EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS

We draw on the expertise of the people working at Triggerfish and its partners to develop world class, industry lead content.

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MICHELLE YOON

Storyboard Artist

I had worked in the mobile game industry for almost 10 years when I finally decided to shift gears and start fresh as a storyboard artist, and I’ve been loving the journey! Since the transition, I’ve been given opportunities to work on some future Disney+ shows, and I’m thankful to be learning and expanding as an artist. I’m excited to see where this new chapter of my life takes me!

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TIM ARGALL

Animation Director

Tim was among a handful of animators who pioneered the South African animation industry in the early 90’s. As there were no local schools at that time, he learned the craft from books, observation and heaps of practice. He began his journey in 3D with the first release of Maya in 1998 doing character animation and visual-effects for film, then founded his own studio, Bugbox in 2003. Bugbox focuses on character animation and has produced animated brand characters and commercials for giants the likes of Kelloggs, Nestle, Lego and Coca-Cola.   Tim believes we never stop learning this multifaceted craft. In 2000 he did a course with the late Richard Williams (director of Who Framed Roger Rabbit and author of the acclaimed Animator's Survival Kit) and in 2010 he studied online through Animation Mentor. Later he completed the ‘SEDIBA Spark’ screenwriting course and enrolled for Honours in Digital Arts at WITS in 2017. Tim is passionate about heart-felt storytelling and intrigued by animation’s capacity to infuse a character with a soul. He was Animation Director on Triggerfish’s Seal Team (2021) and Herderboy (2023 - part Disney’s anthology Kizazi Moto - Generation fire!)

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DIANNE MAKINGS

Producer

Dianne joined the animation industry after an 11-year career in advertising, PR and events. Not only does she perform the mammoth role of CTIAF’s festival director, but she also has produced a series of high profile projects. Her latest project; Aau’s Song was an original story produced for Lucasfilm LTD released on Disney +. This 15 min fully CG film was developed and produced entirely in South Africa. She has managed creative teams and processes for a variety of digital content including 2d, 3d, stop motion and VR. She is passionate about African animation and believes that the continent is more than ready for the global stage.

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KAYA KUHN

Producer

With 10+ years of experience in production, Kaya Kuhn is a versatile producer, specializing in post-production and animation. She started her career in the South African film industry in live action post-production where she notably post-produced six seasons of reality television series ‘The Voice’. In 2017, she took the leap into producing animation at renowned studio ‘Triggerfish’. Since then, she line produced critically acclaimed short films ‘Zog’ (BBC1) and ‘The Snail and The Whale’ (BBC1), co-produced animated feature film ‘Seal Team’ (Netflix), was involved with pre-production for animated series ‘Mama K’s Team 4’ (Netflix) and ‘Kiya & the Kimoja Heroes’ (Disney+), and most recently was the senior producer on the groundbreaking anthology ‘Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire’ (Disney+) which is set to release in 2023. She was the consultant producer for animated short ‘Aau’s Song’ which forms part of anthology ‘Star Wars: Visions Volume 2’ (LucasFilms) and has recently been involved in producing live action feature films for local broadcaster, Kyknet. She is also involved with Triggerfish Academy and Foundation in running training and mentorship programs for aspiring African producers, and has been involved in various festival workshops and panels speaking on the role of production and the need for diversification in the industry. Currently, she runs a production services company ‘Those Production Girls’ which offers high end production support through innovation and inclusion.

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ARCHIE BIRCH

Visual artist and teacher in film, visual and animation

For over twenty years now Archie has made pictures for exhibition, children’s books, comics and many other reasons as well as drawing storyboards for live-action film and animation, from commercials and shorts to features and series. He has supervised storyboard and animation departments as well as completing a wide variety of animated and illustration projects for clients and as an independent artist. Archie has also been an animation, drawing and design lecturer at places like AFDA, City Varsity, False Bay College and SAE and continues to practice, learn and teach visual storytelling.

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KUDZAI NGUNDU

Concept and Story Artist

Kudzai is a multiple award winning Illustrator, Animator, Mangaka and Co-Founder of Afro Tokyo. A Pre-Production Company that seeks to tell Africa’s vast, rich and authentic stories, only in a fresh, new and vibrant Afro-Japanese aesthetic…   He has worked on a number of Manga/Comics, Children’s Edutainment books, 2D and 3D Animated Ads in this hip, new style… that have gone on to win a handful of awards across the globe, featured and exhibited in galleries and conventions around Southern Africa under the mantra….   “Afro-Japanese Art, brewed in an African Pot”

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BILL MASUKU

Storyboard Artist/Comic Book Artist and Writer

Bill Masuku is a Nommo Award Nominated African comic book artist and writer born in Harare, Zimbabwe. He is the creator of comic books Razor-Man, Welcome to Dead World, and Captain South Africa. In the urban fantasy genre, he is the author of the Misfortunism series. He has been a guest speaker at events such as MCM London Comic Con, FanCon Cape Town, Comic Con Africa, Afro Comic Con and Harare Literature Festival. He was selected as British Council’s Design Futures Africa Storyteller for Zimbabwe, a project centered around sustainable development, the green future, and the informal economy. Masuku was spotlighted as an up and coming artist during DC Comics’ global event DC Fandome. His comic book artwork has exhibited in Mozambique for Maputo Fast Forward Banda Desinhada Exhibition as well as the National Art Gallery in Zimbabwe in the Green Enterprize ILO Arts and the Future of Work Competition as a finalist.

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GINA-RAE PROXY

Storyboard Artist

Gina-Rae is a storyboard artist for an as of yet unannounced Netflix 3D animated feature film. She was mentored under Nathan Stanton (Pixar 22 years) in the Triggerfish Story Lab, before which she was a professional comic artist and had been featured in Johannesburg National Art Gallery.

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CLEA MALLINSON

Video Editor, Writer & Director

She has over 15 years of video editing experience and in the dramatic MIDPOINT of her career thus far, she shifted from editing real people to hamsters being chased by giant doughnuts. Clea has worked at Triggerfish Animation and Sunrise Productions on shorts, series and features films including Supa Team 4, Netflix’s first ever African animated series. From doing an MA in screenwriting in Ireland, to taking animation writing classes delivered from Nigeria, Clea is excited to continue her creative journey as a writer/director. Her projects focussing on self-expression, connection and the environment have received numerous funding grants and she has pitched twice at Animation Du Monde, receiving a residency at Ciclic Animation. When she’s not glued to her screen you'll find her in nature, crocheting Totoro's, or (finally) playing D&D.

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Daniela Del Castello

Animation and visual development trainer

Daniela Del Castello is currently an animation and visual development trainer at the Tshimologong Precinct in Johannesburg South Africa, where she directs short films and upskills local artists to help them gain a footing in the industry and help further develop their artistic journey. Prior to becoming a trainer she worked for Minds Eye Creative for 4 years as an animator and character designer. Some of the clients she worked for included Netflix, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. She  Co-directed, character designed and animated for the CTIAF 2023 trailer. She has an honours degree in Fine Arts and a Masters Degree in Digital Art from Wits University. Her Masters involved studying the 3D animation pipeline and a research and creative project where she used stop frame, painting on glass animation to explore the relationship between animation and Queer aesthetic. She presented her paper and series of animated works at the Queer/ing animation Symposium 2017 and at the 2016 Turbine Art Fair.

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KERRIN KOKOT

Animation Producer and Editor

Kerrin has worked as a writer, director, editor, production manager and producer on a wide range of local and international productions. Some of them have even won a few awards! She studied a range of art and humanities subjects at the universities of Pretoria and South Africa, completing her MFA in Film and Television at the University of Cape Town six years later. She completed an internship in puppet-making at creature effects company CFX, then worked as a junior animator for Triggerfish under director Jacquie Trowell. Jacquie’s influence was profound and foundational, teaching leadership, kindness, patience and inspiring others with her indomitable spirit. Later Kerrin became a film school lecturer, then worked for Parliament for a number of years before fully entering the film industry. She’s currently based between London and Cape Town and co-runs Just Films which produces docs, animation and fiction films that serve a just cause.

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NIC WEST

Experienced entertainment professional

Nic (Nicole) West is an experienced entertainment professional passionate about curating and developing inspired teams to create quality content. She is the Co-Founder and Head of Operations at West Studio and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Southern California’s Division of Animation and Digital Arts of the School of Cinematic Arts. Her professional path has led her to a career in creative production and studio management in a myriad of entertainment industries, including: Television Animation, Feature Animation and Video Games. She has been fortunate to have the opportunity to work alongside some of the most talented, passionate and creative individuals at DreamWorks Television Animation and Feature Animation, Electronic Arts, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, Keywords Studios (formerly Babel Media) and Brash Entertainment. Nic is active in the BRIC Foundation (Break, Reinvent, Impact and Change). The BRIC Foundation’s mission is to create new access points for women and people from underrepresented groups so they can excel at creative leadership and to enable culture change through engaging and empowering talent.  In 2012 she developed the concept and co-curated “Painting in Pixels: An Exhibition of Concept Art” at the Riverside Art Museum. She was integral in the strategic planning of the Into the Pixel exhibit from 2004 to 2007. Into the Pixel is an exhibit at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) that brings together experts from the traditional fine art world and the interactive entertainment industry to display and discuss the art of video games.

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Jeani Varty

Director and visual development artist

Jeani Varty is a young director and visual development artist who has been active in the industry since 2016. Having worked as a freelancer turned trainer for the past 4 years at Mollo animation academy, she has gained an appreciation for the developing artist and community at large. Jeani has since struck out on her own as a freelancer, working on multiple shows and developing her own IP. Her main focus now is shifting to building digital communities, networks, and spaces for freelancers and young animators looking to learn - this is done through her discord server, SADAC - the South African Digital Arts Community.

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LESEGO VORSTER

Director

Lesego Vorster is a film director who has been working in the animation industry for over 10 years now as an Art Director, Visual Development Artist, Animator and Teacher. He co-founded The Hidden Hand Studios, a mainly 2D animation studio which focuses on elevating Authentic African Aesthetics an Narratives. He is instrumental in the development and start-up of the esteemed Tshimologong Animation Academy in partnership with IFAS and Gobelins lecole de l’image.  

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NADIA DARRIES

Director

Nadia Darries is a director, animator, co-founder of Goon Valley and executive partner at Rocketwheel - with an avocation for songwriting. Born in South Africa to a community rich with culture and identity politics, her roots inspire her fervour for personal reflection as a gateway to studying what it means to be human. This passion feeds into her work as a creative and drives her long-term mission of encouraging people to explore their personal stories. Nadia has co-written and co-directed the Annie-winning Star Wars VISIONS 2 episode, “Aau’s Song”. She has worked on animated film and motion design as an animator, project manager, creative director and director since 2015. Her experience includes animating at Triggerfish Animation Studios on award-winning BBC films Stick Man, Revolting Rhymes and Highway Rat.

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KAY CARMICHAEL

Storyboard artist and Director

Kay Carmichael, is a sought-after story artist specialising in storyboard work and comics. film director who has been working in the animation industry for over 10 years now as an Art Director, Visual Development Artists, Animator and Teacher.

Making an Animated Short Film: Gale of the Cape

Developed by Jeani Varty and Daniela Del Castello

All footage from Gale of the Cape, work in progress footage or production images used courtesy of Jeani Varty.

Gale of the Cape was created by:

Jeani Varty – Director, Visual Development Artist, Animator
Daniela Del Castello – Co-Director, Visual Development Artist, Animator
Lola Aikins – Visual Development Artist, Animator
Tshegofatso “Toreshi” Pitseng – Visual Development Artist, Animator
Claudia Caprin – Visual Development Artist, Animator
Keiara Reddy – Animator, Visual Development Artist, Game Concept Design
David Waugh – Composer, Music
Pete O’Donoghue – Sound design

Additional Credits:

Every effort has been made to credit the creators of reference material. Please contact us if you
have any questions at
academy@triggerfish.com 

Module 2: The Research Phase

02:20

Photo by Airam Datoon

02:21

Photos by @red_lips_n_hips, https://www.instagram.com/red_lips_n_hips/?hl=en

02:22

Photo by RODNAE Productions  

02:23

Photo by Airam Datoon

02:24

Photo by Juan Cordero

02:40 – 02:49

Kick-Heart (2013) (Anime), Masaaki Yuasa

06:29 – 06:34

Warm Welcome, Co-Directors: X.K. Balashov, Anya Butler https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7syEKLy9r0 

09:40 – 09:5

Illustrations by Charlie Herve – https://www.artstation.com/charlie_h

Module 3: Creating the Storyboard

02:28 – 02:37
Gravity (2013), Alfonso Cuarón
The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Jonathan Demme

Shutter Island (2010), Martin Scorsese

02:49 – 03:04
Bruce Willis as John McLain. Die Hard (1988), John McTiernan

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys for Life (2020), Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah

Beverly Hills Cop (1984), Martin Brest
Gerard Butler as King Leonidas in 300 (2006), Zack Snyder

 

04:00 – 04:01

Amy West “Indy Jamma Jones” – People Are Awesome
People Are Awesome Presents: Indy Jamma Jones | Roller Skating

07:46 – 07:53

Rollerblade, Freeskate in Capetown 80mm Episode 1

Freeskate in Capetown 80mm Episode 1

07:58 – 08:04

Kick-Heart (2013) (Anime), Masaaki Yuasa

08:20 – 08:26

Warm Welcome, Co-Directors: X.K. Balashov, Anya Butler 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7syEKLy9r0

Module 4: Art Block and Pushing Through

07:25 – 07:28

Video by RODNAEProductions

Module 5: Lunch Break Character Design Method

02:10

Photo by Chi-Chi Ari Love

02:20

Photo by Amber Robinson

02:22

“The Roller Skaters of Venice Beach” – Unknown Photographer

02:24

Roberta Haze – @purplehaze75 on Instagram

02:40

Photo by Amber Robinson

02:42

Photo by Juan Cordero

02:43

Photo by Airam Datoon

02:45

Photo by RODNAE Productions  

02:48:

Photo by upnorthtreasureventures (Ebay)

03:19

Image by Izabella A.J.

Image by Mathilde Loubes

03:22

Un Diable dans la Poche (2019), Antoine Bonnet and Mathilde Loubes

Module 6: Environment Design and Layout

01:25 – 02:05

Illustrations by Charlie Herve – https://www.artstation.com/charlie_h

03:02 – 03:25

Google Street View

03:31 – 04:15

Footage courtesy of SA Webcams

04:20 – 04:30

Francesca Smith, @frankvinyl_skates on Instagram

06:55

Photo by StevenMorrow

Module 7: The Animation Process

04:41 – 04:50

Amy West “Indy Jamma Jones” – People Are Awesome
People Are Awesome Presents: Indy Jamma Jones | Roller Skating

09:36 – 09:39

Hercules (1997), Ron Clements and John Musker