Let’s go way back. Where were your born and raised? Where are you now? Where do you want to go? What sparked your interest in the crazy world of VFX?
I was born and raised in Mexico City. I moved to the states when I was around 18, because I wanted to attend The Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. At the time they did not have an entertainment track and film was just too expensive for me. So I took up an illustration major. That was the start, after that I got a job in Pasadena. Now I have my own consulting firm. Professionally speaking I think the film market in the US is incredible when it comes to commercial productions, but sometimes it can be a bit much. I like the Mexican model which is producing incredible results in terms of nurturing talent. So I think I’d like to work between the two countries and get the best out of both worlds.

My Interest in VFX was sparked when I first sat down to play with Autodesk Maya which at the time was known as Alias Wavefront.  I remember seeing 3D for the first time in my life and thinking… This.. This is the future. It was a difficult transition because at the time the classical arts, the handmade stuff had a stronger authority over the medium and working on a computer seemed like cheating to some. There was a real battle brewing but I thought why not use both?




What are some of the projects you have worked on / clients or studios you've worked with?
In all honesty I can’t take credit for working with big names or companies because what happens in the industry is, once you get “in” you sort of just get rolled around and thrown into different projects. At first I had little control over where I ended up. But now that I can decide ..ironically I chose to do my own stuff, I really want to transition away from the commercial work and focus on my own…unless something really exciting comes along.

But If have to name drop lol.. I have done TV commercials and Video game cinematics for Tron, Call of Duty, Ghost Recon, Defiance amongst some. For film I designed main titles for Iron Man, Thor, Hancock, Avengers, Green Hornet, Twilight, Gi Joe, Alice in Wonderland. A lot of Superhero work.
 


Illustrated by Philip Dickenson

Can you tell us about Sebastian: The Slumberland Odyssey. Apparently the story is based on true events, can you fill us in?
 
Sebastian’s Odyssey is a passion project that I have been developing for 8 years. When I say its based on a true story, its because my brother and I used to live far apart from each other and we would only see each other from time to time.

Illustrated by Anthony Sixto

We created this alternate reality together called Slumberland and when we met in real life we would tell stories about that world. That connection evolved and a story came out of that.. and boom all of the sudden I am developing this project as a live action series.

Illustrated by Anthony Sixto

As far as the story for Sebastian goes: In a future where unmonitored dreaming is punishable by death a young orphan must risk it all and travel into the dreamworld in order to find his long lost brother.

Illustrated by Anthony Sixto

Here is the longer version:.. A  future where thanks to sentient artificial intelligence humanity has been able to overcome, war and poverty.Disease is now a choice. At last mankind has been united under a mission of collective prosperity. With one small price to pay: The loss of individuality.

In order for humankind to unite, people have forgone their ability to dream and their desire to be different. With just cause, since unauthorized dreaming is now punishable by death.
However there is a legend of a world that exists beyond the reach of the A.I a place known as Slumberland….If you want to know more you can always check out the official site: http://www.sebastiansodyssey.com/ 

Illustrated by Anthony Sixto

Whose work (both past and present) do you really admire and why?
Danny Boyle,  I think he is the most talented and versatile Director alive. He has an incredible sense of pacing and composition. He can tackle any genre. He is brilliant and best of all, in my experience he is a down to earth human being. 

Terry Gilliam, This guy is out there and I love it. He makes the most imaginative films and he is not afraid to tackle deep human questions in a very whimsical and fantastic manner. He understands metaphor and he weaves it to create incredible worlds. I love his work so much. He is incredibly inspiring.

George Miller, He is like a Danny Boyle 2.0 -> the man is so versatile, but not only that he has the ability to create coherent, deep mythologies and express them through film. I don’t see that with modern directors anymore. We live in the era of repetition and this guy brakes the mold.

JJ Abrahams, He is like a Speilberg 2.0 as well. He reminds me of the same type of magical movie making experience.

Spielberg,  The OG- the main man that understood how to tap into our inner child’s fantasies and horrors. Brilliant guy.

George Lucas Another OG master, one of the pioneers in Myth and world building movies. Lucas gets it and on top of that he is one of my favorite people. I really look up to him.



What movie or game from the past do you wish you had worked on and why?
It’s weird man, my mind is not really at that point right now. I have not seen anything that I can get extremely excited about in years. I really enjoy working on my own work.

What do you like to do away from the computer?
I try to stay very active and exercise a lot. I surf and box and I try to do that early in the morning around 6:00am every day. I meditate and that helps me focus and deal with the anxieties that come with forging your own path. 

Where do you see the future of the VFX industry going?
That’s a tough question. In terms of tech, perhaps realtime CGI no more pre-viz Just straight into the fully realized world and go. In terms of access, the unreal engine is a game changer and the more and more kids get access to it we’ll get to see some cool stuff. These kinds of open source programs democratize the process. They are incredible. If I had to bet I would say that perhaps the world of VFX will become like istock, you will go into a big website and buy explosions, cities, cars, animated characters and then you'll just focus on getting your movie together. That is already happening on a smaller scale, but I can see the future of VFX easily going this route for entry and mid-level effects. The tough stuff might stay a bit more closed off.  In terms of economics.. yikes..I am not sure, it’s a very volatile industry . 

Illustrated by Anthony Sixto

Any tips for freelancers?
Sure, handle yourself as a company not a person. Be professional in everything you do. The industry is saturated with talented and professional people, so what’s your differential? Mine, is gratitude. I am grateful for every job I get and try to communicate that to my clients, my team and everyone around me. It generates a good energy and puts people in a good creative state. Be incredibly clear in communicating and don’t ever hold in any questions. 

What is next for you?
Like I mentioned before I have a ton of personal projects, so as soon as Sebastian is completed I’ll move on to SCIONS, another series I've written. I have plans for re-writing the Superman mythos into something more fresh and relatable and I really want to do a romantic Bollywood musical about lovers between borders. I am all over the place, but if Danny Boyle can do it, so can I.

Illustrated by Adam Burn

You have a competiton?
Sebastian: the Slumberland Odyssey wants to empower artists and creators and that's why we're giving away free software licenses for creative minds. The last contest was wildly successful among the community. Join Sebastian's Odyssey's community and be updated about the contests that are about to come.

Thanks Fede!



Project goes live on Kickstarter October 6th 2015:
Register now for early bird rewards:  SebastiansOdyssey.com
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Links:
Sebastian: the Slumberland Odyssey
Facebook Page
Fede's Website