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‘Vovo’ – A Journey Of Love & Remembrance: Luiz Stockler Interview

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Twitter has given Skwigly the opportunity to openly communicate directly with our community and make friendships with animators, who are on a regular basis, involved in creating animated pieces of art combined with fine story-telling.

A couple of weeks ago one such animator and recent graduate of Newport University Wales, Luiz Lafayette Stockler got in touch with Skwigly via twitter to give us the opportunity to privately view his graduation film before it was made live on the internet.  ‘Vovô’ which means Granddad in Portuguese (video at the bottom of this page), is a personal story about Luiz’s childhood memories of his Grandfather back in his home country of Brazil.  Luiz takes the audience through an emotional journey and explores how simple everyday moments that we take for granted become quite precious when we lose someone close to us.

This week we caught up with Luiz to talk about ‘Vovô’, which subsequently went on to win the ‘Royal Television Society Student award’ for best undergraduate animation in the region of Wales, on the 20th May.

How did you decide to go with this subject?

I’ve always been attracted to work that is of a personal and autobiographical nature, particularly poignant and poetic stories.  I tend to be quite moved by the openness and honesty of the filmmaker, writer, painter and songwriter etc.  I wanted to create something in a similar vein that would have that same effect on others.  I’ve written songs since i was about 14, so i was quite used to telling stories in a stripped down and brief way.  The script of the film ended up being a progression of my song writing.

My grandfather was a very important person in my early life when i lived in Brazil.  He was a painter and encouraged me to draw from a very young age.  The film was a tribute and a ‘thank you’ for influencing me into doing what I do.

You mentioned that the film won a regional award in Wales.  Can you tell us more about that?

I won a Royal Television Society Student award for best undergraduate animation in the region of Wales, my university entered some films and to my surprise mine was shortlisted along with my classmate Ben Cady’s film, ‘The goat and the well’ which was incredible and it was a total shock when i found out I’d won.  Having won the regional award, my film, along with the winners in other regions of the UK was then put through to be considered for the national RTS awards.  There are three nominations in each category and ‘Vovô’ was nominated for the national awards which took place last Friday.  There are other types of RTS awards i.e. educational awards, student awards, television awards etc (a bit like the BAFTAs).  It didn’t win, however, it was an honour just to have got through to the last three and nominated.

What has the response been like in regards to friends, family, your University and the animation industry?

The response has been great and I have received really positive feedback.  It has been screened in over 20 festivals worldwide in four continents and i have been lucky enough to attend a few festivals and take part in Q&A sessions.  The British Council also accepted it onto their ‘short film scheme’ and I was awarded travel grants to attend certain festivals, which was great.  The university has been a great help and sent out ‘Vovô’ to various industry folk and included it in screenings and exhibitions.

My family have been supportive and my Grandmother especially, who was also extremely grateful for the tribute to her husband.

The style is very intriguing, tell us more about that.

The fragmented shots that never show the full subject were intended to illustrate how the memory can fade but will leave small parts embedded in our mind, small details which become significant in one way or another.

Which software packages did you use and how long did it take to create?

I made the film using a combination of Flash, After Effects and Photoshop.  It was completed in a very short amount of time, around 6 weeks in total.

What’s next for you? Are you now employed or looking for work?

I am about to start my MA in animation at the ‘Royal College of Art’ this September so I’m quite excited about that.  For now i am just working on ideas for my next film and earning money grafting away at a ‘normal job’ ready for my big move.

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