Ideas are that Grand

The Embodiment of Great Ideas Surviving a Post-Apocalyptic World 1 Así de grandes son las ideas or Ideas are that Grand, is a story based song and animation that develops around a character who survived the end of the world and is able to control time. It is the result of a collaboration project with René Pérez Joglar, frontman of the critically acclaimed band Calle 13, and award winning artist and filmmaker Quique Rivera.

Created mostly through stop motion animation using silicone puppets with wire armatures inside, as well as some use of After Effects for compositing, the short film tells the story of a wise and immortal old man, who becomes a metaphor and embodiment of the world’s great ideas.

The Plus: Why can’t the man die?

Quique Rivera: ‘Biologically’ speaking the man is unable to die because he inherited characteristics from some of the most apt animals of the animal kingdom; he basically evolved into an immortal being. But, there’s also a metaphorical aspect of the story: the old man lives in a world of ideas, and great ideas will last forever.

TP: What was the collaborative process like?

QR: René and I worked together for a period of a year while he was writing the song. In our meetings we would discuss his character and the world it lived in, as well as its possibilities within animation. Lyrics, music and visual development where all happening simultaneously, so the short film was developed trough an ongoing artistic conversation between us.

TP: What was one of the most interesting processes in making this film for you?

QR: When you make a stop motion puppet film you are almost always dealing with miniatures, and if you get the camera too close to your subject, the actual scale of things starts to become evident. I wanted to avoid this by sculpting two identical versions of a quite complex character in different sizes- very time consuming. My thesis mentor and master stop-motion artist Stephen Chiodo told me he had heard of a casting resin that would shrink a sculpture proportionately without distorting any details. After some research I was able to get a hold of this material called Hydrospan 400. It was quite an exciting discovery and time saver!

TP: What would you like people to go away thinking about after they watch this film?

QR: We all have good ideas from time to time, and we all have experienced censoring ourselves from those same ideas because we fear they might fail or are impossible to achieve. We have also shelved or ‘frozen’ some of those ideas for the same reasons. But when we finally trust in those ideas, they form a life of their own and take us to unimaginable places. When the old man freezes himself he finally allows his creations to grow and spread beauty throughout his world. 2 3 4 5