To talk about Carlos Baena is to talk about somebody who is deeply involved in the world of animation. Co-founder of AnimationMentor and also a Pixar animator, Carlos never stops sharing with everybody what he "discovers" everyday in this complex world. He should be in our "Fichado!" section!
Name: Carlos Baena
Profession: Animator at Pixar / Co-founder on AnimationMentor School / Nap expert
Artistic training: University of San Francisco / Academy of Arts 95-98. The rest of the training was on my own... or by constantly bothering my friends.
Work done you're most proud of: A shot at the end of Cars (Guido quickly changing McQueen's tires), and also an animation test that I recently did for ToyStory3. Not animation related, a simple video I made recently about the city of San Francisco... because of the good moments it gave me.
Work done you're least proud of: My works when I was doing comercials. My head was somewhere else (wanting to go to Pixar).
The project you are currently working on and the next one, if any: ToyStory3. After that project, vacations. Both projects will be awesome.
You are inspired by: Artists, directors and people with good attitude about life and work.
Favourite artist: Dave McKean. Spanish: Carlos Grangel
Pencil & paper, or mouse: A mixture of both: Stylus :) It's been ages since I use the mouse.
Music you listen to while working: Movie Soundtracks.
Curious habits while working: I am easily distracted.
Crazy stuff on your desktop: Many stuff. A lot of finger-skateboards, of different sizes. A poster of Torrente. Plenty of monitors. A poster of Alien and The Nightmare before Christmas. Many sculptures of Predator, Alien, a Rancor from StarWars, the Delorean form Back to the Future (with it's "flux capacitor", of course), a few figure toys from Edward ScissorsHands, Freddy form Nightmare on Elm Street, the Iron Gigant, Woody/Buzz, Feathers McGrath form wallace/Gromit... These are some of what I remember now... but I do have a lot of "shit" in my office, now that I think about it.
To work, night or day?: By night, without a doubt.
Three movies to spend a Sunday relaxed at home: From the old ones: Back to the Future, Aliens, The Empire Strikes Back. From the most recent ones: The Dark Knight, Pan's Labyrinth, The Orphanage.
Classic animation favorite: Jungle Book
Ancient Art or Modern: Modern
Comedy or Drama: Damm.. Do I have to choose?... ok, Comedy.
The thoughest moment of your professional career: Pixar was going to hire me to work in Monster's Inc back in 2000 when I was in Madrid. At the last moment, because of some visa issues, it could not be. That was very frustrating. That, and the start of the AnimationMentor school in 2003 while working on The Incredibles at the same time. I almost killed myself working during those two years.
And the sweetest moment: When people in the theatre reacts unexpectedly and very positively to something you've done or animated. That is priceless. Once I had the chance to go, with other animators, to make drawings for kids with terminal disease... and to see their faces change when we did some very simple drawings for them, that is so priceless.
What you see yourself doing in 20 years?: I would love to be directing. Also, I'd like to keep doing art or my crazy stuff.
Finally... tell us which has been the best advice you've been given both professional and personal: The things don't change on their own, you do change them. That and the advice of Charles Swindoll on attitude (http://home.xnet.com/~ansible/attitude.html)
His web: www.carlosbaena.com
Thanks Carlos for your participation in our blog!
( Thanks to Pako Bagur for the translation ! )