Yonatan Tal

Animation Magazine - - Tv -

Di­rec­tor

(CalArts) Through­out his child­hood, Yonatan Tal was al­ways known as the kid who drew. He even cre­ated lit­tle an­i­mated projects us­ing Pow­er­Point slides back when he was in ele­men­tary school in Is­rael. “Ev­ery kid loves an­i­ma­tion, but I was clearly ob­sessed,” says the 27-year-old an­i­ma­tor. “I to­tally wore out my VHS tapes of Space Jam, Toy Story and A Bug’s Life!”

Cit­ing Chuck Jones, Brad Bird, James Bax­ter and Edgar Wright as some of his idols, Tal says his work is of­ten in­flu­enced by live ac­tion and other art forms, as well as ob­ser­va­tions from his daily life. “I love the idea of be­ing able to imag­ine some­thing and then bring it to life with only a pen­cil and a pa­per,” he says. “There is this idea that be­ing an an­i­ma­tor is like play­ing God. To me, cre­at­ing an­i­mated films or just an­i­mat­ing char­ac­ters is more like giv­ing birth to a lot of lit­tle kids. They are all vague re­flec­tions of who you are or a com­bi­na­tion of you and your team. Hope­fully you end up be­ing flexible, ac­cept­ing them and lov­ing them for who they are.”

Tal got his first big break dur­ing his sec­ond year at CalArts, where his gaythemed short Aquar­ium re­ceived much praise and fes­ti­val awards. “It was based on a very frag­ile time in my life when I had a re­la­tion­ship while still be­ing in the closet,” he re­calls. “For me, the ac­tual achieve­ment was re­ceiv­ing per­sonal mes­sages from strangers who watched the film, and how it af­fected their lives. It’s em­pow­er­ing to re­al­ize that some­thing I cre­ated can make a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence in peo­ple’s lives.”

For the next 10 years, he hopes to be ex­per­i­ment­ing with new tech­nolo­gies and sto­ry­telling meth­ods. “I want to be where great, in­no­va­tive and hon­est con­tent is cre­ated,” he says. “I’m per­son­ally tired of trite Hol­ly­wood scripts and the same old jokes. I hope that this tech­no­log­i­cal evo­lu­tion will bring a change

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