Local animator and current winner of the prestigious 2015 Leo Award for Best Direction in an animated program or series, Daniel De Serranno was humble, gracious and kind as he spoke about his journey to Hope.
“I got stuck here, which is funny,” 47-year-old De Serranno told The Hope Standard.
The Southern Ontario native was living in Toronto and working in the fashion district when he went to visit a friend in Vancouver, upon his employer advising him to come back in a few weeks (as there was no work at the time) — so being a typical Canadian, he jumped on a Greyhound bus.
After arriving in Vancouver, a cheque he was expecting from his employer bounced, leaving him without funds and in need of a job.
De Serranno found work as an animator with various companies in places like Port Coquitlam as a freelancer, before scoring a coveted position at Nerd Corps Entertainment/DHX Media in Vancouver and never returned to Ontario.
“From there, I just did the work over the years — I’ve worked in Toronto, and I worked in Asia on and off for over ten years, as well as China — that was pretty cool.”
Fostering a lifelong love of drawing he attended the famous Sheridan College for animation and cultivated his talent. De Serranno has been in the industry since 1991 and has watched it change dramatically over the years with the advent of digital technology.
“Animation is intensive, there is hardly any drawing anymore, it’s all switched to computers. Teams of people do the animation — I’ve got 20 to 30 animators, and I instant message them all day long and its weird to talk to them,” said De Serranno of the oddity of an actual face-to-face conversation in his line of work, which is overseeing the entire show. As a Vancouver commuter the director spends weekends in Hope with his partner and wife Lily and their two boys aged eight and ten. The self admitted guy “who’s always doing art,” loves the community and the quiet of Hope in comparison to the intensity of the big city.
The creative couple also wrote a children’s book together called Scare Me Beware and they own the outdoor sporting goods shop Hope Outdoors.
De Seranno is currently directing world class television animation. “I’m working on Slugterra— Return of the Elementals (for boys,) it was for Disney HD originally but now it’s kind of spreading all over the world and it’s getting pretty popular,” he said. “I’ve also worked on Kate and Mim Mim which is in 88 countries.”