Artist - Evan DeRushie

I'm a stop-motion specialist working in Toronto. My education was in film at Sheridan College, which has been a huge asset to me. Before college I was making stop-motion shorts in my basement, so thankfully the film program was open to letting me do animation projects if I wanted. At the time, Sheridan didn’t even teach stop-motion in the animation program, so I was on my own. After graduating I started out as a TV series animator at Cuppa Coffee Studios, where I really learned to animate. Now I do mostly short films and commercial work. Most recently I worked as a Second Unit Supervisor/Animator on my first feature film in Montreal (The Little Prince). In between all that I've also been a cinematographer for live-action films, directed music videos, and taught workshops at StoryPlanet, The Toronto Animated Images Society (TAIS), and the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Stop-Motion Reel 2014 from Evan DeRushie on Vimeo.

What part of Canada are you from Evan?

Hamilton. Not too far from Toronto. You’ve probably driven through it before. We have smokestacks (as well as a beautiful escarpment, waterfalls, and an exploding art scene).

Evan DeRushie

What inspired you to create animation?

Honestly, it was watching Wallace and Grommet, and other Aardman productions like Creature Comforts. It’s undeniable looking at my earliest animation, which is all a total rip-off of their style.

How would you describe your artistic style?

I can’t say I have a consistent style, mostly because I work with other designers to create the elements of my films. Someone looking at everything I’ve done probably wouldn’t think it’s all from the same person, and I’m ok with that. Maybe in the future I’ll find my groove and stick to it, but for now I’m enjoying working with other people and collaborating on the creative.

"Do Real Work" commercial campaign.

What role do you play in the creation of animation?

I’m a director, animator, cinematographer, editor and compositor. I find it necessary as a freelancer/independent artist to fill a lot of the key roles myself, since I can’t always afford to hire a full team. Lately I’ve really been into cinematography- taking on the proper role of controlling the visuals straight through to post production. Working on my own projects I appreciate it the most, when I’m working with images in post that I framed and lit- I have nobody to blame but myself when they miss the mark. Plus, it’s a good incentive to get better at it.

Myriad3 music video for the song "Tell", using mirrors and motion-control to create slow moving visuals. 

What is one project that you are proud to have been involved in?

Earlier this year I worked on my first feature film production, The Little Prince. It was the first job that felt like I had been training my whole life for. I was able to do multiple jobs at once- lighting, camera, motion-control, and animation. On top of that, I was working with a team of people that I had admired long before I got into the industry. Jamie Caliri and Alexander Juhasz were the creative/art direction team, who were big influences to me in college (The United Airlines “Dragon” commercial), as well as animator Anthony Scott. Working with people like this, it becomes instantly clear why they produce the work that they do- their calm yet deeply passionate approach is something that I still aspire to.

What projects are you working on now?

I’m working on a couple things right now, but the big one is my next short film. I was fortunate enough to find arts council funding, so I’ll be devoting myself to it for the next year or more. I can’t say much about the story, but as far as the animation is concerned, I’ll be doing a lot of development and animated-rehearsal before I start shooting the film.

Who is an up-and-coming or relatively unknown Canadian animator that everyone should check out?

I’ve never met her, but Laura Stewart created the best student short I’ve seen in a while, called “Blobby.”

Blobby from Laura Stewart on Vimeo.

Are you involved with any animation organizations in Canada?

The Toronto Animated Images Society! Anyone looking to make their own film should go check out their space. They have studio space, equipment, workshops, and a supportive environment. I’ll be teaching some workshops with them in the new year (2015)- one on Dragonframe software, and another on Motion-control camera gear.

Have your films won any animation awards/accolades?

“The Fox and the Chickadee” has won awards at Se-Ma-For Film Festival in Poland, Animax Skopje Festival in Macedonia, and Tokyo Anime Award Festival.

Making a Fable from Evan DeRushie on Vimeo.

What are some of your animation milestones?

A big step for me was getting my short “The Fox and the Chickadee” distributed by the NFB. They’ve recently started acquiring films for distribution, and I think this is an important step in filling a massive gap that exists currently in the short film economy. Filmmakers are turning to crowdfunding platforms (myself included) to find advance money to make their films because shorts don’t sell. I’m starting to see how backwards the crowdfunding model is. It works for some, but I think it takes a lot of the magic out of the process. There are a few online platforms to distribute your film for a small fee, but nothing widely accepted yet, and there’s still the expectation that good short films that take years to make should be free. I hope to see this change in the near future.

"The Fox and the Chickadee," a short fable by Evan DeRushie. 

Evan's Website