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21st July 2013
You should know
Canada director Gerson Aguerri's trippy film for Breakbot explores the intimacy of a relationship with animation, live action and virtual reality

Was it a collaborative project with Breakbot or was the band happy to give total creative freedom?

They gave us the song and commented that they would like to do something with animation. That was challenging because Breakbot himself was a very talented animator before working in music.

I like proto 3D animation a lot, the kind of works Robert Abel was doing in the 80s, so that was my first approach to it. I wanted to mix it aesthetically with the 70s sci-fi airbrush illustrations, and add the Rene Laloux films atmosphere. They agreed and here is the result.

The art direction is exceptional – did you really have that tent made? Was everything pre-visualised before hand?

I must say that it was a little a leap of faith… I knew what I wanted but didn’t know were to find it. I was thinking in something like the 70s experimental architecture, inflatable domes, crash pads, and all kinds of crazy stuff people like Haus Rucker, Archizoom, or Jose Miguel Prada Poole were doing back then.

But to my surprise it was easier than I first thought. Luna Lladós, our production manager for the video, localised a company that was renting inflatable bubbles similar to the references I’d collected on my treatment. Then they agreed to modify them a little in order to interconnect and make them look more like a habitable space.

We had only a day and half shoot so, we had a very strict storyboard and shooting list, but even so we added a pair of improvised shots on location. Finally, all the shots we shoot that day bar one, made the final cut.

What were the most difficult challenges of the production?

It was a low budget project so we couldn’t solve problems simply by throwing money at them. We had to be very resourceful solving key things like the props, atrezzo, wardrobe, etc. We had to ask for a lot of favors and this video was only possible because of the generosity of a lot of people.

Ironically, the most difficult thing was something I wasn’t worried about initially: the site to place the bubbles. We couldn’t go far from the place where we were renting the inflatable bubbles from, because they were charging us by kilometers and we had money for 20 kms or so.

It was June and all the fields around were wheat planted but finally we found an abandoned one that we used as our main location.

Was the editing done in-house like so many other CANADA productions? But then this video involves so much post production work so we suspect not.

All the effects were done in-house by our post-production wizard Álvaro Posadas but the animation was done externally by Iria Rodríguez and Abel Cabrerizo, who’d worked on other CANADA projects previously.

Please tell us about the shoot – where was it, how long and shot on what camera?

We shot it in a day and a half. First we shot all the black background shots in one afternoon. It was in a set next to our office here in Barcelona. For the rest of the footage we had to go near Girona, because the bubble company was there.

We used an Arri SR3 16mm camera and almost everything was shot with a Zeiss 11-110mm Zoom. We used Fuji stock. It’s a shame but it’s getting harder and harder to shoot on film, but as long as we can we will use it.

See in Related Content for a selection of Aguerri’s treatment for Breakbot, You Should Know


Breakbot, You Should Know

Director: Gerson Aguerri

Produced by CANADA