UA presents:
HECTOR GODOY

Senior Animator at Blue Sky Studios.

I was born in Madrid, I grew up in the neighborhood of Aluche, south of the city. Since I was little I remember that I loved drawing, and I spent hours and hours drawing characters and coloring them. As a child I loved Dragon Ball, which I started to see when I was 6 years old, video games (I'm a fan of Nintendo), and animation movies.




"It is more important to strive and work hard than talent"

 

1.-Who is Hector Godoy and what were your beginnings?

I was born in Madrid, I grew up in the neighborhood of Aluche, south of the city. Since I was little I remember that I loved drawing, and I spent hours and hours drawing characters and coloring them. As a child I loved Dragon Ball, which I started to see when I was 6 years old, video games (I'm a fan of Nintendo), and animation movies. Toy Story is one of my favorite ever, and I remember that it made a big impact to see it for the first time. So it is not surprising that I steered to the artistic branch when I grew up. I studied art in high school at the No. 10 School of Art in Madrid and then I studied a master's degree in digital arts.

2.-How did you start in the exciting world of animation?

From everything I learned (3D, graphic design, Web design, postproduction ...) what I liked the most was 3D, so it was what I spent most time doing at home. Then I met Valentín Amador, a traditional animator who also came to learn 3D. Valentín was the one who introduced me to the world of animation, because I already knew that I wanted to learn animation, but I had no idea what it really was. He explained the basic concepts and recommended me to buy two books to learn animation with them, the "Illusion of Life" and the Animator's Survival Kit. So I followed his advice, I bought the books and I started learning at home. The method I developed was very simple, first I read a few pages of the book, and then I went frame by frame watching movie or trailers to find what I had just read. When I finished I still did not know how to animate, but I certainly had a pretty clear idea of ​​the principles. Let's say that at a theoretical level I was prepared, but I lacked practice.

One day Juan José Bravo came to school, one of the founders of Monigotes, one of the traditional animation studios of the time. They were looking for people to collaborate on a pilot for a 3D animation series. The school made a selection of 6 or 7 people to help them out, and I was lucky to be part of that group. Once we finished the pilot, Monigotes hired me to work in Gisaku for Filmax Animation, and that's where my career as an animator began.

3.-How was your step from the national industry to the international scene?

After having passed through some of the great national studios, Bren, Dygra or Ilion, I felt like going out to try new things, and I do not remember very well as I found out that in Framestore they were looking for animators for the movie "The Tale of Despereaux" " I sent them a reel and I was quite lucky since I soon received an email from them, they wanted to do a telephone interview. I guess the interview went well because the next day I had a formal offer. I hesitated a bit, since I had another offer on the table to work on a production in Spain, but finally I decided to go to London. And the truth is that both for me and my wife was a very enriching experience, we ended up working together in Framestore, both in Despereaux and later in "Where The Wild Things Are".

After two years we were a little tired and we wanted to go back, so I contacted the studio where I had the offer before I left and they told me that they would start their next movie in a few months, they told me they would have me if I wanted, so we went back to Spain. But as always, things got delayed too much, and animator positions opened up at Blue Sky Studios to work on the first "Rio". I followed the procedure on their website, and I sent them my reel, and within two or three weeks, more or less, they contacted me to do a telephone interview as well. And from then on I am in New York.

So it could be said that my move from national to international industry has followed the logical steps. I sent reels when they opened positions and I was lucky to be called. In fact when I accepted the Blue Sky offer I had another one on the table to go to ILM, to work on "Rango" and shortly before had declined one of MPC London for "Narnia 2". And I have always followed the same procedure, send the reel when they open positions.

4.-What advantages could you highlight of working in the Animation Industry?

I guess to dedicate yourself to what you like, which is a very nice a nice way to live. That is the most important thing for me, that I like what I do. And then also, if you like to travel, at first especially (while you're getting experience), you'll have the opportunity to live in different cities, even countries. That is something enriching not only as an animator, but as a person.

5.-What has been your most difficult job so far? And the most fun?

My most difficult job is easy to answer: working on "Where The Wild Things Are". It was difficult not because it was complicated (in fact the animation itself was the easiest I've ever done), but because I did not like the experience too much, and that made the day-to-day something tedious and wearing. The reason is very simple, VFX movies have a much slower process than animation movies, with constant changes and new directions to follow with the plans, so in 5 or 6 months maybe you can only animate 4 or 5 shots, and it weighs on you.

As for the most fun, I do not know, I've enjoyed many projects that I've done, but if I had to pick one would be "Rio 2". During this project there were several factors that made me enjoy it a lot. On the one hand after two years at Blue Sky, my level of animation had reached a point where I was able to try everything, and for some reason everything went well. It is as if something had "clicked" on my head without me understanding very well why. And on the other hand there is the one that both the director and the supervisors gave me very good shots and freedom to try things, without any restrictions. So yes, it was a project that I enjoyed a lot.

6.-In your opinion, what would be the steps to reach a Top Studio?

I would say that there are a number of points that, although they do not guarantee you get to a big studio, it helps your chances to get it. And if you do not get to a large studio, surely they will help you get work in more modest studies.

The first is to cultivate artistically as much as you can. Admiring painting, sculpture, illustrations, etc. This helps you sharpen your sense of appeal, or artistic taste, which is one of the keys for good pose. Even if you do not know how to draw, it is important that you see and analyze art, as much as you can. Animation is an art, and you have to understand it as such.

The second thing is to work with the people around you as much as you can. We all have valid opinions and ideas when facing a plan, so getting used to showing our work to colleagues in search of feedback is a great tool. It helps you to find ideas, solve things that do not work, or simply solve technical issues in ways that never occurred to us. Feedback is key in animation.

And finally we come to the key point, which is none other than hard work, and preparing well. There is no magic formula beyond hard and constant work. I know it sounds cliche, but it's real. When people talk about talent to describe someone's work, they often forget that talent is nothing if it is not accompanied by effort. In fact it is more important to strive and work hard than talent, I guarantee it.

7.-What would you recommend to those who want to start in the Animation Industry?

Well, apply what we just talked about, work hard, show your work in search of feedback and cultivate yourself on an artistic level. But above all this we must understand one thing, animation is a long distance race, and we can not expect to animate in two or three years like the people who have been doing it for fifteen or twenty. You have to have patience and be constant, and with that and effort the reward ends up coming. So do not despair if your first animations are not what you expected, in fact this is positive in some way, since the fact that something is missing, although you do not know how to solve it now, is something important, since it means that your Eye is trained and you understand the concepts, and as you progress on a technical level, you will be able to solve more and more things.

8.-What do you expect from your students who start training in Animation?

First of all, to learn, this is obvious. The course should serve them to learn to animate. And second, and this is key so that the first thing is accomplished, that you enjoy doing it. We will only become really good at the things we like. This does not mean that animating is a constant spree, in fact sometimes you suffer when you are hitting something that does not work and no matter how hard you try to fix it. But within that "suffering" there is an enjoyment to see the progress of your work, and experience a great feeling of personal fulfillment when you solve it. So yes, that you like animation and excites you is of vital importance.








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