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This might be the earliest I have posted a review or an interview for my Sundance coverage, but since this is for a short film, which routinely find it difficult to get attention press-wise, and since it isn’t something that has “spoiler” issues, I thought it would be great to get it out there and maybe inspire some people in Park City to check out the Shorts block that William D. Caballero’s VICTOR & ISOLINA can be found. Caballero has a talent for mining his life and his family for rich insight and comedy and warmth – especially via a unique approach to animation and storytelling. VICTOR & ISOLINA is a perfect example: a “He Said/She Said” confection that could not be more adorable (and I write that without an ounce of snark).

1. You draw a lot from your personal life and family with your films and projects. Do you feel you have a truly fascinating family or do you think you simply have a talent for “showing them” in an entertaining and/or enlightening way?

I think the reason why my family fascinates me, is because they are so colorful in terms of personality, especially how they voice their opinions. My grandfather is one of those people that has something to say about EVERYTHING, no matter what the topic is on. I think that’s what makes him so interesting. You literally just have to ask him something, and he’ll go on forever about it. 

A film still from Victor & Isolina by William Caballero, an official selection of the Shorts Programs at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by William Caballero.

A film still from VICTOR & ISOLINA by William Caballero (Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by William Caballero)

2. Which of your grandparents do you take after more, Victor or Isolina?

I think I take after my grandfather when I talk about a topic that’s close to me. He thinks he’s an expert in just about anything, and I feel the same way when I talk about something I’m passionate about. However, he can be a bit opinionated, which I try to avoid, because whereas I may come across as cocky, he naturally comes across as hilarious. 

A film still from Victor & Isolina by William Caballero, an official selection of the Shorts Programs at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by William Caballero.

VICTOR & ISOLINA – in one of many differences of opinion. (Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by William Caballero)

3. What do they think of the way their likenesses turned out in the film?

I think the funniest response was when my grandfather first saw the 4″ prints. He said, “I mean… it looking nice but… I no too short like that!” To this date, he criticizes them, but in a playful way. I think it’s because the prints make him look a little pudgier than how he looks in real life, and he thinks I made him fat on purpose. 

 

4. As you work with the 3-D printing process, do you ever think to yourself about how much Ray Harryhausen would’ve killed for this technology?

3D printing came at such a pivotal moment in my emerging career. With it, I can create work that truly stands out from ‪the crowd. What I think is most unique, is that I still don’t know if what I’m doing can technically be called ‘stop-motion’. However, each one is painstakingly crafted, taking about 15 hours to complete (5 hours for modeling/posing, 5 hours for printing, and 5 hours for painting). 

 

5. Do you find more inspiration from documentary filmmakers or animators? And who would those inspirational filmmakers be?

I find inspiration from forms of media, that tell big stories in unique and eclectic ways. These come in many different forms and genres, from big budget Hollywood films, to indie flicks, to animated shorts. However, my core inspirations come from the great classical music composers, such as Beethoven, Mahler, Tchaikovsky, and Stravinsky, whose work I listen to while I write, shoot, and edit, as well as the artistic greats, such as Picasso and Frida.

 

6. Which member of your family gets immortalized in your films next? And why will they win the 3-D film figure lottery?

Actually, I’m immortalizing myself next! I am creating a short inspirational web-series for PBS called STORYBORED USA, which will encourage young and diverse millennials to tell their stories through film/video, and the creative arts. It stars 3D printed miniatures of myself as the show’s host, and will debut on YouTube in April or May 2017.

 

7. Popcorn or Candy?

Popcorn! I’m actually eating some as I’m typing this, and my hands are getting the keys all oily. LOL

Willian D. Caballero, Director of VICTOR & ISOLINA

Willian D. Caballero, Director of VICTOR & ISOLINA

VICTOR & ISLOLINA screens as part of the Animation Spotlight at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival on Saturday 1/21 at 12:00PM, Sunday 1/22 at 10:00PM, Tuesday 1/24 at 3:00PM, and Saturday 1/28 at 8:30PM. Go to Sundance.org for more information.