TAIS Animation ABC's Studio Spotlight Residency - Gustavo Cerquera Benjumea

"11:59" is a short film directed and animated by Gustavo Cerquera Benjumea, which was completed during the Toronto Animated Image Society's one week residency (Feb 14 - 20, 2016) called "Animation ABC's". In this residency, four animators were asked to create an animated piece to reflect on their process. The music used in the film was "Flitr Oupr" by Thiaz Itch.

What inspired you to get into animation?
Becoming an animator was in many ways a natural progression. I’ve always been an animation fan and I’ve always liked to draw, but it wasn’t until halfway through my undergrad that I started to make animated shorts. They were very crude charcoal animations and most of the time I wasn’t really sure what I was doing, but I really enjoyed making them. After I graduated it just made sense to go into an animation program and I chose to study Computer Animation at Sheridan College. It was really challenging and taught me a lot.  A couple of years later I did a Master’s program at OCAD University and it was there where I started to think about animation in an more expanded way and incorporate it into installation work - I’ve since returned to OCAD U as an instructor in their DPXA program.

How did you hear about this residency?
I was invited by TAIS, which was super nice and I’m really glad they did.

How do you feel about making an autobiographical/fictional work about your animation practice?
I was a bit nervous actually. I work mainly on a computer and I spent a lot of my time waiting for things to be rendered, so the idea of trying to make an animation about that seemed terribly boring. However, it was that weird combination of anticipation and boredom that ultimately became the inspiration for the piece.

What was your biggest challenge during the residency? Your biggest discovery/breakthrough?
My biggest challenge was the time frame. I usually take much longer to complete a project, usually months, but we only had a week. It was nice to work within these limitations though, and be able to let things go. I also started rotoscoping footage created on 3d software, which is a time-consuming but definitely exciting process I’m curious to continue working with.

Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like to mention?
I’m going to be doing a video/animation installation entitled "NĂ¡poles" at the "In the Soil Festival" in St. Catharines, ON, this spring. It’s a dense piece about one of Pablo Escobar’s abandoned mansions, which is now a really strange amusement park. I’m looking forward to it. You’re all invited.

Where can people go to see more of your work?
Website: http://gustavocerquera.com
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/gustavocerquera