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Wed, Oct 31 2012 7:31:27 UTC

Interview with Meet Me Far

Today we have an interview with Ran Sieradzki animation director for Meet Me Far, a music video created in 3D.

Could you describe yourself and your background?

I was born and raised in Israel and have been sketching since I was one year old. Just like 90% of the animators, I started doodling in my school books and created flipbooks out of them. After graduating High school and serving in the Israeli military, I attended college to study Illustration and design. During my third year, I realized the College did not offer Animation studies as promised, I then started learning Maya on my own. My final project was a three minute long short film, all done in Maya, which was the first Animated project the college had seen and therefore under their critique. Since I knew that my goal was Animation I applied to Sheridan college in Ontario Canada, got accepted and attended Digital character animation studies. Finally. Being an international student and my visa having an expiration date, I had to move back to Israel. I started working at local studios, moving up and becoming Lead animator and later, a freelance Animation Director. During that time I also tutored aspiring animators. Then, I got my Permanent Resident Visa and moved to Canada for good. Started working at Gallus as Lead Multivision department. A personal tragedy brought me back to Israel for three months and then I came back to Canada. Now I am a teacher at Seneca College and working at Trixter|Canada.

How did you get to work on Meet Me Far?

'Meet me far' started as a whole different project. Apart from my regular work, meeting up with client demands I had my own vision. I initiated a call to a local well known singer and offered my skills for a music video for one of his songs. After his agreement I gathered a group of colleagues and we began developing the video. Since we did not get paid, some of them bailed but the ones that remained persevered and the video was completed. The video completion took over two years and along the way the singer disappeared from the horizon. So we had a video but no home for it. After several failed attempts to find good home for the video I was approached by one of the most talented music producers/composers named - Tomer Biran. Tomer said he had the perfect song for my video, I agreed to check it out and to see how we can modify and tweak so it would fit. No tweaking nor modification were needed, the Video fit to the song like a silk glove. I understood that was meant to be.

The animation clearly tells a story, could you describe what you wanted to express in the video?

In a word, loneliness. The lonely character, sitting on a floating island gets his fantasy triggered by a falling feather. His fantasy starts naive and nice but shortly gets too much and the character wants out. Just like in real life, things might get out of hand or unplanned and we find our security in what is familiar to us. Our safe spot. Our love.

Who else is behind the work that went into this music video?

The magnificent people that worked on the video were:
* Story - Eyal Shirazi, Ran Sieradzki, Asaf Yeger
* Director - Ran Sieradzki
* Compositing - Eyal Shirazi
* Lighting/Shading - Eran Ashraf, Rami Stainer, Avi Ben-Avraham
* Rendering - Eran Ashraf, Avi Ben-Avraham
* Modeling/Rigging - Moshe Bitan, Ran Sieradzki, Mark Serdtse
* Animation - Ran Sieradzki
* Art - Talya Fewkes, Alex Kizin, Ran Sieradzki
* Music - Tomer Biran
* Vocals - Anat Ben Hemo
* Lyrics - Yael Heim

And of course, Israel Assif, for changing my life.

How much time and efforts did it take to make the animation?

The actual animation process took about seven months in the making, using planning of shots in 2D and 'converting' them to 3D animation. The whole video was done on free time and weekends.

Which software and hardware tools did you use to create it?

Normal home PC's and Mac's were used as Hardware, not too shabby when it comes to highend machines. The software we used was: Adobe Photoshop, Autodesk Maya, Adobe After Effects, The foundry NUKE.

How did the collaboration go with Anat?

The collaboration was all done online through Tomer, Anat watched the video on top of her song and shed a tear (Anat, Tomer said so...). Just the other day Anat wrote to me: ''...Such an amazing and working collaboration and we have not even met yet! We have to do more things together...''

What kind of feedback did you get so far?

The video is on the air for the past five days, it got several thousand views and the reviews are all very positive and encouraging. Here is an example of such reviews: ''Beautiful combination of divine soft comforting voice, deep words and lovely animation. I played it once and again and again and again Let's hope for more of such nice clips''

Do you have any other project in the works?

Well, it is too early to discuss but I have few other irons in the fire

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