The Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente (BAFICI) is an 11 day film festival that happens in April. The event spans 27 different venues around BA.
I was exploring the Centro Cultural Recoleta area, and noticed some familiar faces on signage for BAFICI. Good ole Wallace n Grommit from Aardman Animation Studios! The British animation studio is celebrating 40 years and was a big part of BAFICI.
Lucky for me, the Creative Director of Aardman, Merlin Crossingham was speaking in a free Q&A seminar! He spoke about the challenges that small animation studios face; he showed process clips where he was acting out scenes playing Wallace; and he even sculpted some clay on stage while speaking. I got to talk to him after the event! Not gonna lie. I was a little starstruck.
One of the coolest stories about the claymation process: before every feature film, they purchase about 2 metric tons of clay for each color that they’re going to use for each character. Films take 4-5 years to produce, so they can’t rely on the color being the same if they need to order a new batch from the clay manufacturer. So, they stock up before the film, and they mix the massive amounts of clay in large bubble gum mixing machines that they bought from the Wrigley bubble gum company! Fascinating.
Very thankful to get to see Merlin speak, and shake the man’s hand.