If we talk about animation in Jalisco, the name of Sergio Valdivia stands out; the graduate of the Universidad del Valle de Atemajac (UNIVA) in the Animation and Digital Art career shares in an interview with EL INFORMADOR that “I was sure that I was going to study something related to art and animation”, but it was already in the school when he noticed that “there was a fairly significant niche” in that professional area, “especially in stop motion, which is what I specialized in. “
He is currently involved in the most recent production of Guillermo del Toro and Netflix, “Pinocchio” (2022), and acknowledges his formative debt to animation directors such as Luis Téllez or Rita Basulto, with whom he is currently collaborating on this project. In addition, he shares that there is interest on the part of the production of “Pinocchio” that is in Portland “to continue with my participation in the film there.”
Experience and training
In Valdivia’s words, he has been “lucky” to spend the last four years “working on different productions as an animator, which has allowed me to specialize. It is something anomalous, because each project is complicated to carry out and it has been a combination of fortunate circumstances for me, which have allowed my specialization (and that of others) in different productions, such as ‘Inzomnia’ (2018), a feature film by Luis Téllez, or in ‘La casa de la memoria’ (2019), a short by Sofía Rosales; from there I went with Juan José Medina and Rita Basulto ”.
After this extensive experience, says the animator, he became part of a team related to “Pinocchio”, “a very rapid promotion that, to a large extent, my generation owes to our teachers, who condensed 20 years of learning by those who they were formed with Rigo Mora ”.
The stop motion It’s unique
Due to his attributes, Valdivia is convinced that “the stop motion It is a technique that, due to its attributes and plastic qualities, is very attractive to the public; its tactile quality refers to imaginary worlds that cannot be related to the cinema of actors or puppets. It is something totally unique and different ”.
The first formative steps of the young artist were in sculptural art, as well as his first responsibilities in animation projects: “That attracted me from the beginning, that three-dimensional quality of this medium, something that, although 2D animation or 3D, it is virtual. Dealing with real objects and materials gives the stop motion a certain magic and touch that other supports do not offer me ”.
He adds that “due to its multidisciplinary characteristics, the stop motion requires photography, puppet building (which involves material handling), animation, props and the scenarios (more in the field of plastic arts). There are many disciplines and it must always be a team where everyone contributes part of their knowledge that is required to carry out a production of this type ”.
Pinocchio and forward
Some professionals that Valdivia had worked with had been linked to the “Pinocchio” project for a long time, “and since I was coming with a good rhythm in animation work, Luis Téllez contacted me and, after an animation test, I became part of the team in the production. This, I admit, is due somewhat to the world of stop motion in the city it is small and it is well known in what each one has specialized ”.
However, Valdivia does not stop recognizing that “the commitment to animation in Guadalajara can be considered something ‘heroic’, because budgets are complicated and affect national productions. That foreign projects arrive to bet on local talent, allows us to think about other possibilities for the future in terms of production “.
It is true that, due to their characteristics, “the projects of stop motion have a very long process of realization “, assures the animator,” my idea is to dedicate myself to projects of stop motion of all kinds, travel. Right now there is the possibility of working abroad. I’m still at it… ”, he concludes.