Julien Bis­aro

Animation Magazine - - RIS­ING STARS -

Sto­ry­board Artist/Di­rec­tor, Xilam An­i­ma­tion

One of French sto­ry­board artist and di­rec­tor Julien Bis­aro’s ear­li­est movie mem­o­ries goes back to the time he was seven or eight, when he saw Terry Gil­liam’s The Ad­ven­tures of Baron Mun­chausen, along with a stop-mo­tion an­i­ma­tion short Blue­beard by Olivier Gil­lon. As he de­scribes it,“It was a baroque pro­fu­sion of creativ­ity and un­bri­dled imag­i­na­tion that left a deep mark on me!”

The 38-year-old Saint-Avold na­tive stud­ied at the Beaux-Arts Academy of Epinal and went on to train at the pres­ti­gious La Poudrière an­i­ma­tion school. Soon, he found him­self work­ing as back­ground and lay­out artist on Bren­dan and the Se­cret of Kells; an­i­ma­tor and chief lay­out de­signer on Ernest

& Ce­les­tine; sto­ry­boarder and co-graphic de­signer on Le Tableau; and most re­cently as an Annie-nom­i­nated sto­ry­board artist on the multi-award-winning fea­ture I Lost My Body.

Bis­aro’s an­i­mated short Bang Bang! was nom­i­nated for a César and was a fes­ti­val fa­vorite in 2015. His most re­cent half-hour short

Shooom’s Odyssey was re­leased in French theaters in Jan­uary. He’s now de­vel­op­ing his first fea­ture with Xilam’s CEO and pro­ducer Marc du Pon­tavice.

He tells us that he loves the sto­ry­board and an­i­mat­ics stages of an an­i­mated project. “For me, it’s like writ­ing with im­ages,” he ex­plains. “You can ex­per­i­ment with so many things, de­sign a film’s shape. It’s a pleas­ant stage in the work, be­cause it doesn’t re­quire mas­sive in­vest­ment. You can get rid of what­ever doesn’t work and start over again un­til you reach the emo­tion you’re af­ter!”

Bis­aro main­tains that kick­ing off a new project is al­ways a chal­lenge. “I just fin­ished a medium-length fea­ture for preschool­ers,” he points out. “We wanted to cre­ate a first film ex­pe­ri­ence for very young chil­dren (three-year olds), a non-an­thro­po­mor­phic view of an­i­mals in na­ture. The new fea­ture film I’m de­vel­op­ing also fo­cuses on na­ture and an­i­mals, but this time, we aim for an adult au­di­ence. Though the sub­jects are very close, the is­sues and in­trigues are com­pletely dif­fer­ent, and that’s what makes it very stim­u­lat­ing.”

He is quite mod­est when we ask him to share some ca­reer ad­vice with us. His re­sponse is, “I don’t feel that it’s en­tirely ap­pro­pri­ate for me to of­fer ad­vice about work­ing in an­i­ma­tion, but I’d rec­om­mend that you mustn’t for­get your per­sonal mo­ti­va­tions, the ones that led you into the busi­ness. It is very im­por­tant to main­tain a space of per­sonal creativ­ity.” Now these are words to keep close to your heart.

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