Michael John Hemschoot
Aurora, Colorado, U.S.
|Other names||Ffish; Ffish Hemschoot|
|Occupation||Director, animator, visual effects artist|
Founder, CEO Worker Studio
Michael "Ffish" Hemschoot (born 1972, Aurora, Colorado) is a director, animator and has held a variety of roles as a visual effects artist in major Hollywood films. Since 1996, Hemschoot has worked on films such as Mars Attacks!, What Dreams May Come, The Matrix, Hollow Man, Black Hawk Down, Minority Report and National Treasure.
He was lead animator on the films Bless the Child Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, which was nominated for Best Visual Effects at the 76th Academy Awards. Currently, he is CEO at the animation studio he founded, Worker Studio, and also a partner in the live action production company, Travelin' Productions.
Early life and education
Hemschoot was raised in Parker, Colorado, but moved to California where he attended California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in the early 1990s and graduated from their Character Animation program in 1995.
Teaching and early films
He has worked with visual effects companies such as Warner Digital Studios, Creative Visual Effects, Inc., Manex Visual Effects and Asylum Visual Effects. After his relocation to Colorado, Hemschoot was an adjunct professor of animation at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design.
He started his career in film in 1996 when he was "2D roto artist" for Warner Digital Studios on Mars Attacks!. He then was an animator in a number of late 1990s films. In the 1997 film Batman & Robin, he was the digital compositor. He had the same role in the 1998 film What Dreams May Come. In 1999, he was also a character animator on The Matrix through Manex Visual Effects.
Among other roles in the early 2000s, he was a CG artist for the 2001 movie Black Hawk Down. After serving as lead animator for the 2003 film Master and Commander, in 2004, he was an animator for National Treasure. He was the lead animator for the feature film Sky High in 2005.
As producing, directing and writing partners, Hemschoot and actor Sean Bridgers formed the live-action production company called Travelin Productions, as well as an animation and visual effects company, Worker Studio. They soon completed two short films together: A Night at the Zoo in 2008, starring W. Earl Brown and Bridgers, then The Birthday Present in 2012, starring Joey Lauren Adams. He first collaborated as a director with director Sean Bridgers on the short film A Night in the Zoo, which was nominated for Best Short at the Little Rock Film Festival, where it premiered in 2009. He and Bridgers co-directed the 2012 short film The Birthday Present, which screened at the Little Rock Film Festival, Oxford Film Festival, and others.
For the 2012 film The ABCs of Death, he served as visual effects supervisor for the "E" segment. Sean Bridgers and Hemschoot also developed a live action feature film that is a dark western set during the Civil War in the South, titled Arkansas Traveler. Cast attached to the project included Garret Dillahunt and Angela Bettis. With Hemschoot both co-producing and co-directing, it was published as a webseries on June 19, 2017.
In 2017, he directed and edited the three minute short animation Camping à la Bergman. As of 2018, he and Bridgers were co-directing and producing the narrative documentary around the life of World War II hero and photo-recon pilot John H. Ross, John Ross: American, with Travelin' Productions and Worker Studio developing. He also edited the project, which is an animated documentary.
In an interview with Oxford American, Hemschoot stated that his film sensibility was formed by the works of Hal Ashby, John Sayles, Sam Peckinpah, George Roy Hill, and Walter Hill, as well as by such later directors as Alfonso Cuarón, Lars von Trier, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Walter Salles.
Specifically noting animation in an article, Hemschoot selected 5 animated performances that influenced him creatively, including Bill Tytla's "Chernabog" from Fantasia and Stromboli from Pinocchio, Milt Kahl's "Shere Khan" from The Jungle Book, Glen Keane's "Professor Ratigan" from The Great Mouse Detective and John Lounsbery's "Tony" from Lady and the Tramp.
|1996||Mars Attacks!||2D roto artist at Warner Bros.|
|1997||Batman & Robin||digital compositor|
|1998||What Dreams May Come||digital compositor||The film won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects|
|1999||Baby Geniuses||digital compositor|
|1999||The Matrix||character animator||at Manex Visual Effects, Film Won Academy Award for Best Visual Effects|
|2000||Hollow Man||digital compositor||Film was nominated for Academy Award for Best Visual Effects|
|2000||Bless the Child||lead animator|
|2000||Cast Away||bonsai compositor|
|2001||Black Hawk Down||CG artist|
|2002||Minority Report||CG artist at Asylum Visual Effects||Film nominated for BAFTA Award for Best Special Visual Effects|
|2002||Stuart Little 2||cloth dynamics||Film won Visual Effects Society's Best Character Animation in an Animated Feature|
|2002||The Master of Disguise||CG artist|
|2002||Phone Booth||CG artist at Asylum Visual Effects|
|2002||The Ring||Animator at Asylum Visual Effects|
|2002||Catch Me If You Can||CG artist at Asylum Visual Effects|
|2003||Levity||Animator at Asylum Visual Effects|
|2003||Down with Love||Animator at Asylum Visual Effects|
|2003||Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle||Animator at Asylum Visual Effects|
|2003||Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World||Lead Animator||Film nominated for Academy Award for Best Visual Effects|
|2004||National Treasure||Animator at Asylum Visual Effects|
|2005||Sky High||Lead Animator at Asylum Visual Effects|
|2008||A Night at the Zoo (Short)||Producer, Director||Co-producer, Co-Director with Sean Bridgers|
|2012||The Birthday Present (Short)||Co-Director, Digital Effects, Editor||Co-Director with Sean Bridgers|
|2012||The ABCs of Death||Visual effects with Worker Studio||For segment "E" directed by Angela Bettis|
|2017||Camping à la Bergman (Short)||Director with Worker Studio||Short Film inspired by Ingmar Bergman|
|2017||Arkansas Traveler||Co-Director, Editor, Visual Effects||Co-Director with Sean Bridgers|
- "Michael Hemschoot". IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
- Michlewicz, Chris. "Parker seeks to boost daytime economy". Our Colorado News. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
- "Michael "Ffish" Hemschoot". travelinproductions.com. Travelin' Productions. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
- "Michael Hemsworth". imdb.com. IMDB. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
- "ABOUT". Travelin' Productions, LLC. Retrieved January 17, 2013.[permanent dead link]
- "WORKER STUDIO". Worker Studio LLC. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
- "Arkansas Traveler". travelinproductions.com. Travelin' Production. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
- "John Ross: American". travelinproductions.com. Travelin' Productions. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
- McEntire, John. "Interview with Arkansas Traveler Filmmakers". The Oxford American. Archived from the original on July 21, 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
- Cangialosi, Jason. "Worker Studio's Michael Hemschoot: Top 5 Animated Performances". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on February 3, 2014. Retrieved January 20, 2014.