Quick stats about the movie

An animated re-imagining of the filmmaking process, Automoto takes place inside the ornately mechanized cinematic workshop of a wooden skeleton.

Shot entirely using stop-motion animation, the film follows the movie-making travails of the skeleton. When he runs into a bad case of writer’s block, only one of his factory workers can help him get back in touch with his muse.

Creative team

Writer/director: Neil McInnes and Cathy McInnes

Director’s statement

Neil McInnes says:

Automoto was a commissioned film for the Winnipeg Film Group celebrating their 30 year anniversary. Cathy and I were one of the five filmmakers chosen to do a short film to commemorate this. Our idea was to re-imagine the process of animation filmmaking from script to screen.

In this film everything was either hand built or re-purposed. For example, a robot was fabricated with a Mitchell tripod head for its neck, an old theatre spotlight housing for a head and an 19th century 3D stereoscope viewer for the faceplate. In order to use these props, the robot and skeleton are life-size in scale.

The production was done in a staggering nine months. Usually an animated film of this complexity takes three to five years. It’s a credit to the talented individuals that dedicated themselves to the production.”

About the filmmakers

Cathy McInnes


Cathy McInnes studied art fundamentals at Sheridan Art College, earned a BA in drama at the University of Winnipeg, advanced textile arts at Capilano College and fine arts at the University of Manitoba. After her academic studies, Cathy went on to become a partner/owner of Audience Animation Inc.

She and partner Neil McInnes directed many animated projects together through their production company. Cathy continues to work developing animation projects as well as pursuing her interest in textile design and sculpture.

Neil McInnes


After graduating from graphic design at Red River College and printmaking at Ontario College of Art and Design, Neil McInnes started out his career in Toronto as an illustrator and animation filmmaker. After several years he came to Winnipeg and continued to pursue animation.

Neil has worked on many animated projects such as CBC’s Sesame Street and other television series, and IMAX and independent film productions. He and his partner Cathy directed many animated projects together through their production company Audience Animation Inc.

Formally teaching animation, graphic design and graphic design history at Red River College, Neil is currently working full-time pursuing his interest in filmmaking, painting and sculpture.

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