Sequential Design

 (guest post by Sean Wright, DD35)

This past Wednesday (June 1st), the 35th Digital Design class had the distinct pleasure of visiting the work space of The Sequence Group, a premier design, visual effects and animation team that happens to be located here in Vancouver.

Guided as always by the vigilant Danny Chan and stoic Grigor Cheitanov, we paired off using the buddy system and departed the halls of higher learning at 420 Homer St. for a brief trek through historic Gastown. You can tell that Sequence have their fingers on the pulse of the city by their choice of location: Railtown. East of Main St. and north of Alexander St., this former industrial area is Vancouver’s next hot target for gentrification and redevelopment, and this studio has literally settled in at the ground floor.The Sequence Group got their start 10 years ago as a private venture by founder Ian Kirby: designing websites, DVD interfaces, motion comics and animated gifs for whomever needed the business. Since then, it has grown to a 15-person team (exact numbers vary by project, swelling to up to 50 strong for large jobs such as last year’s Halo: The Fall of Reach) that is proud to include two VFS DD grads.Upon our arrival the studio was operating under at least one non-disclosure agreement involving projects for the upcoming E3 Convention (video game Christmas) taking place in Los Angeles later this month, so our tour was swift and to the point. We were introduced to the team in their converted industrial space complete with three storey ceilings and rolling windowed doors facing onto a waterfront courtyard, but then quickly whisked away to the cinema room for a thorough demonstration of the team’s completed projects guided by Executive Producer Dan Sioui. Thank you, Sequence Group, for having us!

I think it is safe to say the visiting students were wowed by not only the quality of the work shown but by the broad variety of projects; it was a truly inspiring example of creativity that touched on everything from projection displays at live events, to animated sequences for television productions, to video game cut scenes. After being thoroughly impressed by the screening, we were given a few minutes to interact with the team themselves before deadlines demanded they return to work and we returned to our own devices.

This was the third and final industry visit for DD35’s Industry IQ class, and roughly the halfway mark for our year long program. On the walk home, I and another student were discussing how both inspirational and intimidating these visits had been. The level of talent possessed by such a (relatively) small team, the fact that two VFS alumni were among them; it was very clear that while a solid grounding in design as provided by the Digital Design program was a great start in this industry, the limits of achievement are truly dependent on your own effort and imagination. Nothing is out of your reach so long as you have the desire and motivation to achieve it, but it will take work.

Here’s to the halfway point in the program and to setting that bar one more notch higher.

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