Monday, August 2, 2010

Anima Mundi - 1/6

After a looong flight from CT, I was picked up by Pierina who - along with Tania, Veronica and Adelya - proved to be an invaluable guide throughout my time in Rio. Since I landed at night, however I only realised quite how lucky I was when I woke up and peeked out my hotel room window to see the sun rise over Copacabana and the distinctive Sugarloaf mountain. Wow. Cape Town, but better.

View from our hotel room - photo by Jess

One massive buffet breakfast later, I went to the first in a series of master-classes. Unfortunately there was no English translation, but Jordi Grangel - one of the brothers of Barcelona's Grangel Studios - gave a fantastic presentation of character and production design work from Tim Burton's Corpse Bride.

It was incredible to see the attention to detail and to see how precisely the drawings were translated into 3-dimensional models. The quality of work was truly amazing and it's no doubt why Dreamworks uses them on all of their features too.

While I waited for the next talk, I looked around a fantastic exhibition by Ziraldo in the cultural centre - a grand old bank where everything takes place. I'd never heard of him, but he is apparently a well-known Brazilian artist, author and comic illustrator who has been active for several decades. This exhibition featured some really funny pop art-style paintings of various superheroes in amusing scenes.

I also met with Lea Zagury, one of the four directors of the festival. It was great to finally chat face-to-face after meeting through Facebook of all places. Originally an animator, Lea could see that what we are doing at Animation SA is what the team at Anima Mundi did a few years ago - and looking at the festival now - it was inspiring!

Lea introducing Stephen

The second talk was a question and answer session with Stephen Hillenburg - creator of Spongebob Squarepants. I knew all my colleagues would be so envious hearing about the originations of Spongebob, but hopefully they'll get to hear it for themselves as Stephen has said he'd be interested in coming out to Cape Town with his family in the future!

After a quick hotel stop to change I was shuttled off to a massive movie theatre to introduce the SA animation showcase. I had no idea what to expect and pessimistically wondered what would happen if no one pitched? But I was pleasantly surprised by the turn-out (it was full!) and they all seemed impressed by the showcase - one journalist I later spoke to said it was her favourite :)

A page from the catalogue

So, my job already done on the first day, I could then relax at the networking dinner hosted by Andre Breitman of 2DLab. It was good to meet some of the other internationals in the group as well as those in the Brazilian industry, most notably Guilherme Marcondes the talent behind Tyger, the only Brazilian animation I'd heard of before (check out some of his videos here).

After a long day - with jet lag to boot - I was in need of sleep, but as I was soon to find out, this would be the norm, and besides, a couple caipirinhas really do the trick.

 sketch © Guilherme Marcondes


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