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Proposed animation studio could bring 90 jobs to North Bay

Filmmaker Rob Heydon proposing facility with up to 40,000 square feet of space.
Filmmaker Rob Heydon is looking at opening an animation production studio in North Bay for work on his new animated series “Fox and Hare.”

A Toronto-based filmmaker has announced plans to open an animation production office in North Bay in 2018 and with it could come up to 90 jobs.

Rob Heydon, owner of Rob Heydon Productions, said the new studio would serve the production of his new animated series, “Fox and Hare.”

Heydon said he’s looking to make an investment of $100 million in the new facility, and would employ between 60 and 90 people, including senior animators and students from post-secondary animation programs.

"We need senior animators and then we can hire a lot of junior animators and kids right out of school, because a lot of it is very technical, but a lot of it can be trained on the job,” Heydon said.

“We're going to need equipment for each of our staff, as well, to work on a computer, and we'll have to build the infrastructure, the pipeline, pretty much from scratch.”

The filmmaker said he’s looking for a facility with 20,000 to 40,000 square feet of space.

The “Fox and Hare” is an animated TV series with 52 episodes in the first season and an opportunity for additional seasons. Heydon said he has additional feature films in development which could also be produced through the studio.

Heydon’s previous Northern Ontario-produced projects include “Journey Home,” released in 2014, and the dark romantic comedy “Irving Welsh’s Ecstasy,” released in 2011. These films had budgets of more than $23 million.

Heydon graduated from George Brown College’s screenwriting program and holds a bachelor of arts in film from the University of Western Ontario.