We’ve all had our bad days.
Luckily, on the day he submitted his short film to Ottawa’s landmark animation festival, 14–year-old Calgarian and Westmount Charter school student Eric Hayes wasn’t having one — and yet, that’s just what his film is about.
He’s one of three Canadian high school students with work appearing at the Ottawa Animation Festival in October. The festival, which received 2,185 submissions, will also showcase new work by animation heavyweights, Aardman — the creators of Wallace and Gromit, and the inspiration behind Hayes’ work.
Hayes’ three-minute film, A Recipe for Disaster, delves into the unlucky life of a baker trying desperately to make it to work, despite car troubles and other hilarious calamities.
“It’s something everyone can relate to,” said Hayes. “It’s annoying, but it’s always funny to watch when it happens to other people.”
He first tried his hand at animation after seeing Wallace and Gromit on the silver screen and made his first film, How to Burn Your Bacon, with help from Calgary’s Quickdraw Animation Society.
The society’s resident teacher and librarian, Jean-Francois Cote remembers Hayes’ earlier attempts and says the young animator has come a long way.
“He’s going to be one of those really sought-after animators,” says Cote. “He’s got a good sense of timing, and a good eye and he’s a good storyteller.”
Hayes’ film will also appear at the Edmonton International Film Festival in September.