Emilie Goulet


What is your name and your current occupation?
Emilie Goulet, Animator at Reel Fx.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation? 

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.

What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?


I start the day by showing the work done the day before to my leads. Depending where I am at on my shots, I’ll show it in dailies. Even if I don’t have anything to show, I try to go attend dailies because it’s a great way to learn about what the director wants  and what the others are working on. I spend the rest of the day animating. I might have something to show my leads again mid-afternoon to see if I’m on the right track with the notes I got in dailies. I’ll work another few hours so I can show something the next morning.



What part of your job do you like best? Why?
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.



What part of your job do you like least? Why? 


I have always hated doing video reference. Filming myself isn’t too bad, it’s the looking at myself over and over that I despise. I’ve learned to overcome that discomfort (well, most of it!)  on the current project. We all started to help each other with that step of the process. Sometimes we’ll shoot video reference for someone else or I’ll have a friend do it for me. It makes the whole thing a lot more fun and less stressful. Some people are more comfortable with it than others, so I’m not shy anymore to ask for help with video reference. It’s such a great guide. It’s still an effort for me to do it, but I don’t see myself not doing it anymore. I am slowly starting to accept my personal flaws and look beyond them to find ideas for a performance in the case where I am filming myself.





What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis, how has technology changed in the last few years in your field and how has that impacted you in your job? 
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.


What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
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.



In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness? 
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.

Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of? 
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!
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
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.


Don’t be afraid to go ask for feedback to your peers and most importantly, try their suggestions! Maybe sometimes the notes won’t work, but you’ll be surprised how much of an eye-opener the experience is. Don’t be afraid to ask questions too, start a discussion, ask how your peers approach their shots/notes. There are times when I ask for feedback that I’ll get annoyed and discouraged. Once I start working on their notes though, I always end up getting a lot out of it!




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