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!

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INDUSTRY IQ DD35 STUDIO TOUR: Giant Ant

(guest post by Dylan Endicott, DD35)

The Digital Design 35th class at VFS was given the opportunity to get an inside look at everything Giant Ant. When Louise Lee, the heart that pumps blood through the DD program, told our class that we would get to visit Giant Ant, there was an eruption of enthusiastic proportions. There is a reputation that Giant Ant holds as one of top-notch studios in the motion graphics industry.
Our impression of them only improved after our visit. Seeing and learning a bit about their process really solidified for us the fact the money doesn’t drive this studio — It’s passion. Collectively, the class now knows that big things truly do come in small packages. What Jay and Leah have built in such a competitive industry is not only impressive but incredibly inspiring. Jay led the class on an adventure through Giant Ant’s files and process, which, to some, may not sound like fun, but our class could have stayed all day.

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Our visit to Habanero

(guest post by Karam Mahmood)

As design students, we value the time we can meet and be inspired by industry professionals. Vancouver Film School provided us the opportunity to visit an industry leader of user experience and interactive design. This was an opportunity to get hear stories and get advice from the interactive team of Habanero.

Studio visits are a part of our Industry IQ course, and it was great to see VFS alumni during our tours of Motion and Interactive Design studios. At Habanero, we were warmly welcomed by Bradley Smith, a Senior Interactive Designer, who can trace his roots from the first intake of the Digital Design program. Accompanying him were Christopher Parsons, Senior Front End Developer aka “The Coding Wizard”, Zak Woytowich, Interactive Designer and a Digital Design alumnus, and Senior Interactive Designer Kurtis Beard.

After we had all settled down, we were given insight into the process of a how a project develops from the initial client meetings to the final delivery. It was great to see how well the VFS Digital Design curriculum is devised to cater to the industry standards as we followed similar steps. Habanero has very strong views in building authentic relationships with clients. Getting to see inspiring projects that they worked on gave us a really positive vibe from them towards their clients in building a long-term relationship.

We took a tour of their office and got to see the rest of the team, all fully focused and involved in their tasks. We also learned about Habanero’s approach in occasionally shuffling seating arrangements so employees can collaborate and be inspired working with different minds.

Thanks to Louise Lee for arranging our visit, and many thanks to Habanero for hosting us!

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STUDIO TOUR: Giant Ant

(guest post by Carolina Cortes)

There’s nothing like the fresh air of a Friday morning. You can feel how happy people are by the look on their faces. I mean, nothing can go wrong when you are one step ahead to enjoy your two beloved days of no-morning-alarms. But for the DD32′s, this meant something more. It was the first time we were able to take a peek into how our dream job really works in reality. So after lunch, we were happily ready to go on an adventure to Giant Ant, located in the heart of beautiful Chinatown.

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STUDIO TOUR: Giant Ant

(guest post by Miguel Barragan)

One needs to say something new, or at least say something old better…

Sometimes, when it comes to telling stories, it seems as though everything has already been said, every story has been already told, and it’s difficult to come up with innovative ideas.

Through exploring one inner-most layers and digging deep into emotions and thoughts, it’s possible to find valuable hidden treasures that can trigger the true potential of an authentic piece of art or design. The studio Giant Ant is aware of this, and they decipher their clients’ minds effectively, sometimes when the clients themselves are working out their own thoughts.

The Giant Ant team finds inspiration by going out of their habitual environment, starting projects in new and unusual places, talking to strangers, and hopefully gleaning that small missing piece of the puzzle.

They start projects right away, wherever they are, and even though not everything might be very clear at the beginning, things usually elucidate once they’re already in the artistic process.

Sometimes, it even seems as though the solution finds them instead of them finding the solution. They tend to experiment with serendipitous moments. Ask them how one of their projects evolved, and chances are they could barely describe it, not because they don’t want to tell the story, but because they let the process flow naturally, and stories often write themselves.

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