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Ottawa Day 3: Faces, Places, Pumpkin Carving and Snow

Take a quick glance at some of the people I met up with yesterday while stumbling around the annual Animator's Picnic and later, while trying to get warm at the Arts Court cafe and Aniboutique. Old friends, new friends, a pretty uninspired procession of eviscerated gourds. Oh, and have I told you, it's cold here? Aye?

By Dan Sarto

Take a quick glance at some of the people I met up with yesterday while stumbling around the annual Animator's Picnic and later, while trying to get warm at the Arts Court cafe and Aniboutique.  Old friends, new friends, a pretty uninspired procession of eviscerated gourds. Oh, and have I told you, it's cold here? Aye?

The Animator's Picnic Venue, Lago Bar & Grill.

John Halfpenny of The Music City Experience, with Frank Falcone and Mark Ainslie from Guru Studios.

Asterix Animations' Richard O'Connor and Liesja Kraii.

The Krause Brothers, Fran and Will.

Anne Denman of DHX Media and Andreas Hykade of Studio Film Builder.

Gary Schwartz and Jeremy Moorshead of SCAD.

USC's Christine Panushka and Karl Cohen of ASIFA-SF and San Francisco State.

Yvette Kaplan and Jerry Beck.

Ellen Besen and Sharon Katz.

Joel Frenzer, by all accounts the wackier half of the Frenzer Foreman Animation Forum.

Festival mime Priit Robinson.

Buzzzco's Candy Kugel.

Starz' Heather Kenyon and Mark Simon from A&S Animation.

Then, the pumpkin carving began.  I can honestly tell you that after having attended every pumpkin carving contest held at these annual picnics, this years' event was truly uninspired. Maybe if the contest was for best digital pumpkin designed only with the comma, period, semi colon and parenthesis keys from a cellphone keypad, the participating youth would have been better able to express themselves.  I was quite saddened by the creative landscape on display.  What does this lack of passion and design skill mean for the future of animation?  We should all be concerned.

A bit of Canadian pumpkin carving craftwork. None of the carvers should quit their day jobs.

Prize to be handed out Sunday night to the Short Film Least Deserving of the Finances Wasted On Its Production. This year there are many films in contention.

One gallant but misguided effort.

At least the cigarette brings a bit of character.

Partial Lineup of Entrants. Unfortunately, there were others.

The Winner!

It was then time to leave.  Patiently I stood outside with the throngs and of course, didn't get a seat on the first bus. No worries I was told, another bus was only minutes several hours away.

The cool group boarded the bus first and got warm while I was left outside to freeze. They were mostly executives. Imagine that.

Estonian Lighting TD Jaagup "Paavo" Robinson describes the size of his render farm to a captivated Richard O'Connor.

Former Ottawa Festival Director and noted raconteur Tom Knott, the NFB's Helene Tanguay and Steven Woloshen.

Snow! Or Paranormal Orbs. You be the judge.