Thursday, September 28, 2006


One of my personal images.

House of Cool is looking for development artists as well as story artists. Please send your portfolios to us here or email .

I was at the Ottawa International Animation Festival last weekend. I usually go to see the short films because festivals are the best place to see a wide variety of animation styles. I felt that this year's selection was poor over all. There are always so many stand out shorts that impress, but there were only a few. There were way too many abstract and experimental films. I also noticed that there were no films in classical Disney style or much 3D. My tastes for animation is wide and I was disapointed that I didn't get the whole shebang.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Umbrella Boy

For those of you going to the Ottawa International Animation Festival this week, be on the look out for a film called 'Umbrella Boy' that House of Cool helped produce. We had a number of very motivated students from Sheridan College intern with us last summer and decided that they would make a short film. Well, they completed it and it is now in competition. Congrats!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Boards to Fill

House of Cool is looking for talent! If you're good, I mean really good, we want to see your work.

Thanks to readers and artists like you spreading the good word of our studio services, House of Cool is starting to gain some momentum. It is with the help of our clients and referrals that we are able to build and deliver a high level of service to all we work with.

With this being said, House of Cool is accepting portfolios for Storyboard Artists. We want to work with the best and brightest on our clients' projects and House of Cool properties. We love creative people who strive for innovation and change. The Story Artist must be able to work on all digital formats.

Please send resumes and sample boards to:
ATTN: Wes Lui
House of Cool Inc.
125 John St.
Toronto, ON
M5V 2E2

Or email me at:

Thanks to all who submit.

Wesley Lui
Business Manager

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Music Video Pitch

Here are a couple of boards I did for a music video pitch (for Rob Szabo's "Family and Friends")

It's a live action video about a guy who hitch hikes across country to go to his sisters shotgun wedding. She's 8 months pregnant and marrying a burly biker guy he can't stand.

Now lets hope we get some cash and we can shoot it!

Horton Hears A Who 2

Here is the second image that Fox released for the film. House of Cool did some early development art for Blue Sky on this project and we are very happy to see that the look is similar to the work we initially envisioned.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Horton Hears A Who

As well as running House of Cool, I am also the head of story of Horton Hears A Who at Blue Sky. I am happy that Fox has finally announced that Jim Carey and Steve Carell are the lead voices on the film. I am very happy with both these choices because they are the type of talent that really enhance animation versus having a big star with a flat voice but a pretty face.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Building a Team

Some boards I did for Monsters Inc.

As a superviser at animation studios and as an owner of my own studio, team building is a skill that you have to learn. If you don't know how to put together a good team you run the risk of imploding your projects. Hiring the best talent you can find is an obvious way to build a good team but this alone is not enough. If you have deep pockets and you hired the absolute best talent money could buy for your animation department, this does not guarantee a good film. In fact I would waiger that the opposite would happen. It would be like starting a company and hiring Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos to run it. A disaster waiting to happen.

At Pixar, we would have lunch with prospective team hires
to makes sure that they weren't a**holes. I really liked this practice because it made sure that everyone got along. The one weakness of this idea is that it tends to promote the hiring of similar types of people. Not that great for diversity.

When I build a team, I like as many different personalities as posible. I really like the way the personalities play off each other. I would hate it if everyone were to agree all the time. There are only three things that I require from every team member.

Passion for animation.
Passion for the studio or project.
Respect for other artists.

I'll give specific examples of my ideal team in future posts.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I'm a Geek

I got into animation because I'm a cartoon geek. Not the Disney Nine Old Men sort of geek but a Voltron, Glow Friends, Robotech, Ant and the Aadvark, Denver the Last Dinosaur, Mr. T and the T Force, Rocket Robin Hood, Barbapapa, Dr. Snuggles, Simon's Underground Railroad, The Littles, Force Five, Visionairies, Tiger Sharks, Belle and Sabiastian, G-Force, Puff the Magic Dragon, Bionic Six, Wizar of Oz, Hercules, Foofur, Getalong Gang, My Pet Monster, The Shmoo, Inhumaniods, Blue Falcon, Rubik the Amazing Cube, Simon in the Land of the Chalk Drawings, The Little Prince kind of geek. Only later did I figure out the finer points of the industry especially in feature animation. Still, I have a soft spot for crappy tv stuff.