winning animated films since 2007. His 2012 film “Traces of Joy”,
which chronicles the loss felt by two Inner City children, won
the Audience Prize for Best Animated Film at the 2013 Toronto
Animated Image Society Showcase. His 2007 film Dundas n’
Bathurst, a surrealistic, animated portrait of a Toronto
intersection, won both 1st Place and Viewers Choice Prizes at the
2007 Toronto Urban Film Festival. Born in Midland Ontario, Jeff
initially studied programming at the behest of his Vietnamese
parents, but gradually his passion for art and filmmaking won
out. Jeff graduated from Computer Animation at Sheridan College
and also obtained a BFA from University of Waterloo. He has
worked in the Animation Industry since 2007. Currently, Jeff is
working at the Toronto animation studio, ToonBox Entertainment. His work
explores multiculturalism and satire through various mediums.
What part of Canada are you from Jeff?
Born in Midland Ontario, but grew up on the hard streets of
What inspired you to create animation?
Superhero Comics were a big inspiration, as was Dragon Ball
But, a key moment would be around 2003 while I was
perusing a bargain bin at Urban Outfitters and found this gem:
“Director’s Label DVD featuring Michel Gondry”. His crafty
creativity and insights on dreams blew me away. Even the
DVD menu itself was artfully crafted.
How would you describe your artistic style?
Hmm….. like the plate from a buffet table at an Asian
Canadian Fusion Bistro spinning on the edge of artistic
Can you share a piece of art work or script segment that no
one has seen before?
|“A Self Portrait”|
|“My ‘fear of age’ Phase”|
BONUS: *Jeff rummaging through photo albums* – “Here’s
a cake topper!”
What role do you play in the creation of
rigging, layout, animating)
|Storyboards for the 2012 Summer Olympics|
What is one project that you are proud to have been involved
now, in particular the ‘Producer’ side of the project (the
work that supports all the creative art stuff) was something
I’m happy to have experienced. Things like raising money,
finding studio space, and festival strategy was a full 4 year
What project are you working on now?
Hacks for Long Distance Dads” with fellow filmmaker Keith Lock
at the Innoversity
Summit Pitch Competition. We thought we could combine
his experience with live action with my background in computer
animation into a fun story.
Keith Lock and Jeff Tran pitching “Life hacks” at
This is my second time pitching before an audience and
it never gets easier! It was an honour to be a
finalist and I was happy with how our pitch went.
Aside from that, Keith and I are also writing a feature
film script together.
Who is one of your favourite Canadian animators?
Craig Marshall, his work is confident, comedic and eerie.
Every time I look at his crazy sketchbooks it’s pure creepy
comedy gold. He needs to have a show of just his
sketchbooks on podiums.
See his links:
What is one of your favourite animation books?
“Starting Point: 1979-1996” by Hayao Miyazaki. There are
Insightful interviews on his thoughts about his process, why he
does animation, and early stories of his career and the journey
up to 1996.
Ooo… i just realized there’s a follow up..
niceee… i’ll check it out myself, lol.
Who is an up-and-coming or relatively unknown Canadian
animator that everyone should check out?
Jenkins. He does wonderful animated films on glass.
Big fan of his film noir detective film : ‘the Labyrinth’.
Are you involved with any animation organizations in
Animated Image Society (TAIS). I was a board member until
2013. The people involved with TAIS provide a supportive
community for all types of animators, especially independent
animators. TAIS does this by providing workshops on a wide
variety of animation techniques (like stop motion animation
workshops), hosting animation events (such as special
screenings), as well as organizing group shows that pay the
participating animators an artist’s fee for each screening of
Have your films won any animation awards/accolades?
What are some of your animation milestones?
the Toronto Reel Asian
Film Festival was a great opportunity. They really
make the filmmakers feel welcome.
production was a great experience. It was a real treat
to be at the studio where a lot of historic Canadian
I’d say just finishing one of your own films is a great
achievement. Then on to the next one.
|“Dundas n’ Bathurst”|
Have you written any books or blog posts about Animation or
Do you have HTML Links to other posts on the internet where
you were interviewed about your work in animation?