Monday, May 20, 2024

Spider-Man animator from Guerrero is another Mexican Oscar nominee

A young animator from Iguala, Guerrero, stands to take home an Oscar for his work on the animation team for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which has been nominated for best animated feature.

Cruz Antonio Contreras Mastache, 28, studied studio animation and digital arts at Monterrey Tech in Cuernavaca and continued his studies in dynamic simulation in Argentina before moving to Vancouver, Canada, where he now works for Sony Pictures Animation.

He said that although winning an Academy Award would be “the icing on the cake,” he was most proud that his friends and family in Iguala are able to see his work on the big screen.

“One of things I like best is being able to go to see movies I have been a part of in Iguala with my family. I love that people in Iguala are seeing something I’ve been a part of and I feel proud to be able to represent the people of Iguala from here.”

As part of the film’s animation team Contreras’s job was to animate the motion of characters’ clothes and hair.

“I oversaw the visual effects involving the characters’ physical bodies: the dynamic simulation of hair and clothes. If a character is running against the wind, I had to make his hair and clothes react accordingly. I was in charge of [making it look realistic] if a character’s clothes are wet or burning, if he’s wearing a cape, or if the clothes are light or heavy.”

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has been nominated at 20 film festivals, including the Golden Globe Awards, Critics’ Choice, BAFTA, Anni and the Visual Effects Society. The film has also done well at the box office, despite competition in its opening week with feature films like Aquaman and Mary Poppins.

Of the 40-person animation team, Contreras was one of only four Mexican crew members. He said that during his job interview with Sony the project was kept a secret. The film’s name was only revealed to him after he was hired. He remembered being skeptical upon learning the movie’s title: “Another Spider-Man movie? Really?”

However, Contreras, who had previously worked on animated movies like The Justice League, said that he fell in love with the project upon seeing the film’s preliminary shots and the style the directors had in mind.

“I said that this movie was going to change how we see animation — and that’s how it’s been.”

In Mexico, most of the attention for the Oscars has been directed at Roma, the Alfonso Cuarón film that has been nominated in 10 categories, including best picture.

Source: El Financiero (sp)

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