We’re really happy to share this interview with Artist/Director/Filmmaker Tomas Vergara, as we briefly discuss his newest film ‘ISOLATED’, a CGI animated film about a man who wakes up in wrecked taxi, in a seemingly deserted city with a dangerous threat.
CGB: What is your background training and how did you get started creating CGI films?
T.V. – It all started making a tutorial I found on the internet doing a Lada 3d model. It looked like so much fun and so simple, I tried the tools and followed it step by step. A piece of cake. And the results were of course hideous. I dropped it all together. Needed to find a different way to learn. Back then I was in my first year learning marketing, so I decided to sneak into a vfx class from 4th grade and learn the perks of computer graphics from someone experienced. That journey didn’t last long either, because the teacher found I was a freshman and I got kicked. Round 3 was to leave school and take the Google leap once again, only this time I started with something a little smaller, and then it built up from there until I got an internship in a local vfx company.
CGB – How did you come up with the idea for “ISOLATED”?
T.V. – My brother pitched the idea to me a couple years ago. I thought as soon as I get the chance to make something, that’s gonna be it. Then I got it in a blender, pitched it to my friend and producer Ian Mery who financed the project, and finally, we made a very detailed previs. From there, it was executing all the way.
CGB – What were you most excited about when thinking about creating the film?
T.V. – That it was going to look incredible, like nothing I’ve ever seen. And the range of things that could happen after finishing it would go beyond my reasoning. So whatever happened, it would be interesting and new. The idea of that was exciting and provided fuel for us big time.
CGB – The facial animations and expressions were very realistic, how did you achieve such realism?
T.V. – We 3d scanned real actors and their expressions on every shot. Then the task was to be very careful about respecting every frame of the performance.
CGB – You said that you used performance capture, can you elaborate on this, and what was your workflow?
T.V. – When I mention performance, I mean we didn’t go through much animation, but instead worked shot by shot with the actors, until the desired performance was great. For the body, a lot of it was rotoscoped.
CGB – What was your biggest challenge creating “ISOLATED”?
T.V. – Planning a CGI clip of such scale, and to make it feel fast enough so that it didn’t bore the spectator. Also, lighting the scenes at night proved to be especially difficult.
CGB – Do you have any advice for aspiring filmmakers out there?
T.V. – Do things, and finish them! I’m an expert in leaving ideas unfinished, but it’s a good habit to end what you start. Through the years it has always paid off one way or another. Also, USE REFERENCE. Ah, and one other thing, watch out from people telling you can’t do it, especially when is said in “passive” mode!!
“ISOLATED” was released on January 12, 2015.
Directed by: Tomas Vergara
Produced by: Ian Mery
Written by: Manuel Vergara and Tomas Vergara
Music by: Manuel Canepa
Sound by: Daniel Ferreira
Co-Producer: Ivan Mery
Starring: Tomás Verdejo and Luis Gnecco
Rep: Scott Glassgold / IAM Entertainment
You can see the full film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5StqAoDxok