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Talent Spotlights

From PAWs To Pixels – Guillermo Dupinet – Animation Director

Now that the film ‘PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie’ is in theaters, we continue to spotlight our super teams at Mikros Animation in Montreal, Bangalore, and Paris, who crafted these adorable pups!

6 October 2023

To round off the week in style, Guillermo ‘Memo’ Dupinet shares his experience of PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie with us:

  • Tell us about your role and journey into Mikros Animation? 

I arrived at Mikros in September 2018 as a Lead Animator for The Sponge Bob Movie: Sponge On The Run, 5 years ago! At the time, I noted that good talented people were reunited together there, and the project looked too crazy enough to miss it. Jacques Daigle (Animator Supervisor at the time) gave me full trust and threw me into the wonderful gladiatorial arena of filmmaking leading. Fortunately, everything went well thanks to the beautiful team I had with me. 

  • What was your role on PAW Patrol: the Mighty Movie? 

As Animation Director, I was involved in the preparation of the project with other teams like Modeling, Rigging, Design and Production. It was very collaborative, and everyone worked very closely together, it was great.
Then, the production stage arrived, and my role changed to empower as much as possible the animation team to keep the director’s vision, storytelling, and style as well as keeping communication with the departments that are close to us like VFX.
At the very end, meanwhile the film was having the final touches we put our hands on the marketing material for the movie… and finally, I ran to see the movie at the theaters on the release day… the end! Or not? 😉

  •  You were already present on PAW Patrol: the Movie. Can you tell us what has changed in terms of production between these two films and what were the new artistic and technical challenges? 

At the beginning, we jumped right away over the things that we would like to do in the first movie.  

For example: the rig philosophy; because we needed to re-think it globally. We looked for minimalism, speed and clarity in terms of controls to use, but also internal complexity and good design to be able to have something very functional and instinctive to understand. 

We had a lot more long sequence plans with acting and interaction, sometimes with all the pups in the screen in addition with VFX and vehicles that interact with each other and the environment.  

The pup’s armor was an additional challenge, we needed flexibility to do give freedom of movement on the screen and still have the feeling it was solid all the time… (secret… it wasn’t all the time.) 

  • Describe the movie in 3 words 

Acting, Action, Unexpected 

  • What have you learned since working on PAW 2? 

The importance of having people around you in whom you fully trust with the genuine intention to solve challenges and support each other over many other things…  

  • Tell us a production memory! 

On the scene where we see the aircraft carrier for the first time, we originally did an unscripted gag involving the seagull on a buoy, it was so funny visually that we tried to sneak it on film.  

Cal, our film director, was surprised but aware that this was skirting the limits of the film’s style. Surprisingly, he approved the shot, but after the fun moment, we came back to our senses and stuck to the script, it wasn’t the moment to start with a crazy gag from nowhere. 

One year pass and this same animator did also a rap audio, mixing the most memorable Cal’s phrases on dailies at the last day of animation to celebrate it… coincidence? Maybe! 

Frankly, the atmosphere was great with Cal, Bob and the production team!!

Thanks Memo! To discover more stories from our teams, visit this link!

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