Friday, October 10, 2008



A small animation company has been attracted to the Miramichi from Ontario by the prospect of freelance work with FatKat Animation Studios, its founders say.

Black Willow Digital, a two-person company made up of two graduates from the animation program at St. Clair College in Windsor, Ont, moved to Miramichi in September.

One of the animators, Tim Martin, said the company initially planned to set up in Windsor, but the economy in that city was moving in another direction. They then applied to FatKat to do in-house freelance work on the studio's show "Three Delivery," and moved to Miramichi soon after to be "closer to the source."

He said Black Willow's dealings with FatKat had been good so far.

"They've been very helpful with everything we've asked, any advice we've needed," Martin said. "I would consider it a very good relationship."

He said he and his partner, Nicola Hartley, enjoy living in Miramichi, and plan to work with FatKat until the end of the current season of Three Delivery at least. If their relationship with FatKat ends, the two plan to look in Miramichi and the rest of the province for other contracts.

Jeff MacTavish, the city's economic development officer, said the fact that FatKat had attracted other animation companies was a sign it was doing well, despite an unfavourable tax credit system.

"They're getting so much work they have to subcontract it, so it's a very positive move," he said.

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