Emmy-nominated grads share work experience with students



For the first time, Sheridan alumni and Emmy-nominated animators from Guru Studio came to enlighten animation students about the life of an animator.

Last week, representatives gave a presentation about their studio and the message they wanted to share with students.

“You just have to believe in what you’re creating and take it as far as you can,” said Frank Falcone, founder of Guru Studio, which is based in Toronto, and a Sheridan grad.


“It’s impressive to companies that you finish your ideas, no matter where they lead,” added Harold Harris, graduate of the Sheridan Animation program and representative of Guru Studio.

“Students need to know that if they are passionate about their artwork they can take that passion into finding jobs,” said Angela Stukator, who coordinated the presentation.

Following their ideas to full potential was exactly what Sheridan grad Brandon James Scott did after he gradated and moved on to work for Guru.

When Scott was at Sheridan he came up with the smallest idea for what would become the show Justin Time, which is about to be released for its third season on Netflix and has been nominated for a 2013 daytime Emmy award for outstanding pre-school animated program.

“When I started at Guru studio I pitched just this character and through that the character developed to what it is today,” said Scott.

Justin Time revolves around the world of six-and-a-half-year-old Justin, who along with his friends Olive and Squidgy, goes on imaginary adventures around the world through time. In each episode the three tackle the same problem that Justin is faced with in the new world. For example, in the pilot episode Justin and Squidgy help Olive locate her missing mask.

While new animation techniques and programs are being developed, Falcone gave the students an idea to give them an edge on the competition.

“I don’t know what skills will be relevant in a few years, but your work ethic, heart and confidence to tackle new projects will always be useful in life,” said Falcone.

While new skills and techniques can be learned, Guru tries to make it so that they don’t break the confidence of new animators.

“Students need to know that their ideas will probably not be shot down,” said Yurie Rocha, senior computer graphics supervisor at Guru Studio, “but if they are you need to keep following them.”

Guru Studio has brought interns in from Sheridan to give them real work experience while learning new skills and techniques.

Along with following their dreams, Guru representatives made it clear that following their dreams does not necessarily mean moving around and out of the country.

“Our goal was to show students that there are domestic job opportunities and that they do not have to travel to find work,” said Stukator.

“Our show is 100 per cent Canadian made and funded and we are hanging in there with the big animation studios in the United States,” said Scott.