December’s Tongaler of the Month is Robert Capria, 1st place winner of the Capitol Records Beach Boys Music Video Project on Tongal.com. In addition to $5,000 and a one-of-a-kind custom Hobie surfboard, Robert earned what many would consider the greatest reward of all – title as creator of The Official “Heroes and Villains” Music Video.
Caleb Light-Wills – What is your animation background like?
Robert Capria – My background is in illustration and art. I went to film school but didn’t study animation until years later. I started doing animation in 2006 when I entered and won second place for the GenArts Beastie Boys Music Video Contest for their song “Sabotage”. It’s a very rudimentary animation in which I used a montage of comic book drawings that I created a few years earlier. I also won second place for the SxSW Film and Music Video Festival in 2009 and second place for the New York Film Festival in 2010. Around that period I started to enter contests and see the potential. I also started to get hired for paid work doing animation, music videos, web commercials, and other projects.
C.L.W. – Are you a filmmaker as well as an animator?
R.C. – I wrote and directed a television comedy pilot about the casting industry called “Typecast”. It’s intended for an adult HBO-type of audience. It has a very New York sensibility with liberal use of four letter words. It is in the process of being pitched by my brother who is a television director. People can view it at: actualityfilms.com/typecast.
C.L.W. – The Beach Boys video wasn’t just your first Tongal win…it was your first Tongal project. How does it feel to come right out of the gate ?
R.C. – I feel great, of course. I’m happy about the recognition and prizes! I also know that my work can gain more exposure this way.
C.L.W. – I assume you’re a huge Beach Boys fan, right?
R.C. – Definitely, I started listening to Pet Sounds at around age 15 and loved it right away. I had read in some music magazine that it was some kind of masterpiece album — which I still listen to often.
C.L.W. – How does it feel to have created THE official “Heroes and Villains” music video?
R.C. – It feels satisfying to have created the Official Music Video for The Beach Boys “Heroes and Villains” or any of their songs, period. They are one of America’s greatest bands. It would be great to make an animation for Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” but I think The Simpson’s did that already!
C.L.W. – How badly do you want to hang out with Brian Wilson?
R.C. – We would love to meet Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, if even briefly.
C.L.W. – Would you describe yourself as a Music Video Creator, or is that what you see yourself doing in the foreseeable future?
R.C. – We would love to make other music videos for the Beach Boys and other classic artists for Capitol Records. I have directed a number of other music videos that range from funny to artistic. It could be animation or live action. I love shooting on Super 8 or 16mm film, whenever possible because the look is great and more of a sense of “filmmaking” by shooting rolls of film. I just shot a music video for an indie artist in Chinatown and Dumbo Brooklyn on Super 8 film and will be out in a few weeks.
C.L.W. – How long did it take you to create the video for “Heroes and Villains” and what was your process like?
R.C. – I worked with a fellow artist named T. Nakayama. We used Photoshop for the drawings, After Effects for the animation and then edited it altogether in Avid Media Composer. We tried to do as much frame by frame animation as possible within the time limit by the deadline. It took about a month to create the music video.
C.L.W. – Were you nervous about the competition, i.e. what did you think of the other videos?
R.C. – I wasn’t nervous because I was too focused on making and completing the video the best that I could by the deadline. I was excited to see the videos and everybody’s work looked great. I was surprised we won.
C.L.W. – Did you ever image that Capitol Records would place the video front and center on Yahoo Music?
R.C. – No, not at all. But I know these days the Internet is the new marketing tool. It’s like being on global television.
C.L.W. – You also just clocked a win for your Ace Pitch. Without giving too much away, what can we expect?
R.C. – Something cool and visually fun using stop motion animation.
C.L.W. – Having been through both types of projects now, open and tournament, which do you prefer and why?
R.C. – The open competition is exciting but the tournament is more secure and actually motivates me more because it’s not as much a shot in the dark. The open competition is thrilling to win if you are lucky but it’s more unpredictable.
C.L.W. – Do you see Tongal as a viable avenue to further your creative career?
R.C. – Absolutely, you can hone your creative skills while building your professional portfolio that will be seen by potential corporate clients. It also helps to think more like a creative agency and animation studio.
C.L.W. – What’s next for you on Tongal or otherwise?
R.C. – We’re working on an animation pilot and web animation for a social app for two clients. We’ll be making our own animation pilot and lauching our creative agency next year. We will also start to build more of a presence on Facebook — a must these days.
C.L.W. – How can people stay up to date with your work?
- No documents for download.