Ashley Ramsay joins us as a new #OKGNtech columnist, starting with the first edition of Animation News.
It’s Saturday morning. You wake up, slowly make your way to the coffee maker, pour a bowl of Fruity O’s and flick on the TV… or Netflix, or YouTube, or Apple TV. The reality is, mediums may change but the tradition stays the same, IT’S SATURDAY MORNING AND IT’S CARTOON TIME!
The Animation business in the Okanagan is thriving and there is no shortage of demand for cartoons… or animators. Shifts in technology combined with an ever-growing list of viewing options has also made it possible for animation studios to thrive outside of traditional urban centres. Despite a flurry of International success, the buzz around animation news in the Okanagan has been relatively quiet so to kick things off I thought I would start with the basics.
Here are 3 things you likely didn’t know about the animation industry in the Okanagan:
1. You can get world-class animation training right here in Kelowna. The Okanagan is now home to two animation training schools: The Center for Arts and Technology and Okanagan College. Both programs focus on drawing, design, and the principles and techniques of traditional and digital character animation. Classes are taught by industry professionals to help students develop artistic skills, technical dexterity and creativity thinking. New funding from the Province will allow Okanagan College to offer its Animation Diploma program on an ongoing basis and at a lower cost to students. The program launched in Sept. 2017 and is based out of a cutting-edge laboratory at the Okanagan Centre for Innovation in downtown Kelowna.
2. The Okanagan is home to a handful of animation & game studios competing on a world stage. There are a handful of animation studios here in town who create thousands of hours of animated content every year. This content is then exported and viewed by audiences from Vancouver to China to Timbuktu. At Yeti Farm, we work on shows like Max and Ruby, Rocket Monkeys, Camp Lakebottom, Beat Bugs, Mysticons and more. We also work with networks like Corus Media, Netflix and Amazon to name a few. Bardel Entertainment is host to about 80 artists in the Kelowna branch, who work with clients like Dreamworks, Allegiance Studios produces effects for many large live action films, and Kelowna is still home to Disney Interactive, whose original founder Lance Priebe spun off Hyper Hippo Games.
3. Making cartoons is no joke. Did you know that it takes a single animator an entire week to produce about 30 seconds of screen time? Typically, it takes an army of 20 animators or more approximately 3 weeks to complete an entire half hour show! It can take upwards of 3 years produce an entire Netflix series and another 5 years to get the green light! Animation is fun but it is also a very labour intensive process!
There is a booming animation industry here in the Okanagan. This industry has created hundreds of jobs and countless hours of entertainment. As technology continues to evolve and the industry adapts, I’ll continue to share the news and the impact this has on our growing industry. Stay tuned!