Definition February 2021 - Web


was on, because there was no way we were going to do the franchise a disservice.” In the end, though, as Licinio acknowledges, it was worth it. “I can only be thankful for the team and what they have done,” he says. “The work looks great, and it humbles me to see this number of top-tier artists putting their work and minds together to make something outstanding.” When the lockdown restrictions ease, cinema-goers will be spoilt for choice with a glut of blockbusters that have had their release dates put on hold. But a significant break in TV and film production, coupled with safety concerns about live-action filmmaking, has also served to fuel an appetite for animated content. “The digital platforms are hungry for content,” notes Licinio. “We’re just scratching the surface of content that can and will be created. I foresee this demand for content will boost production speed, meaning studios will invest more in technology and tools so that projects can be delivered more quickly and cheaply.” So despite all the obstacles that the pandemic has brought in its wake, it would seem that there are new opportunities opening up for artists in many sectors. Having been a fan since I was a kid, it was an honour and pleasure to bring these guys to life

ABOVE The film diverges from tradition, placing the classic cat and mouse characters in a real-world set

he says. “I think it’s a creative space where we all learn together and I was very hesitant the moment we were told that we would work from home. But having those communication streams set and open meant that in a short amount of time the chats were filled with artists helping each other, giving tips to the newcomers, support on shots and animation style.” ANIMATION NATION There’s also the fact that working from home presents its pressures – juggling work among assorted interruptions from pets, children and delivery drivers asking if you’d take in a parcel in for your neighbour. And, as Licinio notes, the team were already feeling the responsibility of working on such a legendary legacy like Tom & Jerry . “Having been a fan since I was a kid and being influenced by the Hanna-Barbera duo, it was an honour and pleasure to be able to bring these guys to life,” says Licinio. “Coming from a live-action background, it was a huge challenge to bring the Tom & Jerry 2D hand-drawn animation quality to the screen. It was a throwback to my early enthusiasm and passion as an animation student, which was exciting but scary. “These are characters that we’ve all known for more than 80 years – everyone on the planet recognises them. The pressure

still in-house,” he says. “We moved dailies to video chat rooms with our teams and I briefed and reviewed artists and leads on their tasks over video. I also provided feedback to artists via a tool, Draw-Overs, which allowed me to draw on artists’ work throughout our daily sessions and talk them through it.” However, the biggest tool at the Framestore animation team’s disposal was their own ability to communicate effectively. “After getting everyone up and running at home, we had to focus on the production side and how to organise ourselves,” explains Licinio. “Right off the bat, our main focus was to reduce any stress or pressure that could build up with a pandemic. Plus, delivering a show as artistically challenging as Tom and Jerry , the artists had to feel comfortable and supported so they could focus only on their craft and deliver top-tier animation. Coordinators were used to act as a bridge between artists and production. And, according to Licinio, they did a fantastic job. “Every artist was very vocal on how they were heard and understood throughout the production,” he says. “This communication was gold for our line producer and me – it gave us information on how to tackle our needs and support our team. “We also spread out the crew into smaller teams,” he continues. “Each of the teams had a lead, someone who had a creative and technical voice, and served as an anchor point or reference for the artist.” This delegation of responsibilities then helped Framestore to spread the communication channels within the team. But there were other challenges, too, as Licinio admits. “I am someone that really loves the studio environment,”


RIGHT The 3D characters retain the much-loved spirit of the original 2D cartoons


Powered by