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Film animation from a 12-year-old’s perspective

Film animation from a 12-year-old’s perspective

Film animation from a 12-year-old’s perspective

The following is a guest post by Tanya Koivusalo.

The weather is warming up, and people in Toronto are starting to venture outside again — summer is definitely on the way! This can only mean one thing – the NFB Mediatheque’s summer animation camps are right around the corner.

The Mediatheque offers five week-long sessions, where budding animators work in groups to create their own original films. The week culminates in a BIG SCREEN premiere for family and friends at the NFB Cinema. These dynamic, hands-on sessions offer campers the chance to learn stop-motion animation techniques while offering them unlimited opportunities to explore their creativity. This year’s theme, What’s Your Tomorrow?, allows participants to brainstorm their visions of the future, and bring their ideas to life through animation. The future is whatever you imagine it to be!

12-year-old Tarquin is a talented animator who has been returning to the Mediatheque year after year to continue working on her craft. I spoke with her to get a sense of what she has learned over the years, and what she is looking forward to at this year’s camp.

Tanya Koivusalo: How long have you been attending camp at the Mediatheque? What was your favourite year?

Tarquin: I have been to seven camps, I think. My favourite year was when I met my friend Hartlea – we were not in the same group but I still keep in touch with her.  My other favourite year was my first camp because I made a film called Eggs, about a man who ate eggs and when he fell asleep, he had a crazy dream about them. When he woke up, he never ate eggs again.  I made the frying pan and the eggs.

TK: What’s your favourite memory of camp?

T: My favourite memory was the last time I went there – watching my group’s movie at the screening.

We made a film called Polar Pollution at this year’s March Break camp.  It was about a man named Billy who polluted a lot and did bad things to the environment; every time he polluted, something bad would happen to the polar bears.  In the end, his sister showed him how bad he was, and he stopped polluting.

TK: What advice do you have for someone your age that is coming to camp for the first time?

T: If you don’t know anything about animation, don’t worry because the facilitators teach you really well there. I really like all of them but Morgan and Desiree are the best.

TK: What’s your favourite type of animation? What’s your favourite animated film?

T: My favourite type of animation is classical animation [2-D drawn animation] because in my opinion, it’s the most fun.  I like to draw.

My favourite animated film at the NFB is The Cat Came Back (Cordell Barker) – it’s funny. I also like Animando (Marcos Magalhães) because of all the different types of animation they used in it.

TK: What do you want to do when you grow up?

T: Make movies (both animated and with real life actors). I have already made animated films with my little camera, I got a camcorder for my birthday and I am writing a script and making a horror movie.  Horror movies rock!  I like scary ghost movies or creepy Japanese movies.

TK: What are you looking forward to the most at camp this year?

T: Animating! Meeting new friends, and I hope my old friends Shannon and Sophie will come to camp this summer.  I also want to animate a horror movie.


Each What’s Your Tomorrow? camp session at the NFB Mediatheque runs Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 4:30 PM. Pre- and post-care is available at an additional cost. There is also a French-language camp (July 26-30), and an advanced camp (August 16-20) for youth ages 12-16.

Take advantage of our EARLY REGISTRATION DISCOUNT: Register before May 31 for only $275 per child.  After May 31, registration is $300.

To register, call 416-973-7114 or email

For more information on camp sessions, click here.

To check out films from past Mediatheque workshops, click here.

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