1961, Toronto, Canada.
Story supervisor / head of story. (Currently working on Old Zilla)
Carolyn Gair is a storyboard artist / supervisor, animator, and character designer with 20 years in the industry. She has worked with several studios including Disney, Warner Brothers, Universal, ReelFX, and Nelvana.
Carolyn's mother wanted to be an illustrator and would take Carolyn to art school with her at Sheridan where she explored ceramics, illustration, painting, metal art (working with metal), and animation at an early age. Of specific note, the Art Fundamentals instructor was Dave Brewster. Carolyn would draw in her mother's animation classes and even did some of the assignments for fun.
Education / Training
Carolyn graduated from Sheridan College of Art with a focus in classical animation in 1983 and was one of 18 women that graduated out of 120 men. By then she knew how to shoot a scene, edit, sound design, create backgrounds, storyboard, and animate. The only missing piece was the career.
Comments On Style
Carolyn describes her style as her own, which affords her the ability to add panels and adapt as needed. She employs an intriguing strategy of keeping in-character and not necessarily on-model. She has applied this philosophy to her work on Kim Possible and has even attended a seminar with Bruce Block. She does apply Hayao Miyazaki's style of economy with an emphasis on body language over hand gestures, which she also describes as the "cornerstone to animation." She also tries to observe the dynamics between characters and stages her characters at an approximate 45 degrees in favor of the camera.
Carolyn's major influences are Hayao Miyazaki where she cites "My Neighbor, Totoro", "Kiki's Delivery Service", and "Princess Mononoke" as her favorites. She also cites Madhouse Inc.'s "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" and the studio's other works as influences as well as Satoshi Kon's work. From these influences Carolyn has learned to allow characters to take their time in a scene. In that, the animation in terms of timing can breathe. Outside of film, Carolyn draws from "moments in our lives that we've seen before" as an influential impetus to her work.
Animation is a huge part of her life and and something that she works into her schedule alongside her kids. She animates during the day, works on noir pieces at night, and spends the weekend creating stop-motion animation during the weekends. Carolyn loves filmmaking and considers it a huge part of her life.
Carolyn once made Steve Martin and Eddie Izzard laugh. Eddie was cast as the voice of Angus on the film Rock Dog (2016) and laughed at the temp track for the pitch reel where Carolyn provided the voice of Angus doing her best impression of Eddie Izzard on the lines.
Miscellaneous / Words of wisdom to aspiring artists.
Carolyn offers the advice of nailing the "gist of the pages" and to slow down and think about the sequence. She says that finding the key part of that particular sequence is key so that the point of the scene is clearly defined. "Don't paint your characters in a corner" was another important piece of advice and that lighting is imperative to scene because it can set the tone for humor, sadness, or dangerous.
2014 to Present "QQ Speed" (Head of Story) - Original Force Pictures
2016 "Rock Dog" (Head of Story) - Mandoo Pictures Inc. / ReelFX
2013 "Free Birds" (Story Artist) - ReelFX / Bedrock Studio
2013 "Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures" (Storyboard Artist)
2012 "Dino Time" (Storyboard Artist) - Toiion CG Feature
2011 "Hop" (Storyboard Artist)
2009 "Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure" (Storyboard Artist)
2008 "Tinker Bell" (Storyboard Artist)
2007 - 2009 "Tinker Bell 3: A Midsummer Storm" (Director of Development) - Disney Toons
2002 - 2007 "Kim Possible" (Storyboard Artist) - Disney
2006 "Arthur's Missing Pal (Storyboard Artist)
2006 "Brother Bear 2" (Storyboard Artist)
2005-2007 "Princess Playdate" (Director of Development) - Disney
2005 "Kronk's New Groove" (Additional Storyboard Artist)
2003 "Piglet's Big Movie" (Additional Storyboard Artist)
2003 "The Jungle Book 2" (Storyboard Artist)
2002 "Cinderella II: Dreams Come True" (Lead Story Artist)
2002 "Baby Blues" (Storyboard Artist)
2001 "Rocket Power" (Storyboard Artist)
2001 "The Cramp Twins" (Storyboard Artist)
2001 "Make Way for Noddy" (Storyboard Supervisor)
2001 "Dumbo II" (Unreleased) (Lead Story Artist)
1999 "Angry Beavers" (Storyboard Artist)
1993 - 1997 "Animaniacs" (Storyboard Artist)
1995 "The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries" (Storyboard Artist, Character
1995 "Tiny Toons' Night Ghoulery" (Storyboard Artist)
1993 - 1995 "Taz-Mania" (Storyboard Artist, Scripts, Animation Posing Artist)
1994 "Tiny Toons Spring Break" (Storyboard Artist)
1992 "The Magic Voyage" (Character Animator)
1991 "Captain Zed and the Zee Zone" (Character Designer)
1990 "The Nutcracker Prince" (Clean-Up Animator)
1989 "Babar" (Character Design/Animation)
1985 "The Raccoons" (Animator)
1984 "The Care Bears Battle the Freeze Machine" (Assistant Animator)
1983 - 1990 "Beetlejuice: The Animated Series" (Character Designer) - Nelvana
1983 "The Legend of Hiawatha" (Matching)
Carolyn was nominated for the 1997 Annie Award for her storyboard work on Sylvester & Tweety and won an Emmy in 1996 for her storyboard work on Animaniacs.
For TV, Carolyn's favorite is Kim Possible. Her favorite film project is Rock Dogs.
Contributors To This Listing:
Lawrence Joseph Grijalva
Animators Hall of Fame