Subconscious Password

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Subconscious Password
Directed by Chris Landreth
Produced by Marcy Page
Mark Smith
Written by Chris Landreth
Starring Chris Landreth
John Dilworth
Don McKellar
Ron Pardo
Patrice Goodman
Ray Landry
Music by Daniel Janke
National Film Board of Canada
Release date
  • June 11, 2013 (2013-06-11) (Annecy FF)
Running time
11:15 minutes
Country Canada
Language English

Subconscious Password is a 2013 3-D animated film by Chris Landreth offering an imaginary, comedic look at the inner workings of Landreth's mind, as he tries to remember someone's name at a party.

The film was produced the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) with the participation of Copperheart Entertainment and the Seneca College Animation Arts Centre.[1] The film is made with computer animation, as well as pixilation sequences at the beginning and end of the film, featuring animation director John R. Dilworth as the friend whose name Landreth cannot recall. Subconscious Password is Landreth's first 3-D film and third with the NFB, Copperheart Entertainment and Seneca College. The idea for the film came to Landreth after watching a rerun of Password in 2010.[2]


The film presents the mental process of remembering a friend's name as it were an episode of the old Password game show, with various celebrities attempting to assist Landreth.[2]


More than fifteen Seneca College graduating students worked on Subconscious Password, supported by five faculty members, as part of the Seneca Summer Animation Institute. After graduation, a number of these students were hired to work on the project until it was completed in February 2013. Most of the film was produced at Seneca's Animation Arts Centre in Toronto, with three Seneca students also working on the film at the NFB's Animation Studio in Montreal. Subconscious Password was the first stereoscopic 3D film for Seneca College.[3]

The images of celebrities used in the film were developed from a variety of sources, with Sammy Davis, Jr. appearing via live-action footage available in the public domain and James Joyce derived from photos projected onto a pseudo-3D character. The computer animation was created with Autodesk Maya, with opening title sequences animated with SANDDE (Stereoscopic Animation Drawing Device), a digital animation technology created by IMAX that allows artists to create hand-drawn animation in 3D space, and which has been licensed to the NFB to develop creative applications.[4]

Landreth has stated that the film begins "relatively flat", using more stereoscopic depth to immerse audiences as the film progresses.[5]


Subconscious Password was named best short film at the 2013 Annecy International Animated Film Festival.[1][6] The film had its Canadian premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.[5] In December 2013, the film was named to the Toronto International Film Festival's annual top ten list, in the short film category.[7] On March 9, 2014, Subconscious Password was named best animated short at the Canadian Screen Awards.[8]


  1. ^ a b "Three films from the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) have been honored with awards at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival" (Press release). National Film Board of Canada. 17 June 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Sarto, Dan (6 May 2013). "Chris Landreth Talks Subconscious Password". Animation World Network. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "Seneca College involved in third award-winning Chris Landreth film" (Press release). Canada Newswire. 18 June 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (23 July 2013). "Siggraph: Oscar Winner Chris Landreth Shows His New Short 'Subconscious Password'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Szklarski, Cassandra (2 September 2013). "National Film Board of Canada explores new dimension at TIFF". The Canadian Press. Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 5 September 2013. 
  6. ^ Zahed, Ramin (16 June 2013). "Annecy Announces 2013 Edition Award Winners". Animation. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "TIFF's Top 10 films of 2013 taps Enemy, The F Word, Gabrielle". CBC News. 4 December 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  8. ^ Braun, Liz (9 March 2014). "Enemy, Mortal Instruments dominate award show". QMI Agency. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 

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