Due to the popularity of our first Foosball blog post, we return this week with animator and Animation Mentor alumni, Albert Barba. A big applause to Albert and the rest of the Buenos Aires crew who worked on Foosball (Metegol). To join Albert in the Animation Mentor community and start learning from industry professionals, apply by by August 26th and you can begin classes on September 23rd.
The Animation Mentor community would love to hear about the animation scene in South America and Spain. Are there a lot of feature opportunities in the area?
There’s a lot of talent in both countries, Argentina and Spain. Unfortunately there are minimal opportunities for animators to participate in feature projects. “Metegol” is the first international animated feature film in history of Argentina.
In Spain, we’re living a sweet moment in animation. “Tadeo Jones” has been cited as the best-animated feature film in Spain. Now we’re working on another animation feature film called “Mortadelo y Filemón.” We’re working with the most talented group of Spanish animators and I feel very fortunate.
Tell us about Catmandu Studios. How did you get the job? What was the best part about getting hired for this opportunity?
A couple of months before finishing Animation Mentor, Catmandu saw my demo reel and wanted to hire me for the animated feature film “Metegol”. I jumped on the opportunity and immediately took a flight to Buenos Aires.
I felt fortunate to participate in this amazing experience – learning so much and surrounded by such talented people. My dream became a reality. The script itself was so different from the typical animated feature films I had seen. The group was so excited to be part of it and because of this the final result has become spectacular. More than anyone could have expected.
What were the most challenging animation moments? And what were the best tips you learned that you would share with other animators?
I remember clearly the first animation phase, where we were trying to find the whole movie vibe. We were trying to discover what kind of animation would be the best. That part was extremely difficult. We had a lot of obstacles during the process because we were dealing with a low budget. However, the courage and faith of the people brought this movie to life.
How do you think your Animation Mentor training helped you — both for the film and for working in a studio?
I guess the most important thing in Animation Mentor that helped me was the fact they prepare the animator to become a real professional. I mean, they transform your mind in order to have a perfect combination of strong and humble perception of the industry and insatiable personal motivation.
What are three things that Animation Mentor students should think about with respect to their future?
1. Humility. Focus on what you really want with a humble attitude. This will give you more credentials and you will stay away from an arrogant image.
2. Make mistakes. In my opinion, making mistakes is one of the greatest privileges you have in the learning process. You feel lucky for having experienced a situation where you could learn how to do things better. It’s better to have been in those situations instead of ignoring them. Do not be afraid of failure, because that guides you to better understanding.
3. Listen. In order to learn you must know how to listen, get involved with the best people and learn from them. Reward and appreciate the ideas they can give you.
4. EXTRA ADVICE: Willing to improve. “If you do things well, then do them better.” The instinct of self-improvement is a silver bullet. If talented people surround you, it will help you improve professionally. There’s nothing better than feeling this sense of fulfillment.