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NFB Hothouse 10: ‘The Midway’ (Kathleen Weldon)

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kathleenweldon_croppedA lifelong resident of Montreal, Kathleen Weldon first branched out into animation from a long-standing passion for drawing when approached to collaborate with fellow Montrealite Alex Produkt on the music video The Great Escape (Patrick Watson).  During this project her enthusiasm toward bringing her drawings to life was ignited. Alongside her subsequent animation work Kathleen has also worked as an illustrator and woodworker.

For her first project produced by the National Film Board of Canada for their Hothouse 10 apprenticeship scheme, Kathleen directed The Midway in which a group of children embark on a symbolic rollercoaster ride set to the found sound of theme park ambiance.

I’ve always been attracted to the look of line tests, sketches, etc., and I wanted to stay in the world of pencil drawing, in which I had already been working. One aspect of my film The Midway was about trying to create characters and imbue them with a natural kind of movement and emotion. At the same time, I wanted to branch out technically and explore a way of working that was a little less flat than pencil on paper, and for the middle section of the film I had the idea of creating a three-dimensional setting (a sort of roller-coaster) that looked like a drawing, using wire to replicate the look of pencil lines and incorporating drawn elements that were somewhere between 2D and 3D. Working at the NFB was the perfect opportunity to try something new, since they are always up for experimenting and ready to help you figure out how to make your ideas work.

-Kathleen Weldon

Keep your eyes on Skwigly tomorrow to hear more from the Hothouse 10 participants. To learn more about the work of Kathleen Weldon visit

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