Local animation studios drawing on adaptability during pandemic
At a time when new TV shows are among the few things people have to look forward to, Ottawa animators and the studios they work for have been busier than ever bringing those stories to life.
Three Ottawa animation studios that produce shows and movies for major streaming services and broadcasters including CBC say the past year has seen virtually no slowdown in their industry.
Some had already begun adapting to working from home to collaborate with other studios in other countries, and work around snow days in the nation’s capital.
In the case of Big Jump Entertainment, they stepped in to create animated episodes for two live-action sitcoms, One Day at a Time and black-ish, when lockdowns shuttered sets.
That process — going from character design to final animation on a prime-time show — usually takes 24 to 36 weeks, but they got it done in eight, according to executive director Jennifer Griffiths.
“I’d say we did it in about a quarter of the time, which is unheard of in our industry,” she said.
“For One Day at a Time, they sent iPhones … to all the actors across L.A., and they recorded from home and they shipped the audio up here, and we were very fortunate to work on that.”
Griffiths said it kept artists working in Ottawa while sound stages were adapted to new COVID-19 protocols to keep casts and crews safe.