What is your name and your current occupation?
Emilie Goulet, Animator at Reel Fx.
Working in a cheese store. It’s not that crazy, but it’s probably the job that is the most different from animation. And yet, I worked with some people that were so passionate about cheese that it rub on me.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Without a doubt, my favorite project is the one I am working on now: Free Birds. Not just because the animation is wonderful and hilarious, but the people that I met on this project made me want to push myself like I never did before. The motivation and support not only came from my leads and director, but from my peers which is incredibly precious and gratifying.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I am from Montreal, Canada and started as a clean-up artist for traditional animation in television at Ciné Groupe around 2000. I was incredibly excited to the point that I probably got on the nerves of my co-workers back then. I was so happy to be working in the industry and learn from other artists that had been working for a while.
The part I like best is the polishing. I love it when you are almost done with a shot and you add all those little details, make sure all those arcs are smooth, etc. It’s always good to show your work to your peers, but I feel it’s the most useful when you are doing that last 10%. At that point, I have been looking at the shot for so long that it’s hard for me to see the shot with a fresh eye. Having friends/peers look at it really helps to go that extra mile and make a shot sing.
I animate in Maya on Linux. I have a feeling my workflow changed more than the technology. Of course, there are now new tools in the Software and new ways of doing things in 3D. The rigs in general also evolved since I started in 10 years ago when I was in gaming. I’d say everything has helped to slowly make the computer less of an obstacle between the idea and the end result The fact that I’m using a machine and that it gets very technical sometimes hasn’t changed (a scene crashes, a tool decides to act in a funky way because I did something that it’s not supposed to do, getting used to Linux, etc) but the animating part has become less of a headache.
The hardest part is being between contracts and not knowing when the next gig will happen. The financial aspect of it is never easy, but I find the most difficult is to not be in this creative studio environment with other people. I always try to work on my own stuff, but I miss interacting with a group of people on a daily basis and work for a common goal.
I’ve met a ton of people that were amazing for different reasons. To me, the most fantastic people are the friends that support me no matter what and push me to never stop animating in tough times. When I’m between contracts and I am working on my own things, I have a few friends that I always go to for feedback, career advice and mental support. They are always there with good words, giving me notes to improve, go for a coffee or a skype chat. To me that’s animation greatness, when you can trust someone that they’ll be there, even if they are super busy in their life and career.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
The one that comes to my mind is when my grandfather passed away. He was an architect and always encouraged me to pursue a career in animation. I had just graduated from University when cancer took his life. I had just started to work in the industry. There were so many questions I wanted to ask him, so many things I wanted to share with him about working in the arts. I wish I could show him what I do today. I’m happy to have a million great memories though. Wherever I go for work, he’s always in my heart when I’m far away from my family.
Lately I have been getting back into Life Drawing. Pretty sad I know, but I am far from drawing as much as I used too when I started working in the industry. I’m slowly getting used to holding a pencil again which is very refreshing. It’s very humbling!
I love history and following world politics. I don’t understand all of it and it’s often frustrating, but I find it fascinating. There is sometimes such a disconnect between what people say and what people feel in that field. Other times it’s the total opposite and you’ll see someone truly passionate. I find it very interesting to see those people interact, especially when they are from totally different cultures/countries.