Co-director of Ice Age 4 looks back on Regina roots
At least some people in Regina will be paying attention to the first credit on the movie Ice Age 4: Continental Drift.
Saskatchewan-born and raised director Mike Thurmeier has enjoyed a lot of success over the past six years and it's thanks in part to a nutty little squirrel.
He has spent years working as an animator for Blue Sky Productions in New York but his first directing credit was the short animated film "No Time for Nuts" in 2006, featuring Scrat the squirrel who he says is his favourite Ice Age character.
Since then Thurmeier's career has taken off, co-directing Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and the fourth instalment of Ice Age and even getting an Oscar nod.
"It's a little surreal when I think of where I am now in New York with my family, and we're working on these movies that a lot of people are going to get to see, but it all started back in Saskatchewan," Thurmeier said.
The path that brought him to direct blockbuster family movies is something he never imagined growing up in Regina even though he loved to draw.
Although his family always supported his art and his grandfather was even a painter, while he was a student at Archbishop M.C. O'Neil High School he had a more conventional career in mind.
"I was a big fan of the Warner Bros. cartoons and stuff like that but I didn't really think of it as a business so in high school I wanted to be a lawyer," Thurmeier explained.
Lucky for him, it only took one movie to change his mind.
"My last year of high school the movie Alladin came out and it kind of blew my mind a little bit and so it kind of redirected the course of what I wanted to do," he commented.
Thurmeier's advice to aspiring film makers in SK is to not give up because as long as you have creativity and work hard there's nothing standing in the way of a career in film or animation.
"It's not really a long road to Hollywood or whatever, you just have to know the right steps to get there," he said.