José Luis Farias, the Creator of 3DWire (oops!), of WEIRD!
I was in Segovia this year (3-6 Oct 2019) to participated in 3DWire, now WEIRD, and talked to José Luis, one of its directors. José and his brother, Alfonso, have been working hard to bring always something new to the stage of the most important event to Animation Market in the Iberian Peninsula.
ZF - "3D Wire" completed 11 years, now considered in the Mapping the Animation Industry in Europe publication (European Audiovisual Observatory / European Commission, 2016) as the largest event of its kind in Spain. How would you describe this growth process of the now "Weird" to date, from its initial objectives?
JL - Our event has always been marked by the needs of the sector and we have been growing with it. Each year we are transforming it according to what the attendees are asking us, and trying to do a work of anticipating trends or incorporating elements or initiatives which we think are interesting. Many times each day in the animation and video games sector does not allow us to go beyond paying the bills, so our goal is to propose new business models, new opportunities in and with other sectors and new potential partners to grow businesses and talent.
ZF - How is the work team divided and how many professionals work at the Festival each year?
JL - It is a multidisciplinary team. You know, making an event is like making a movie: every year we think about the script, we do the pre-production and then we have to shoot, which is the event itself. And with the number of people, the same thing happens like a movie: at the beginning, we are only a few; then during the event, we become about 30 people.
ZF - What stands out in the Segovia event is the direct contact that the organization provides to its participants. Everything is very intimate, with students and renowned producers sharing the same space. They can interact directly without bureaucracy. Did you always plan this?
JL - Yes. What is important to us is connect the talent with industry, because there is a mutual need. We always remember our origins as creators and how difficult it was to access producers or financing, so we created 3D Wire -now WEIRD, to try to make everything flow easier. So, if you really have talent, even if you are not the person who is very related or have very good social skills, someone can find you and you may have a career. However, it is also essential that producers can find their partners and appropriate financing, so we work at both levels.
ZF - Another thing that gets my attention is the closing ceremony, which is always very "animated" :). With a lot of performance, raffles, and games. Totally different from any other festival, whether market or exhibition. How did you come up with such a relaxed party? Was it easy to convince the team to participate since it is something that goes beyond the standards?
JL - In this world, we suffer a lot, there are many hours of work and many disappointments, that's why we wanted to create an oasis in the day to day, a party where everyone can relax. For in our sector, the professional side will not work without the personal side. I always say it, knowing the person is so important as knowing the professional.
3D Wire 2018 Award Ceremony
ZF - This interaction between the participants is possible because the event has a small size, compared to the more traditional ones. Is it your goal to make a bigger Festival and risk losing that "Latin" feature (positively speaking), or would you prefer to keep the success model already achieved?
JL - Now WEIRD is the perfect size for our goals, we are very clear that we cannot lose the essence and the intimacy of the event. It is part of our identity, and of which we are proud.
ZF - In the 12-year edition, the Festival will have another name "WEIRD". Typically, name changes are a reflection of some changes, often structural, within an event or business. What were the reasons for this name change from 3D Wire to WEIRD? What do you want with this identity change?
JL - The main reason is the evolution of the event itself, the 3D in the name was already outdated since we are open to all animation techniques almost from the beginning. It is also for a reason of definition, it is really hard for us to define our event if you see the programming and our activities, it is difficult to say if it is an event of animation, video games, comics, board games, technology, a party, a therapy group ... It is and not is all of that at the same time.
It is the crossroads of many things, that place where mainly the great ideas shine and stand out. However, it is increasingly difficult to define where these ideas come from, some may come out of a simple animated GIF, and then become a cross-media product with manifestations on different screens and formats.
ZF - Could you tell us about the news you are preparing for the next edition? I know this is already beginning.
JL - The philosophy and the spirit are the same, but we are going to open the fan more. We want the presence of more people from other creative sectors such as comic or board games. We want to talk more about the “what” than the “how”, that is to say, more about the IP (intellectual properties) than about which screen, technical or format ends up making animation, video game, comic, board game, VR, etc.
contributed by: Eliane Gordeeff
About José Luis Farias
Founder and creator of the Spanish audiovisual production company Paramotion Films, a production company dedicated to animation cinema, events organization, digital postproduction and audiovisual training, since 2002. Creator and director of 3D Wire, International Animation Video Games and New Media Market (Segovia, Spain) already for its eleventh edition. He is also the creator and director of the Ibero-American Animation Quirino Awards (2018-2019). And co-creator and co-director of Bridging the Gap - Animation Lab (2015-2018) receiving international animation projects and being an improvement platform for them. He is also Ambassador in Spain of the EAA - European Animation Emile Awards. As an advisor and consultant, he has collaborated with institutions such as the Culture Council of Chile, Proimagenes Colombia, Pixelatl (Mexico), Ruta N Medellín (Colombia) and SPET Turismo de Tenerife, among others. In addition to international events such as CARTOON, Annecy - MIFA, Animation Production Day, among others.