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Hothouse 9 | Week 1 Recap: Intense and Amazing

Hothouse 9 | Week 1 Recap: Intense and Amazing

Hothouse 9 | Week 1 Recap: Intense and Amazing

* This post was written by Hothouse 9 intern Su-An Ng.

It is so surreal being here in Montreal for the first time, working at the NFB and walking the same halls as so many great NFB animators have before. The atmosphere in the animation department feels open, supportive and genuine. Although everyone is passionately hard at work on their own projects, they are also equally excited about other productions happening around them. There is a strong sense of community where everyone supports each other, wants to help you tell a stronger story and pushes you to see things you didn’t see before.

Here is a brief recap of our week:


We were greeted with a big warm welcome by the excited faces of the Production team and Animation department. We also finally met the fellow Hothousers that have been assembled from all over the country.


Party’s over, time to get to work.


Storyboard/Animatic Presentation

We were chosen based on a written proposal and a few style frames so this was an opportunity for the Production team to see what we envisioned for our films and to understand it better.

As part of Hothouse, the NFB is also producing a short “Hothouse – Making Of” which means on some days, we enter a slightly uncomfortable reality show type set up where a camera follows you and looks at you whenever you are talking.


Jenna and I got keys to our camera rooms! We are both animating under the camera so we moved out to separate spaces far away from the group. I started to get cosy right away, arranging my desk, pinning up my storyboard, our production schedule and taking a moment to admire the massive Oxberry animation stand in the room.

During lunch, Simon and Victoire took Jenna and I out to shop for materials. We felt like kids in a candy store!

I started to map out my registration marks and did a short test so I could play around in Dragonframe, the capturing software that we are using to shoot our animation.

As we were preparing to leave that evening, Jenna, Paloma and I walked past a small gathering in the hallway. We shook hands with Torill Kove!


Booked trip to OIAF as some of us are taking the opportunity of being so close to Ottawa during the festival.

The resourceful Eloi and Randall, the Digital Imaging Specialists at the NFB, have been so helpful in helping me figure out an animatable lighting rig. They brought in some LED lights and a vintage calibrated tripod, which would have been used for 35mm cameras. In the picture here, they deliberate and ponder on the possibilities.


Writing this blog post and also doing some lighting tests.

Back to work.

Adios amigos! (wait, that’s not French.) Ciao!


Header photo credit: “Green Houses” by Ross Griff on Flickr.

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