Pedro Pires grew up in Quebec City, where he soon discovered his ability to reproduce and animate characters and monsters. These experiments allowed him to develop his own techniques of molding and special effects.
In 1990, at age 21, he entered Laval University to study Fine Arts. Following that, he received a Special Make-Up Effects Certificate from the renowned New York artist Dick Smith and completed a Computer Graphic Design Certificate at the Centre NAD - National Animation and Design Centre in Montreal.
His film debut was in 1995 with The Sound of the Carceri, a documentary by director François Girard, in which he recreated the fictitious prisons of Piranesi around the cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 3D. This work won him an Emmy Award for Outstanding Visual Effects and a Gemini Award for Best Visual Effects in 1998. He worked with François Girard again on the artistic direction of the visual effects in the film The Red Violin.
In 2001, he took on the visual conception for the film Possible Worlds, which marked the beginning of a long artistic collaboration with the playwright, director and film-maker Robert Lepage.
In 2007, he set up his own film production company, Pedro Pires Inc., dedicated to the creation of original content using digital technology. In 2008 his company produced the short film Danse Macabre, a multidisciplinary collaboration with AnneBruce Falconer and Robert Lepage, where he acts simultaneously as scriptwriter, director, photographer and editor. This film has been screened at many festivals since 2009 and has to date won 27 international prizes.
TOTEM marks his first collaboration with Cirque du Soleil.
“In TOTEM, the screen for the projections is a kind of virtual marsh at the rear of the stage,” notes Pedro Pires. “All the images are drawn from nature, even when they seem quite abstract. They evolve through the show in a long mix or a morph to create an ever-changing tableau that interacts with the artists and lives in harmony with the stage lighting.”
Pedro Pires was born into a Portuguese family in Nantes, France, in 1969.