In FLYTHROUGH, Gabriel Agustin Freire manages to cram the epic journey of a FREITAG bag, from A (for arrival at the factory) to Z (for a bag’s-eye view of Zurich) into just a single minute, without leaving anything out. It’s a film you’ll want to watch again and again – and again! We’d like to thank Gabriel Agustin Freire, the Argentinian Cronenberg of animation, for his super compressed Once Upon a Fly in the F-actory!
He’s the second of five artists to tell the story of FREITAG from their own unique perspective as part of our non-commercial TARP BLANCHE initiative.
Gabriel Agustin Freire studied at the Instituto de Artes Cinematograficas de Avellaneda (IDAC), in Argentina. He has been working as an illustrator, animator and producer for animation studios all around the world. Nowadays his work as a producer for tv channels is broadcasted in 70 countries.
What’s the usual process with your projects?
Even though every project is different, we always use paper as our starting point. That’s where ideas come from. If we work hard and dedicate enough time to the job, we can always find a way forward.
How did you approach the Tarp Blanche film for FREITAG?
I wanted to do something dynamic, so I suggested creating the entire film frame by frame through traditional animation, using a subjective camera to tell the FREITAG story.
What was your first step while approaching the project?
As I was able to be as creative as I wanted, I made the most challenging (and stupid, haha) decision possible: I decided to tell everything from the point of view of a beetle, which goes through the factory and sees the product creation process.
«As I was able to be as creative as I wanted, I made the most challenging decision possible.» Gabriel Agustin Freire
And the second step?
After modelling the insect’s perspective a bit, we started to put more than six hundred frames in motion. Each of these frames contains characters and backgrounds that were drawn over and over again so as to achieve the necessary sensation of dynamic movement for the insect.
Where did you get inspired to create that movie?
It is vital for our future that we use recycled materials to produce new things, and we need to popularize this idea as much as possible. The aim of our work is to promote this and to show the importance of the cycle of elements. This is represented in the film through subtle spirals, among other things.
What was your technique?
My technique was traditional animation, created frame by frame.
How long did you work on the project?
It is difficult to say precisely how long it took to create it. During the first stage, we were only working on it sporadically. With that in mind, I would say two months; maybe a few days more. But no man is an island: I have my talented friends working with me and we are a fifteen-person team, more or less.
Which were the biggest challenges?
Traditional animation is a really difficult process. The six hundred frames have to go through several stages before we are able to start the coloring phase. Also, each frame depends on the preceding and following ones to work properly. In this case, the challenge was to put a team of six animators to work on a single piece. We also had to make it possible for them to work simultaneously in order to optimize our use of time, especially considering that the whole story is told in a sequence shot.
Which is your favorite part of your film?
I am particularly proud of the moment in which two of the characters put the tarp into the washing machine. For a second, that part enables me to forget about all the mistakes and unnecessary details.