A scene from Genaille’s animated short Grandfather on the Prairies, which gets its inspiration partially from a conversation between Genaille and his brother, a traditional Ojibwe hunting method and his mother’s cat.

A scene from Genaille’s animated short Grandfather on the Prairies, which gets its inspiration partially from a conversation between Genaille and his brother, a traditional Ojibwe hunting method and his mother’s cat.

Local animator’s dreams pput on pause after pet pees on computer

Andrew Genaille’s lab, Jay-Jay, mistook his high-powered computer for a tree

After successfully premiering three of his animated short films at a showcase in ImagineNATIVE, the world’s largest Indigenous film festival, local filmmaker Andrew Genaille’s creative momentum was hindered indefinitely when his pet mistook his computer tower for tree.

“My dog peed on the computer,” explained Genaille, who’s a member of the Peters First Nation. “Our reserve has a lot of issues right now and I had the dog inside because of all the drama. I had the computer on the floor with its side open so it doesn’t overheat, and (Jay-Jay) basically washed it out.”

However, prior to his beloved lab lifting his leg and washing away his dreams, Genaille says he had big plans for his computer.

“The (Indigenous film festival) went well. I heard from a lot of people from across Canada that they saw (my films) and (they) were great,” he said. A festival “in New Zealand contacted us after seeing (my films) and asked if they could put (them) on, so a lot of people are taking notice and (my films) are going further.”

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But without a new computer, that’s as far as Genaille will be able to get with his films.

“My computer was specifically designed to be an animation computer, and now that it’s gone, I can’t animate (and) it’s my bread and butter.”

With themes that centre around modern First Nation issues, Genaille says he uses humour to tackle difficult topics. “Taking dark subject matter and making humour with it makes it easier to digest,” he explained during a telephone interview.

“For my next project I want to sit an elder in front of a green screen and have them talk about things in the ’60s and ’70s, from before I was born, and in the background I want to be able to animate what they’re talking about.”

Genaille’s sister, Lisa, had even begun a National Film Board funding proposal for the project when Jay-Jay had his accident.

“I love animation because of the freedom it provides,” Genaille explained. “I can create any place that I want really quickly (but) with live action, you’re limited to what you can get a hold of.

“I have a lot of projects I want to do and now I’m stuck without my computer.”

Genaille says the cost of replacing his computer is approximately $2,200, and it’s money he just doesn’t have.

“Once I realized the computer was gone, the first thing I did was try to Frankenstein it with pieces from other computers, but that didn’t really work. The only way to do animation is to get another computer.”

To help with the cost of replacing his computer, a GoFundMe page was created by Genaille’s brother, Robert.

“The (problem with animation) is it’s sort of like keeping up with the Jones. You constantly need to keep up with industry standards. So the video card needs to be top of the line. Even gaming computers are sort of the lower end of what you need for animating (because) it needs to be fast enough to render files, which takes a lot of power.”

For more information about his films and computer, please email Genaille at Andrew.Genaille@gmail.com. To visit the GoFundMe page, please visit GoFundMme.com/6ydb8vs.


 

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