Thursday, February 25, 2010

"Charade" by Jon Minnis

"Charade" by Jon Minnis, made at Sheridan College , International Summer School of Animation.

This film was entirely animated and colored (with Pantone markers on paper) by Jon Minnis during a single summer term (3 months) at Sheridan College. Jon had some help on the coloring, but did all the animation himself.

This film is a great example of very careful planning and an elegant minimalism which allowed a 4-and-half minute film to be completed almost single-handedly by a student working to a very tight deadline. Jon Minnis spent about 4 months prior to starting animation polishing his script and doing a very tight well-developed storyboard/animatic , so that when he started animating he was able to hit the ground running and get the entire film animated in 3 months.

The original was completed and shot on 16 mm film at Sheridan College in the summer of 1984. When Jon Minnis was hired soon after graduation by Michael Mills Productions in Montreal he was able to re-shoot all the artwork from the film on 35mm courtesy of his employer Michael Mills (hence the credit before the title: "Michael Mills Productions presents"). The film had a theatrical run in Canada and in the United States . "Charade was nominated for and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1985. It also won the Genie Award (the Canadian Oscars) for "Best Theatrical Short Film" in 1985.


  1. Hey Dave! I'm pretty sure that Jon used Prismacolor colored pencils on "Charade". I remember him asking me about my film (which I colored that way), and then watching him achieve a really smooth effect with the pencils. I know he's a bit private, so not sure if you can contact him to be sure, but I'm 100% sure that was what he used. To quote Maya from "Zero Dark Thirty", "I know certainty freaks you guys out, but it's a 100%." :)

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