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Alumni Profiles

Dave Thomas

Dave Thomas

Faculty of Animation, Arts & Design
Year of Graduation: 1988
Program:

Dave Thomas pulled a few all-nighters to win the top prize in Australia’s GRAPHIC online animation competition in August 2010. The ability to burn the midnight oil is something he learned during his days at Sheridan. 

“The trouble is, you just don’t bounce back as well as you used to, says the father of three whose short film, Seven Year Twitch, netted him about $18,000 U.S. and a trip to Australia to claim his prize. 

Dave had all but given up the day before the submission deadline, but thanks in part to his sister’s (also a former Media Arts student) encouragement, he pushed on. His minute-long short, which beat out 75 international entries, features a beleaguered office worker who decides to seize the day after realizing he’s been working in his job for seven years. 

Dave went all out to market his film, setting up a Facebook page for the film and a blog by the film’s main character, Harold. He even launched a fake website for the company that employs the character. 

Dave’s professional credits include a long stint at Toronto’s Cuppa Coffee Studios, directing such series as Crashbox, Henry’s World and Celebrity Deathmatch. Most recently, Dave directed the stop-motion animated holiday special, A Miser Brothers’ Christmas and episodes of Glenn Martin, DDS. He is currently freelancing and pitching projects of his own. 

While at Sheridan, Dave created live and animated short films, including Claydreaming which he sold to HBO. “The Media Arts program gave me the basic filmmaking skills that are crucial to any broadcast production,” says Dave. “I learned to work both as a team and on my own. Plus, I gained the ability to roll with the punches and find a creative way of overcoming a problem.” 

The instruction was top-notch, adds Dave, recalling the infinite wisdom of eminent Professor, Vladimir Kabelik, aka “Vlad the Impaler”, a long-standing affectionate moniker that Dave believes he may have originated. 

Dave sees the market for online animation content continuing to grow, but like most successful animators, he believes solid storytelling will remain at the heart of good animation, no matter what the future holds for the industry. “The techniques – stop motion etc. –are just the paintbrushes. It’s the people behind the tools that make it.”

To view the video visit http://play.sydneyoperahouse.com/index.php/graphic/866.html. To check out Dave’s website, visit www.seizethedave.ca.