documentary Feature Oscar.
Icarus is a wild ride that begins with Fogel attempting to duplicate cyclist Lance Armstrong’s doping regimen. What starts as an investigative filmmaking piece quickly turns into a conspiracy thriller when Fogel meets Grigory Rodchenkov, director of Russia’s National Anti-Doping Laboratory. During their time together Rodchenkov befriends Fogel and shares top secret information that reveals Russia’s system wide state-sponsored doping program, arguably the biggest sports scandal in history.
ODD involvement started as the story was still be written—helping shape the visual direction for the film’s design and animation. A key animation sequence in the documentary shows exactly how Russian athletes were able to avoid positive drug detection during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. ODD’s ECD Gary Breslin spoke to Rodchenkov over the phone moments before he was forced into witness protection to understand Russia’s detailed ploy to obtain negative tests for their athletes during the Olympics.
Knowing he had little time to explain, Rodchenkov crudely sketched his lab configuration on a napkin, a blueprint for Breslin to recreate in CG a detailed depiction of the operation.
Ottawa Animation Fest Seeks Submissions
The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) is now accepting film entries for competition in 2018. Entries are due May 25 and there's no entry fee.
From September 26-30, Ottawa will once again play host to the animation universe; a hub of inventive, mesmerizing, and provocative art. OIAF invites animators from around the globe to submit their recent work in the following major categories: Animated Feature; Narrative Animated Short; Non-Narrative Animated Short; Student Animation; Commissioned Animation (series, commercials, music videos); Young Audiences—Preschool, Ages 6-12; and VR Animation. The latter category is brand new.
In addition to category prizes, submissions will also be considered for a variety of craft and other awards including the Festival’s Academy Award recognized Grand Prize for Short Animation.
There are also national competitions for Canadian animators and a Canadian student competition.