Snowdrifter: The birth of a monster (Part 1)

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I was by myself at the Ottawa International Animation Festival in the fall of 2008, attending a workshop panel about writing and development for cartoons. At some point during the panel, I lost interest in what was being discussed. Whether it was the unfortunate monotone delivery of the presenters or the stale conference room that was to blame for my lack of an attention span, I'm unsure. What I did know was that my sketchbook became much more interesting. I was doodling as if I was back in grade 10 math class.

What became of my doodling was terrible, except for a tiny thumbnail sketch of a snowman at the top right hand corner of the page. For one rare moment, I liked what I drew. I wanted to add to it but I was afraid it would be ruined by careless creativity. I added a snowstorm to the snowman's surroundings and it struck me with idea. It came seemingly out of nothing and had me stifling giggles in the back of the class, the same way an accurate spitball would cause a comedic ruckus in grade school .

The panel host rang the hypothetical bell and it was time to go. Upon leaving the workshop, I gained something much more valuable than bulletpoints of writing advice ... I had an idea.

About the author


Mack Carruthers has been a professional animator since 2007, working on television productions such as Nickelodeon's Emmy Award winning 'The Backyardigans' and Disney Jr. Canada's 'Justin Time'. He pursues a filmmaking career by creating independent animated short films specializing in character performances and comedy. Mack continually looks to the future…

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