' Tara Donovan - Animator: Directing: Chuck Gammage Animation "Beast Legends" shorts

Directing: Chuck Gammage Animation "Beast Legends" shorts


August 16th, 2010

Finally! Here are some screen shots from the series of shorts I directed at Chuck Gammage Animation for Toronto's Yap Films. All the shorts are up on Chuck's site now!

Our small but mighty team, spanning the country from BC to PEI, delivered 6 artistically-diverse, 40-second films in just 3 months.

Each short introduced a live-action/CG adventure-documentary about a different legendary monster. The styles were wildly contrasted from Fijian tattoo art to Greek vases, each requiring the creation of almost entirely new assets. With just 2 weeks from storyboard to delivery and a very small crew, we used every trick in our arsenal to to amp up the richness of each piece without relying solely on labour-intensive animation. This meant combining 2D & 3D elements and digitally painted backgrounds along with some clever AfterEffects filters, particles and live action fx footage.

I can't say enough about the talents of our versatile and unflappable designer, Bryan Huff, who not only created nearly all the beautiful Flash assets, but also drew half the storyboards and even contributed to backgrounds and animation. Thanks to Bryan, I appreciate even more the cost-saving benefits of a well-placed overlay and the mood-darkening power of "angry eyebrows".

Huge thanks to our incredibly positive and knowledgeable producer Tammy Semen, CG wizards Dave Marler and Seamus O'Keeffe, indispensable intern Alex Stepanov , background painter extraordinaire Clive Powsey , animation magicians Pasquale LaMontagna and Jason Condon , layout arteests Andrea Fernandez and Natasha Dichpan, inspirational designer Marceline Tanguay, and talented designer Bruno Amezcua for psychically knowing just when we'd need him. Special thanks to my multi-talented husband, Phil Bonner , for all your advice, good humour and encouragement. I admit you do seem to always be right.

Finally, my sincerest appreciation to Chuck Gammage for trusting me to pull this off and for being so fun to work for. You and your multi-talented crew made this ambitious project so enjoyable. I look forward to working with everyone again.

Here are some of our client's comments:
"There's no question that the Chuck Gammage artists are great."
"This is sophisticated, beautiful, simple, original, bold and arresting..."
"You could hang each frame on the wall."
"Beast Legends" aired on History TV and SyFy.