Michel Gagné
6'00" · cgi · colour
2010 | Bellingham·WA, USA
Punto y Raya Festival 2011


Technique: "Sensology" was handdrawn (painted) with a Wacon tablet at first, and later, a Cintiq, using Adobe Photoshop. The drawings and frames were then composited and manipulated in a 2D software called Animo. There is no vector animation at any point in the film.

Director’s Thoughts: In June 2006, Nancy, my wife, and I were invited to the Vancouver International Jazz Festival by Coastal Jazz's manager of artistic programming, the amazing Rainbow Robert. That's where I heard piano improvisor, Paul Plimley, for the first time. As Paul played, I closed my eyes and had an intense synesthetic experience. When the show ended, I immediately started feeling a compulsion to express in animation what I had just experienced. I shared my thoughts with Rainbow and to my delight, she said to me, "That's why I brought you here, I was hoping you'd say that!"

I've wanted to do an abstract animated film ever since I discovered the work of Oscar Fischinger, Norman Mclaren, Kandinsky, Yves Tanguy and many others. I knew that Paul's music, was the perfect catalyst to get started on such a project.

Upon returning to my studio, I immediately got a hold of several musical pieces by Paul and started experimenting with animation. After a few weeks of trial and error, I started animating a musical triptych from the album, "Sensology": a brilliant duo with bassist Barry Guy.

The creation of this film was a true spiritual and artistic journey. Sometimes, I felt like I was channeling the images. I did no storyboards and virtually no preliminary work. I animated in a stream of consciousness, one frame at a time at a rate of 30 frames per second (Later converted to 24 frames per second for theatrical presentation). The shapes revealed themselves as I listened to the music over and over again. The process was intensely focused and required large amount of concentration. I was becoming part of the music and expressing my creativity at its rawest and most primal. Like Kandinski tought us, every shape and sound has a equal vibration in the soul.
When Paul Plimley saw a portion of the film for the first time, he said to me with tears in his eyes, "It's like you read my soul."

"Sensology" is an improvised session by two leaders of the jazz avant-guarde movement, Paul Plimley (piano) and Barry Guy (bass). It was recorded on November 9th, 1995, at the Western Front in Vancouver, Canada.

Michel Gagné
Michel Gagné

1965 | Roberval·QC, Canada

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Michel Gagné studied animation at Sheridan College School of Visual Arts in Ontario, Canada and in 1985, began a highly successful artistic career.

Renowned for his unique vision, Michel has lent his talent to several animation companies, such as Don Bluth Studios, Warner Bros., Disney, Pixar, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, etc.

His creative work can be seen in over twenty feature films including "The Iron Giant", "Osmosis Jones" and "Ratatouille".

He was honored by the International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood, with four Annie Award nominations.

He continues to create animation, special effects and conceptual designs for companies all over the world.

Michel is also very active in the publishing world having written and illustrated over a dozen books, as several comics.

Among his other creative endeavors, Michel has experimented in a variety of projects in various media including video games, art shows (paintings, sculptures and mixed-media), trading card games, etc. Simply put, Michel loves what he does!

Lives in USA.   +info