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.

When we arrived at the studio, Jay Grandin, the creative director, greeted us with a big smile. Suddenly, it felt like the first time you had the opportunity to sneak into your roommate’s room. And to be honest, this was way more fun. We were appreciating every element of the place which included aligned bikes at the front entrance, the Saul Bass book piled with other amazing books just beside the gray couch, green plants and smiling people welcoming us. We cordially said hi, and followed Jay to the little conference room.

Besides the trophies under the plasma TV, this felt like your best friend’s dining table. We were there, sitting in beautifully designed chairs waiting to see how a motion artist works and his passion for design. Jay stood next to the TV for a couple of minutes and explained how he was doing with life, two new babies and exciting projects Giant Ant was expecting to work on. After a few sips out of his little espresso cup, he told us about how, with an industrial design background, a supportive girlfriend experienced in making documentaries and a budget for a new computer, this artistic studio was born in 2009.

With clients like Target, Toms, Telus, NBA, SFU, Vancouver Opera and many others, Giant Ant is well known for their work in motion & live action shorts.

“Always do the kind of work you want to do”

After watching the demo reel, we talked about the importance of having a good storyboard and an interesting art direction. Giant Ant has gained recognition because of their impeccable work adding personality and fun elements to their videos. Jay explained how much he enjoys working on projects when the client gives them the freedom and the budget without any requirements. That is when the challenge starts.

As we asked questions about their work, the conversation turned out to be more like a chat with friends where we were talking about one of our passions, motion videos. Every now and then we were looking at each other expecting new questions or commentaries. We were on the same track.

There are two things that you have to be aware of, he said. One is to be able to listen and determine what people really need, and second, what are they asking for. After one hour and a half of watching videos, we felt like we were ready to go and start working. We felt inspired.

Maybe this would have been the first and only time we’d have the opportunity to experience things from the inside. Having said that, we decided to take a look at the kitchen and the little studio where they recorded original pieces for videos and commercials. We didn’t want to leave but with we song “There is A Light That Never Goes out” from The Smiths, we said goodbye to all. Last but not the least, Danny Chan took the obligatory picture of us hanging out by the studio doors, and we walked back to school.

Thank you for having us, Giant Ant!

 

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