Visual effects and motions graphics artist Christopher Soyer, also known in the animation world as the “Water Whisperer” whose work was seen in blockbusters like Lord of the Rings Trilogy, the latest Harry Potter film—Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—and the new animated Pirates movie, died suddenly on Wednesday after suffering a heart attack.
Earlier this year, the 38-year-old year told local entertainment magazine METRO he planned on moving back home to Trinidad and Tobago to start this country’s first 3D studio. He would have been joined by his parents who are both retired Trini-Americans and now living in Sangre Grande.
His death sent shockwaves throughout the international animation fraternity and among local animators, especially since his involvement in local animation promised to boost the industry, which is still very much in its infancy. Soyer was also expected to be a featured speaker at this year’s Animae Caribe Festival, which is currently taking place.
Public Relations Officer for the Festival, Roxanne Colthrust said in an interview, Soyer’s passing has been a “hard pill” to swallow and he will be sadly missed. She said the artist who specialised in fluid animation was scheduled to be the feature speaker at the Brain Gain session which focuses on the business aspect of animation. He would have also been discussing the need for local-foreign-based animators to return to their homelands. The session took place yesterday at the Trinidad Hyatt on Wrightson Road.
Colthrust said Soyer’s vision for the local industry will not be wasted. According to her, Animae Caribe is currently in talks with several local animators working abroad, to have them become more involved in local animation.