I've always loved cartoons. From the Looney Tunes classics to 90's shows like Ren and Stmpy. I used to ask my parents to record them on VHS so that I could press pause on certain frames to draw the images on screen. I remembered learning about persistence of vision and how all animations were essentially a series of still images, playing back at high speed. I was bewildered at the notion that an artist could create the illusion of life with nothing but pen and paper. I wanted to BE that guy.
I was born in 1988 in Ottawa, Canada to parents who had immigrated from Great Britain and the Czech Republic. I grew up in a family of professionals who appreciated art, but only as a hobby. My parents work in the field of medicine and it's fair to say that the scientific method has had some affect in shaping my creative process. I spent a lot of time with my grandmother in my youth. She was an entomologist and knew everything about insects.
I came to Montreal in 2006 thinking I would pursue a career in computer science and having to put animation on the backburner. A year later, I discovered the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema and promptly made sure to enroll in a few courses there. Over the duration of my studies, I made a few student films that showed in international film festivals.
In 2012, I was selected to participate in the National Film Board of Canada's Hothouse program. I made the short film The Visitor and shortly following the film's completion, I was invited to work on a few shots in Chris Landreth's film, Subconscious Password. I thought it was pretty cool to work with someone whose films I had torrented in my teens. About a year later, I produced and animated the short film, Bless You, which played at the Ottawa International Animation Festival and toured in the Animation Show of Shows.
Many of my past projects have involved working with small teams, as animator, art director, 3D artist, or jack of all trades. My working methods are thoughtful and meticulous. I like figuring out how things work. I've created animated content for short films and documentaries, collaborating with artists and filmmakers from all walks of life. I've had the fortune of working alongside legendary Canadian directors and producers: Sheldon Cohen, Marcy Page, David Fine, Alanis Obomsawin.
My films are a unique blend of aesthetics, fusing elements from science fiction, fine arts, music videos, video games, slapstick comedy and other trippy things. I enjoy exploring themes that deal with inner experience: dreams, fantasy, hallucination. Capturing those moments where we momentarily break from reality. I like the idea of using caricature to convey certain states of mind. Doing with images what language alone cannot do.
Music plays a key role in my work. Much of the images in my films were seen in the mind's eye while listening to anything from Vaporwave to Baroque. There is something powerful In how certain tracks seem to evoke images and stories, pulling them out of the depths of the mind. In any project, it's important for me to feel a sense of rapport with the composer and sound designer. My goal is for things to be audio-visually harmonious and for all the parts to speak to one another.
My initial impulse towards animation was as a computer nerd who liked to draw. In both building computers and in learning about anatomy for drawing, I enjoy taking things apart and putting them back together again to see how they work. The same could be said about film directing. The craft, in a sense, has allowed me to deconstruct human perception. To see how different people respond to sound, image and narrative, and discover what they take away from it.
To create art that speaks to many people is an extremely challenging and rewarding endeavor. I like making images that are visually appealing, but also distorted in certain ways. It's that back and forth, between attraction and repulsion that makes it exciting. It always surprises me about what what sticks and why certain images have the effect they do.