Intermediate Animators Production Residency 2023-24

The Intermediate Animators Production Residency is a production-focused program offered by the Quickdraw Animation Society (or QAS) intended to assist an emerging or mid-level animator in completing an independent animated short film, and targeted towards animators developing their practice.

What is the Intermediate Animators Production Residency?

The Intermediate Animators Production Residency is a production-focused program offered by the Quickdraw Animation Society (or QAS) intended to assist a local animator in completing an independent animated short film, and targeted towards animators developing their practice. This is a cash award open to Calgary, AB (and area) artists of all disciplines, at intermediate to advanced stages in their careers, who use animation as a primary part of their artistic practice. Applicants must have animation experience to apply for this program.

The 2023 Intermediate Animators Production Residency will foster the development of an animated film through mentorship, production space, equipment and resource access, technical support, and a cash award of $8,000 to go towards artist fees and supply budget in the creation of an independent animated short film. QAS will publicly screen the completed film, ideally at our annual GIRAF International Animation Festival in November, 2024, following the successful completion of the program.

This twelve-month long program is broken down into three phases: PRE-PRODUCTION phase (April 2023 – June 2023), PRODUCTION (June 2023 – January 2024), and POST-PRODUCTION (February 2024 – April 2024).

The Applicant is expected to host a workshop on a specific skill or technique they have learned due to the residency and share their project in the form of an artist talk at or leading up to our GIRAF festival.

The Successful Applicant will receive from QAS:

  • A professional animation mentor to help lead you through the program
  • A two-year producing membership at the Quickdraw Animation Society (value of $50/year) granting access to our studios, equipment, and animation library
  • 1,200 production credits (equivalent to $1,200 in equipment and studio/production desk rental)* to be used at the Quickdraw Animation Society for the rental of animation equipment or studio rental. Successful applicants may choose to work remotely
  • $8,000 cash
  • Public screening of your finished animation
  • *One production credit is worth $1 of studio or equipment rental at Quickdraw Animation Society and holds no cash value.

Notes on the process and timeline

This is a 12-month program to allow the participant the necessary time to develop story and the animation process through pre-production, production and post-production phases.

To make this a quality experience for the participant, we are only able to award this residency to one individual. However, we strongly recommend finding collaborators who will support you with parts of your production and including their fees into the project budget.

At least initially, this residency will take place remotely, with the participant having access to equipment rental from Quickdraw’s libraries. Studio rentals may become available based on our capacity.

The successful applicant is expected to adhere to the timeline laid out below.

  • The recipient meets regularly with their mentor to discuss their short film idea.
  • The recipient works on their concept, script, storyboards, technique, experiment with equipment, etc.
  • The recipient does not receive any dedicated studio or production space, or unlock their full production credit allocation, until the successful completion of their pre-production.
  • QAS will support equipment or short-term studio requests from the recipient by request if it is in the interests of the recipient to complete their pre-production materials.
  • Pre-production must be approved by mentor and/or QAS staff. Pre-production includes: storyboards, character design, production test, style frame, animatic
  • Applicant and their mentor meet with QAS staff to PITCH their final film.
  • QAS will provide feedback and raise questions if there are practical considerations. We may ask you to change a few things but still accept your pitch.
  • Failure to meet with your mentor, do your pre-production planning, or missing the pitch deadline will result in the student NOT receiving production space, equipment, rentals, or production support.
  • Animate!
  • The recipient should aim to complete animation production by the end of January 2024 – most of your main animation, scenes, shots, assets, and VFX should be wrapped up by the end of the year.
  • Compositing, Sound Design, color grading, and editing will be completed February to March.
  • Work with the QAS staff on post-production and ensuring your animation/sound/final render is up to QAS Production Guidelines.
  • Applicant is expected to lead a workshop that highlights a skill you have learned or practiced through your time with the residency.
  • Your finished film is due to the QAS Production Director by the end of April, 2023. (Of course, if you finish it earlier, we will be very glad and give you lots of compliments and candy.)

How To Apply:

Please submit all required documents in a zipped folder, PDF Format. Each file and your folder should be labeled in the following format: Yourname_filename.pdf

Submissions are accepted by email only, labeled with the subject line: Intermediate Animation Residency 2023-24: YourName

DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR 2023 – 2024 INTAKE IS April 14th 2023 at 12 pm noon MST

Send submissions and/or questions about the program or application process to Quickdraw’s Programming Director, Ryan Von Hagen:

File Download:

Intermediate Animators Call For Applications (PDF)

Intermediate Animators Call For Applications (DOCX)

Please let us know if accessibility would be of concern in your application and we will work will you to support in accessing necessary support

Frequently Asked Questions

To be eligible for this scholarship, applications must include the following:

  • Have reviewed and agreed to the QAS Code of Conduct
  • Cover letter
  • One page project proposal (see below)
  • Rough story thumbnails, and storyboards
  • Resume or CV
  • Artistic portfolio *must include animation examples
  • Equipment list. Please list equipment you will use for the project whether personal or from QAS (QAS Rental Rates Sheet)
  • Completed application form (DOCX file | PDF file)
  • Budget outlining costs for your project. Please allocate: artist fees, collaborators, sound designer, consumables (paper, pens, etc). *budget for the project can exceed $8000, but you must state where the added money is coming from.

The project proposal is meant to give us an idea of the concept behind your project as well as the techniques you might want to use. This should include a two-to-three-sentence summary of your project, a description of the ideas behind it and what you are hoping to achieve, and information about what animation techniques you would like to explore. Feel free to include any images or materials in with the application if it will give us a sense of what you are proposing, but please keep it concise.

NOTE: All animation techniques proposed will be considered for the residency, including (but not limited to): hand-drawn, stop-motion, collage, cut-out, cameraless, mixed media, digital, 3D, experimental, virtual reality, etc.

Our major requirement is that you can show you have some experience with animation. This must be evident in your portfolio.

Animation experience means that you have completed at least one animated film, installation, performance, and/or sequential artwork. We also expect to see significant pre-production development for your film idea already completed -- ideally an applicant will be able to move into their full production phase within 3 months of starting the residency.

It is not a requirement that you’ve taken courses at QAS, Alberta University of the Arts, or other educational institutions before, but professional training will be seen as an asset. We encourage all art mediums to apply, whether you practice as a sculptor, illustrator, experimental filmmaker, painter, printmaker, 3D artist, game designer, fibre, etc, as long as you can show that animation and is a significant part of your practice within these other art forms.

This residency program is only available to artists based in or around Calgary. Though participants will work remotely, we are hoping that the program can take advantage of our in-house resources, so being able to come down to QAS for meetings, supplies, books, studio space, Oxberry Animation Stand, etc, is possible.

This residency can be a part of a larger project, however you must clearly state how the money will be spent on the production phase of your project. Project must be completed in the scope of this residencies timeline.

Quickdraw aims to create a safe and welcoming space for all members, and we want our applicants to reflect the diversity of our community. We strongly encourage Indigenous peoples, official language minorities, persons with disabilities, racialized persons and women to submit application ideas, and we are happy to support you in the development of your ideas.

If disability would be a factor in accessing QAS resources, or working with/communicating with our staff, please let us know, we will work to make sure you can access the program with the supports you need. Please let us know if accessibility would be of concern in your application and we will work will you to support in accessing necessary support — especially as this year will begin with the residency operating remotely, we still want to ensure that applicants have access to the resources need to learn and work from home.

Applicants are judged by the strength and feasibility of their project proposal (more information below), their portfolio and/or previous artistic work (animation or otherwise), their resume/CV (their experience), the benefit of the program to the applicant, and our assessment of the applicant’s ability to realistically complete a film within the project timeline.

Animation takes a long time to create! QAS is making a major investment of time and resources into the program participant, and the 12-month timeline ensures the filmmaker has time to develop their film idea, and have enough time for production without burning out. We are aware that in some cases people need to keep their jobs and work on this opportunity part time.

  • Keep your project proposal short, sweet, and concise.
  • Visual examples, concept art, storyboards, or scripts help us but please keep it to the essential items to convey your project idea.
  • Include collaborators: the process of making a film is no simple feat, and it takes a lot of different skills to get to the final product. Let us know who you you would work with to support in roles that may not be your area of expertise -- sound artists, background painters, prop fabricators etc. Projects that have collaborators will be considered stronger.
  • Include select items from your portfolio in the application; we want to get a sense of your current artistic practice. Stills, paintings, prints, performance documentation, and film links are all valid. If you have a portfolio website do include that in your application, but please provide examples of your work with the application as part of your portfolio.
  • Your proposed film can be experimental, non-narrative, weird, installation, etc. or traditional, narrative, cute, etc. We don’t discriminate, but we will not support projects that are racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, or hateful towards marginalized communities.
  • Aim to create a self-contained film three minutes in length or less. The shorter the better, as we have found films over the three-minute mark tend to run into production problems. Please note that this is not an opportunity to develop a pitch for a feature, or TV series.

We love all forms of animation at QAS! Feel free to propose whatever methods you wish to explore, but try to focus on only one or two of them for your project. Do not include everything and the kitchen sink in your proposal unless you have a very clear reason for it. For example, “I want to create a short using 3D CGI, stop-motion clay puppets, projection mapping, cameraless animation, 2D hand-drawn, and pixilation…” That’s a lot of techniques to use well in a short time-frame. Focus on a few that interest you right now, you can change your mind later.


QAS: Intermediate Animators FAQ when people are applying. Guidance on creating a budget, accounting production credits and more.

Notes from the Jury

QAS: Intermediate-Animators-Feedback-from-Jury

2022 IAPR Receipients

2021 IAPR Recipients