Friday, December 17, 2010
Headless Productions Interview
When did you start Headless productions?
Headless was born a couple of years ago. After finishing our previous movie “Nocturna” (the first one as directors) we felt we needed freedom to develop our own projects and ideas far from big companies. The name comes from the title of the first project that we developed as a studio.
Where is your studio located?
We opened a little studio as a common creative environment (we like to think of it as almost a lab). The three of us have been living in Barcelona for long so made sense to settle there. However one of us lives currently in Paris (although with internet things work as if we would be together in the same place).
How many artists are at Headless productions?
We are three: Alfredo Torres, Adrian Garcia and Victor Maldonado. This is the core of the studio and we are the ones creating all the projects and doing most of the work when it comes to design and art direction, however we have a crew of friends animators that give us a hand whenever necessary. A bunch of really talented people that make us look good: Julien Bizat (who also helps us designing), Mael Gourmelen and Pablo Navarro.
What films have you done or helped create?
We started (a long time ago) working on TV series for a while. We did all sorts of tasks, from character designers to story-boarding always for really bad shows. We moved quickly to art direct a movie called “El Cid” where we met with Alfredo who was working as a layout artist. Right after this movie we started directing “Nocturna” (a project that we had brought to the same company) and asked Alfredo to help us, first as a background designer but little by little he got more involved (story, production designer) till he was doing almost the functions of a co-director.
Other than that we´ve helped on a few projects for other companies usually doing a bit of art research, a first approach to the look of the movie, but we don´t usually talk much about those as we don´t consider them our “real work”.
It doesn´t look like a long CV but, truth is, the few movies that we´ve worked had really long productions and got us involved for several years.
What is a typical day at Headless Productions?
It´s quite normal to be honest, the only thing different is the fact that one of us is apart living in a different country, so basically that implies Skype video conferences every day to do the briefings and share the work. We try to have normal office hour’s routine but being only three, everything is quite flexible.
Other than that as we know each other for many years there´s no need to talk things too much (at least when we are physically producing a piece). We all know how we work and what things each one of us does better so most of the times the studio functions on an almost automatic way.
What projects are you working on now? (If you can tell us)
The goal of Headless is to develop our own ideas, anything we have in our head. So far we have developed four projects of which you can see a glimpse on our demo reel. Each one is on a different stage: on some we have partners and on some others we are moving independently, whatever is right for the project.
We hope that by mid next year one of the projects will be probably in production (cross our fingers).
Our last project, of which we recently finished a promo, is called “I´m a monster” and hopefully we´ll share it through our webpage real soon.
Other than that we try to keep “services work” to the minimum as otherwise it would eat our time to developing ideas. However it´s always difficult to balance between the artistic side and the economical needs, I guess this is the eternal dilemma for any small studio.
Who are some of your favorite artists out there?
Thousand of them and none specifically. Let me explain. In that sense we´re not really “fanatics” of specific artists, we are constantly surfing the internet and trying to absorb as many styles and artists as we can but we don´t have a list of references in mind when we approach our work.
Sometimes the best surprises come from unknown artist or young students... actually we love the freshness and creativity of some of the works coming from people on their 20´s (some of them still studying) we´re blown away by the sense of freedom and boldness in their designs and pieces. Once that said, there´s a bunch of consolidated artist that always deliver amazing work. I guess as we consider ourselves more “directors/creators” we could give you a long list of directors or writers rather than designer or visual artists per se.
What are some of the things that you do to keep yourself creative?
Besides seeing good work from other artists (healthy jealousy is a great incentive for work) probably cinema is the thing that inspire us the most. We are cinema lovers and that will be always the thing that will make us want to explain our own stories.
Also being 3 the good thing is each one of us influence the others constantly. We are quite similar and we have a common voice but each one has a stronger point and, at the end of the day, that helps keeping the others stimulated and active.
What are some of your favorite designs which you have seen?
I don´t think we´re going to be really original here, again, designs from students for their short films, this French “vague” that explores amazing stylized designs, and also the approach of illustrators less concern about “volumes” and the three-dimensional aspects of animation and more about graphics and design. Then on a more professional level the things coming from AKA studio ( Marc Craste and crew have a sense for warm design that we love), Studio Soi, Nico Marlet, Peter de Seve, our friends and collaborators Enrique Fernandez and Julien Bizat.... the list could go on and on..
What are some of the neat things you have learned from other artists that you have worked with or seen?
Probably most of the things we´ve learnt from artist are on a more personal level. I mean, as we usually work as directors we´ve learnt that it´s essential to know how to treat people and get the best out of them. Probably at the beginning that was an area that we didn´t master as we consider it secondary. Time has passed and now we see that´s one of the keys to direct: dealing with people. During our years directing “Nocturna” some people taught us to pay attention to that aspect.
Besides this probably we´d say the enthusiasm that some artists put at their work. Animation is a tough medium and it´s easy to lose track and become negative and pessimistic (which happens to us constantly) but during these years we´ve met some amazing people for whom this medium is a constant joy that helped us putting things in perspective.
What wisdom could you give us, about being an Artist? Do you have any tips you could give?
Not really... I don´t think we´re really good at giving advice, probably the only one thing that we say to people (starting in the business) is that before getting too deep in professional animation, getting a job and working for other people´s projects, give yourself the time to try your own things, your personal projects and push on develop your own style.
If people would like to contact Headless Productions, how would you like to be contacted?
They can check our web page www.headless.es our blog http://headlessproductions.blogspot.com/ or just write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, do you have any of your art work for sale (sketchbook, prints, or anything) for people that like your work can know where and when to buy it?
Actually we don´t, we promise to update our blog more often and share more research material from new and old projects. Maybe in the future we´ll try to self publish a book with some of our designs to sell in a really small scale but that´s just a thought for the moment. We´ll keep people post through our blog.
Posted by Randall Sly at 10:12 AM