"Nobody said that growing up was easy" are the only lines to guide you through the torrid, alchemic romance of art director and 3D artist Gerardo del Hierro's Bildungsroman, a metaphorical CGI coming-of-age short film about the fables of its namesake, save for the symbols that scar the statuesque bodies we watch grow, writhe, and learn to love and hurt each other in just 124 seconds. Luckily, we talked to the film's creator:
"In the beginning there was just a feeling and an aesthetic that I started to develop, that was heavily influenced by sculpture photography and paintings. I’ve always been drawn to the movement those still images could express. I then started to research alchemic symbology as a way to relate it to specific actions in the film," del Hierro tells The Creators Project. "It's funny because at first, I wasn’t thinking of the bildungsroman at all. But someone pointed out to me that literary term for the coming-of-age novel and suddenly I felt very connected to it, as it represented exactly the search I was going for."
Rigged, motion captured, and computer-generated entirely by del Hierro—a feat for a man and a computer, as characters' textures alone weighed over a gig each—Bildungsroman is awe-inspiring like a teaser trailer for the kind of cerebral CGI film that the uncanny valley proves most audiences aren't ready for yet. "I think that a more “mature” audience will understand perhaps the piece as a whole better," says del Hierro, although he believes that to younger folks, who are going through the struggles that take place during the piece, "might be more connected on a more intuitive level, without trying to make sense of the direction it goes."
"It started as a free way of expressing some sensations like education and the tensions of growing up that slowly became a shaped product. The look though was always very clear from the beginning," del Hierro explains. "There was also the challenge along the process of shaping something that was very emotional into a narrative that wouldn’t betray the soul of the project and that kept the emotion pure and non-linear. But this was the fun challenge to me, as it didn’t include rendering times!"
Check out Gerardo del Hierro on Vimeo for more from the creator of Bildungsroman.