Well folks, that was fun.
Roughly 10 years ago a few of us Helix Animation in Halifax (Not to be confused with Richard's Company in Sydney) left the studio to form Fatkat Animation Studios, at the time we were producing flash animated training films for a client in San Diego.
In 2002 Fatkat was taken over and redubbed Trainingscape Studios Canada by our client. Then about a year later it folded leaving us in the crapper and due 2 weeks back pay. Most of that great team went to other studios in Halifax or spread out farther west. The CEO was never heard from again and we never did get our cashola. Oh well, we moved on.
In 2003 a few of us ex Training-Apes decided to raise Fatkat out of the ashes and focus on TV. We got our start with a nice reference from Ian Gallant, who referred Fatkat to a PEI producer by the name of Campbell Webster. He had a contract that saw us launch Fatkat in NB and produce the first animated series in the province for CBC. I'm thankful that I was able to repay Ian for that reference with a spot on the Happy Tree Friends series years later. So thank you again Ian and thank you Campbell for getting us started again.
Alot of stuff has happened in the 10 years that the Fatkat brand has been kicking around, though mostly all in the last half. We've produced simply a ton of commercials and interactive spots. We've cranked out series such as Skunk Fu!, Chaotic, SuperNormal and of course the straw that broke the camel's back "Three Delivery".
Don't get me wrong, all were good productions, but Three Delivery was the monster, some called it a studio killer (you were right Rick!), I just giggled it off, but I knew they were right. It'd be a miracle if we came out of that one alive. Though it certainly beat the hell out of us all, we made it though. With all 26 episodes delivered to YTV and the other broadcasters just last week. I thank the entire TD crew for that, you did what many could not, you survived the most demanding and torturous production I have ever seen and did it with a smile, albeit a few teeth are missing from your smile; my heart goes out and my hat comes off to you. I'm very proud of the work Fatkat produced and Three Delivery is an awesome show because of it.
Extra big thank yoos to Robbie Anderson & Tavis Silbernagel for making it shine and staying committed through all of it. A massive thank you to Stephen Ashe and Carol MacKinley to cleaning it all up in finance, insuring that everyone was paid in full. It was no small task and you did it all with grace and humility. I thank you.
My first round of thanks go out to senior team, Patrick Proulx, Neven Nesic, Gwen Mitchell, Mel Albert, Andrew Embury, Rob Anderson Jr., Steve Valdez, Andrew Coyle, Jon Roth, Sean Rule, Jon Lambe, Mike Concannon, Neil Davies, Heather MacDonald,Daniel Theriault, Doug Little, Andrew Blodgett, Sean McGraw, Gordie McBride, Jose Osorio, Salma Hussain, Geremy Walker and Dallas Daigle.
Thank yoos to everyone else and forgive me if I've forgotten anyone: Geri Donahue, Kate Turcotte, Paula Barry, Geremy Walker, Casey Gallant, Cliff Walker, Ryan Keizer, Nic and Tim, Dave and Cindy, Erin and Gracie, Val Cormier, Keith Dury, Oliver Costes, Sandy Miller, Darren, Casey Johnson, Jessica, Erika, Jmac, Rory, Chris Mudd, Mr. Jarvis, the one and only Leon Arispunandar, Rob Llyod, Jeremy Donovan, Kurt Peckham, Rick, the laughter of Lauren Grieman (keep smiling hun), Ryan Cole, Dave McCullough, Paul Dupuis, Devin Taylor, Alberto and Erika overseas, Mark Cappello and the great team at invisible, Randy St.Ana, Mike Fiander and all the freelancers across Canada, much thanks and respect for your hard work offsite. Big thanks to the Space Knights crew and the previously unmentioned Matt Taylor for his work on both shows. To Dave "the popcorn machine stinks" Michaud, to Matt Stroud for stickin to Eddie, Daisy, Diego and all the friggin dogs in the joint.
Big inspirational thanks go out to Mick Harrison, whom is quite possibly the world's finest cartoonist. Atomic hugs to Tony Grillo at Flinch for his years of partnership. Big laughs go out to Buddy Bolton and his weinerdogs. Super high fives to the good folks at Razor Creative, Mike Valiquette, Aaron Simpson, Nancy Mathis and my friends at the WMI, our partners at Just for laughs, Teletoon, YTV, SRC, BBC, Canal+ and Nickelodeon. Of course our amazing friends at Dacapo, Olaf, Clint and Nolan (see you in a few weeks!). Thank you to Jeff at the City for being there, Brian at Enterprize for all the great advice, Claude at ACOA, Rick at the BDC, Nan and Ross at RBC, RDC, Greg at CBDC, RCMP, CMYK and Claude at BNB for supporting us like you have. I thank you all so much for your experiences and friendships.
To the hundreds of other great artists, people, partners and clients that have made Fatkat a great company over the years and put up with all the bullshit when we were growing like mad; thanks for still making it fun with cool projects, a heartfelt thanks.
As for the future, I have gathered a few close friends from Fatkat and will be starting a new studio here on the Miramichi. It will be called "Loogaroo" . We'll be reflecting on all we did right, but also all that we lost sight of or totally messed up on. Then retooling our new shop and providing the same great service that we did for so long with Fatkat but with some mighty big changes and improvements.
We'll be looking to put the finest ex-Fatkat artists to work as quickly as possible. I urge you all to reach out early and often to keep top of mind. Thank you for staying in the area and for your loyalty to me and Miramichi. We're by no means done yet, as a matter of fact, we're just getting started!
I'm off to spend some much needed time with my family, again thank you for 10 glorious years with Fatkat. I look forward to many more as Loogaroo.
It's been a slice.