Toronto Canada, May 5, 2020 – Pete Denomme, Executive Producer and CEO of Switch Animation announced today the formation of a partnership with Aron Dunn of Treason Media to bring The World According to Dave series, written and developed by Aron Dunn, to animated life. Jyotirmoy Saha of August Media will also join the production after a successful relationship with Switch on George of the Jungle.
In The World According to Dave an overly-imaginative 11-year-old, finds an alien device called the IMAGIN-ATRIX that brings his wildest daydreams to life. Now this pop-culture obsessed kid and his friends take adventures through their favourite comics, video games, movies and more. Each time Dave rewrites the world he faces a new challenge that he must overcome in order to reset the Imagin-Atrix. Reality is never going to be the same again.
The reality-bending adventures of Dave and his friends will leap off the page as a result of this newly announced partnership between Switch Animation and Treason Media. “It is indeed a pleasure to be working with Aron once again on this uniquely creative animated comedy concept,” said Pete Denomme.
“After recently working with Pete and the team at Switch Animation on a short film, I knew they were a perfect partner for Dave,” explains Dunn. “I’m thrilled that they want to be part of this riotous celebration of imagination. Pete’s team of amazing artists will render an eye-popping world that I’m sure audiences will want to leap into and join Dave on his adventures.”
This production is based on an idea by author Sylvia Medina and will be supported by David Wollos, co-founder of Think Tank Emporium.
Pete Denomme – Executive Producer/CEO – Switch VFX & Animation
Pete is CEO/Executive Producer of Switch VFX & Animation an award winning, artist owned, boutique studio whose focus is on service work, co-production and education. Recent credits include Altered Carbon (Netflix), Northern Rescue (Netflix/CBC), The Expanse (Amazon Prime), feature film Jigsaw, animated short Zoua, Welcome to the Wayne webisodes and fan favorite George of the Jungle (Teletoon).
Passions include producing inspiring storylines with collaborative partners like the upcoming animated short, The Perfect Project where a young boy’s autism is portrayed as his superpower. In addition, Pete inspires the next generation of digital artists through investment in the education platform The Animation Lounge and industry scholarships at five Canadian colleges.
Member of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, Visual Effects Society (VES), Computer Animation Studios of Ontario (CASO), National Academy of Media Arts & Sciences (NAMAS) and the Alliance for Children and Television (ACT)
Aron Dunn – Creative Producer / Writer – Treason Media
An industry vet with nearly two decades of experience, Aron leads his merry band of rebels on their campaign of creativity at Treason Media. When he’s not crafting a killer pitch, or delivering his latest script, he is staying in touch with his “inner kid” by reading the latest comic books or playing the hottest console games. Over the course of his career, Aron has worked with Netflix, Disney XD, Nickelodeon, Teletoon, YTV, Treehouse, KiKA, and CBC Kids. He has also contributed scripts to numerous animated comedy series including Cupcake and Dinosaur, Super Wings, Chuck Chicken, Rusty Rivets, Pocoyo, Camp Lakebottom, Justin Time, Trucktown and The Insectibles. Prior to founding Treason Media, Aron held senior development roles with some of Canada’s most prolific and acclaimed producers, including Breakthrough Entertainment and Portfolio Entertainment.
An Animated Short Film about Autism
Toronto Ontario, February 7, 2020 – Switch Animation is pleased to announce today completion of The Perfect Project, an animated short film about autism adapted from the book of the same name by author, professor, TEDx speaker and award-winning psychologist Dr. Tracy Packiam Alloway, PhD. “This film brings to life my book celebrating the superpowers of children with a learning disability with sensitivity and gentle humor, telling the heartwarming tale of how a young boy with autism and his classmates learn to collaborate on their science fair project.” says Dr. Alloway.
The Perfect Project is a passion production for Switch Animation whose focus is on work that inspires, educates and entertains. “It started in 2019 with the festival short ZOUA, a story of friendship, shared around the world, from the creative minds of a group of brave children fighting cancer” Pete Denomme, CEO/Executive Producer of Switch explains “This year it was important to me to express to children what autism is in a simple, direct and honest way with the critical underlying themes of understanding and acceptance”. The team on the film included voice actors and animators on the autism spectrum as well as a behavior therapist who deals daily with children like lead character Charlie, who face many situations that classmates untouched by autism take for granted”. Within the framework of the story key elements of Charlies autism are proven to be his strengths and superpowers as he is instrumental in helping his team.
Representatives of this inspiring project are meeting with worldwide SVOD and broadcast production leaders at this month’s Kidscreen to grow partnerships that will bring Charlie’s daily adventures to a wider audience and continue his positive influence on the perception and reception of autism.
How Sonya Carey and Switch Animation Launched Toronto’s The Animation Lounge
Sonya Carey, owner and instructor at Toronto’s The Animation Lounge has 15 years of experience as head of studio or head of digital on a variety of 2D productions. During that time, she realized that recruiting in Toronto for 2D productions became very difficult due to the increasing number of projects and a shortage of graduates from animation Colleges. “With all studios in Toronto trying to hire the same people, the poaching and competing left us short of staff,” she recalls. “As a result, I took an approach which helped me to never worry about staff.”
Since early in her career, Carey was a Harmony 2D artist/compositor, she knew the software very well, so she decided to train her staff. “All of those I’ve informally trained over the past 15 years have gone on to have very lucrative careers,” she says. “It became clear that a bit of studio style training would go a long way to help our shortage of staff in Toronto, and to help the underemployed artist to become employable.”
Carey says her goals for the Animation Lounge were born for her love for animation. “I want this style of education to be affordable for everyone and I want to keep the art of film alive,” she notes. “I also want to put some power back in the hands of the artists to create on their own films, outside of studio hours and realize that they are truly valuable.”
Helping her realize her goal is Pete Denomme, CEO/EP of Switch VFX & Animation, who sees in Carey’s vision an inspired way to compliment his own efforts to advance the animation and VFX communities having started the Switch Scholarship Award at five Canadian colleges in early 2017. “Trusting in my ideas and seeing the long-term positive potential for the Canadian industry, Pete invested his resources and offered his studio to me to help bring the vision to life,” she says. “The collaboration of The Animation Lounge, sponsored by Switch Animation was formally announced in February 2019.”
Industry backing has been overwhelming since launch. After a formal introduction of the Lounge by Pete at Kidscreen 2019 both Toom Boom Animation and the Computer Animation Studios of Ontario came on board to support our curriculum and buttress marketing of our workshops in concert with Switch Animation.
Replicating Studio Life
Carey says her vision for the program was to create a series of day-long workshops offering hands on studio experience. “I replicate a day at work, in a studio so that animation students can see that there are more jobs to be done inside of a studio, not just animating. This allows them to target other jobs and unlock some of the mysteries within a production pipeline. I wanted to encourage education for everyone. They are affordable so that everyone can afford to attend. You can take one workshop, or sign up for all of them if you like.”
During its first year, the Animation Lounge has been very active, holding numerous workshops including 12 Toronto-based programs at the Switch VFX & Animation studio, as well as various global locations including the Ottawa Intl. Animation Festival, Kingstoon Animation Festival in Jamaica, Cartoon Network Studios as encouragement for Black Women in Animation, at the Peel Board of Education Summer High School Co-Op Program, Girls in Technology Workshop introducing animation to girls’ grade 6-8, as well as online workshops for a virtual learning experience for students in the U.S.
In 2020, the program will introduce two day workshops to meet the needs of the trainees and will be adding more specialized workshops on storyboarding, directing, producing, animating and rigging. “We will also be offering more networking events since the Lounge’s end-of-day hangout seems to be a big hit,” says Carey. “It’s where people come and talk and find out about studio life and really get into the industry. The idea I had was to enhance other educational facilities.”
The Animation Lounge has been instrumental in helping students who have been underemployed to build the confidence to apply for all types of positions says Carey. “We don’t job hunt for them, but teach them how to look, and where to look during our networking sessions,” she explains. “We also teach the current software and techniques to keep them moving with the trends in animation. We purposely set this up to be a safe environment where there is no poaching and no hiring on the spot. We want studios to feel comfortable sending their staff in for training.”
To find out more about these innovative workshops, visit theanimationlounge.com.
Article first appeared January 27th in Animation Magazine.
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