Sergio Valdivia shines, animating “Pinocchio”

Guadalajara Jalisco

A new figure of stop-motion in Mexico shines after his participation in the film Pinocho, by Guillermo del Toro: the animator Sergio Valdivia.
The 28-year-old from Guadalajara is the only Mexican who animated the next film by the director of The Shape of Water from Portland, United States, where the largest production team of the project was established.
Brian Leif Hansen (ParaNorman, Frankenweenie), an animation director in Portland, selected Valdivia after evaluating his performance in Pinocchio’s Guadalajara unit, which was set up at El Taller del Chucho, a studio promoted by del Toro, located in Zapopan.
“First I was cheering in Guadalajara together with Luis Téllez (Long live the King) and René Castillo (Hasta los Huesos), after doing a test. We finished what we had to do here and they called me to Portland to continue working on the shoot. For this, no other exam was applied to me, I imagine that they liked my work,” Valdivia said in an interview.
At the U.S. headquarters, the Guadalajara graduate from the Universidad del Valle de Atemajac (Univa) graduated with a degree in Animation, Digital Art and Multimedia, worked with an animation team made up of 50 people, most of them over 30 years old. from experience.
“I met people who animated the first stop-motion animation productions in the world, so living with them gave me great feedback on their techniques and way of working.
“Despite the growth, I consider that the level of stop-motion made from Guadalajara is not very far from that of projects with high international relevance. Here we only needed a little push, which is what Guillermo gave, including the people from Guadalajara, to make a little piece of his film”.
His dedication to Pinocchio, which will premiere on Netflix in December, opened Valdivia the opportunity to participate in Wildwood, the next film from the Laika studio, creator of multi-award-winning animations such as Coraline, The Boxtrolls or Mr. Link. The film will be directed by Travis Knight (Kubo and the Samurai Quest) from a screenplay by Chris Butler (ParaNorman).

rapid ascent
Sergio Valdivia’s rise has been rapid. The animator came to Pinocchio after collaborating on Inzomnia (in process), Téllez’s first feature film, winner of the Ariel Award for his short film Viva el Rey (2019), and member of the “7 Magnificent”, a group of stop-motion animators in the Perla Tapatia baptized in this way by Del Toro.
“I was recommended to Inzomnia because of the generation of graduates of my career, there were few of us who liked stop-motion. The first year I was in the art department, but after a year I applied to move to the animation department. It was a dream to be in that film, the first full-length with this animation technique in Mexico.
“Inzomnia, which gave me a great learning curve, also introduced me to several people interested in animation and with whom I would soon work on their projects.”
El Guadalajara, who also animated the short films La Casa de la Memoria, by Sofía Rosales Arreola (2020); At the Head, by Andrea Santiago (2020); Tío, by Juan Medina (2021) and Humo, by Rita Basulto (in process); He considers that animating daily for four years, in addition to the support of long-standing figures, led to his current recognition.
“I think it was something like logic (his growth), because, since I started animating in Inzomnia up to this point, I reached about four years animating every day and that made me reach Pinocchio at a good level.
“Everything that has happened to me has been very surprising and how much I enjoy stop-motion. I never imagined that I would be where I am, since before my idea was to dedicate myself to making music for cinema. What happens to me today maybe I would have achieved it in 20 years, but everything happened very quickly, ”she added.

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Sergio Valdivia shines, animating “Pinocchio”

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