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Zeke Norton

Ezekiel 'Zeke' Norton was an Animator for all four seasons of ReBoot and was one of the Directors for episodes Icons and The Edge of Beyond.

Zeke was born on 26 June 1970 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. His interests include rock-climbing, cycling, comics, films, multiplayer video games, new music and using green transportation to be as environmental as possible. One of his others talents is being able to perform the splits. Zeke specializes in the industry with supervision of CGI animation and visual effects; directing Motion Capture Actors, Voice Actors and films for television; non-linear editing of both short and long form projects; strong leadership and communication skills; story editing of scripts and their translation into specific shots/scenes.

Zeke Norton attended Centennial Senior Secondary on 1984, emerging in 1988 with a High School Diploma. Despite being a computer boffin at a young age, Zeke could not take advantage of animation programs because the CGI technology was simply not available. He later discovered in the mid-90s from fellow graduates only then had they started up free animation training for 16-17 year olds, leaving him at a disadvantage.

Having no prior understanding or education of GC courses Zeke aspired to enter Journalism and become a reporter from Langara College's Journalism Certificate Program on September 1988. After graduating in Spring '91 Zeke could not get a foothold in the industry or secure an application. He eventually quit the search and decided to opt for a more promising career in computer animation.

Zeke enrolled for a one-year course in Vancouver Film School on January 1992. Even the animation departments lecturing him were initially inexperienced with the 3D software so everything was down to trail and error. While many people failed, Norton managed to put together a satisfactory demo reel and pass VFS in June '93.

Soon after, Zeke joined Mainframe Entertainment Inc., as the studio was underway into production of ReBoot's first season. He was delighted to find the show had become intelligent, multi-layered, funny and exciting; taking CGI's premise of life inside a computer to new heights. He rose to the demanding challenge to become an episodic Director/Animator for the series' season two with 'ABC Television Network'. Once Mainframe began syndicating ReBoot for its third season Zeke worked as animator and director for 9 months. As the show developed in story so did the visuals and all characters now cast shadows. Zeke remarked his favorite episode was Number 7 because it spoofed "The Prisoner" with so much depth that it was unprecedented for a Saturday morning cartoon.

Zeke also became an episodic director/supervising director for animated series "War Planets – Shadow Raiders", "Beast Wars", "Weirdohs", "Action Man" and "Max Steel" where he found the liberal use of backgrounds in the art and design process intriguing. Norton worked on his first full-length production in "Casper's Haunted Christmas" as Supervising Animator, commentating on the great difficulty to render every layer to composite each ghost.

For ReBoot's fourth season consisting of two movies Daemon Rising and My Two Bobs Zeke returned as to the staff as animator working on the episodes for 3 months. Immediately after that he went on the Pilot for "Concrete: The Series" as its Director, Producer and Story Editor, unfortunately the project could not get funding from broadcasters. Zeke often described his ambition to complete the unfinished project. Norton continued to work on "Spiderman Animated Series" then resuming directing roles on feature productions such as "The Scary Godmother Halloween Spooktakular", "Popeye's Voyage: The Quest for Pappy" and "Inspector Gadget's Biggest Caper Ever: The Case of the Giant Flying Lizard".

During the animating process Zeke commented: "Smart dialogue is something sorely lacking in many cartoons today and it was a breath of fresh air to have such great lines for our characters to deliver. The minimal number of sets simplified the production process immensely -- the fewer sets to build, the more resources that could go towards animation. It really was a unique approach to making an animated film." In 2004 he received the Leo Award for Best Director.

In between productions Zeke made an independent short film "The Trailer" a cinema parody portraying his deep hatred for movie trailers that misrepresent films and spoil plot, gags, even endings. His last work with Mainframe Entertainment was "Scary Godmother: The Revenge of Jimmy" completed in late-2005 thereafter Zeke left the studio after working there for over 12 years.

He joined 'Bardel Entertainment' and co-worked with '4Kids TV' as an episodic director for their comedy animated series "Viva Pinata" broadcast on the 'Fox Network' as of September '06. Zeke worked with teams from Bardel at a phenomenal rate, producing an episode within a five-week deadline and enjoyed the change of pace. He is presently undertaking animation courses at 'Animation Mentor' to study animation principles, micro-level of posing and timing.

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