The latest episode of This Is My Job shines a light on a role whose definition varies widely across the industry. Eloi Champagne is technical director at the animation studio of the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). He speaks to us about what this role entails, and how it’s shaped by the NFB’s approach to filmmaking.
Champagne serves as a kind of bridge between a film’s creative and technical teams, “finding creative solutions to technical problems, and technical solutions to creative problems.” He works with directors and producers from a project’s inception right up to its release, ensuring that they have the technical resources to fulfill their vision.
Given the experimental nature of the publicly funded NFB, Champagne is expected to have a grasp of a wide range of media, from painting on glass to virtual reality. He advises would-be technical directors to think early on about where they want to specialize, be it games, animation, vfx, or live action. “There’s a lot of skills to develop, and it’s not a question of finding a place that will give you everything — it’s finding the different places that will feed you.”
With a background in photography and typography, Champagne joined the NFB in 2011, and has worked on many of its animated films since then. His credits include Alexandra Lemay’s Freaks of Nurture, Eva Cvijanovic’s Hedgehog’s Home, Paloma Dawkins’ vr experience Museum of Symmetry, and the Oscar-nominated films Animal Behaviour (Alison Snowden and David Fine) and Me and My Moulton (Torill Kove).
This season of This is My Job was filmed last fall at the VIEW Conference in Turin, Italy.
See previous episodes in the series: