Meet Animator Guy Ben Shetrit

hey cartoon animation Guy Ben-Shetrit was the Director for the animated video of the Eatliz band's new music video "Hey". It was his first independent project as a director after ten years of serving as an 3D animator for commercials, TV programs and computer games. In 2008 Ben-Shetrit and Aiko Studio won the MTV International Art Break Contest. In addition to being a successful animator, Ben-Shetrit is also a well known musician in Israel, with Eatliz being his third musical project initiative.

Like every child, I was fascinated by animation series. I was stunned by the detailed story boards in comics and the completion that the mind does imagining the gap between the frames. I collected the comic series Tex Willer and Zagor. I was attracted to these animated heroes and found them very interesting. I was really excited by the violent scenes and the inappropriate language. My father used to supervise the comics I brought home and their content; once, he confiscated a book of Patrick Kim (the rough Korean agent) and a bunch of other comic magazines from me, because they contained sexual and violent scenes.

The first merging of the worlds of plastic art and music, was in the 80's when “A-Ha” released their music video for the hit 'Take On Me'. As far as I'm concerned, this is a highlight in its mighty songwriting and the concept of entering a comic book and becoming an animated character inside of it. This is one of the purifying moments that influenced my choices today as an artist.

Mostly the freedom to dream and create surrealistic ideas that are impossible to implement in live action. I love the fact that you can create very violent content without feeling you are being provocative just for the sake of being provocative. When it comes to animation, every and any kind of violence, no matter how bloody it gets, will always be accepted in a forgiving way. Well, I don’t know but that’s the way I see it.

eatliz animated music video Also I enjoy the planning stage - constructing a strict work pipe line, because I love organization and order by nature. During the last ten years, I have worked as an animator in several studios in different and diverse productions and my eye always caught an animator, art designer or model artist that stood out as extraordinary and got my attention. I always knew somehow that I must make the connection between all these great talents in order to create something unified that will be ultimate and fantastic to me. This combination was executed in 'Hey', and so I found out that as in the music field so it is in animation, meaning, one of the biggest enjoyments for me is to maximize the potential that is hidden in talented people.

As a kid I took drawing classes. I went to an art junior high school where I learned fine art, sculpting, drawing, pottery and graphic arts. During my military service in the Israeli Defense Forces in 1990, a good friend of mine served in the filming unit of Israel's Air Force, where he was exposed to 3D Studio software. He decided I must play with it and see if it interests me. As this time I didn't have a PC, and I bought one at age 21, only for one purpose - starting to play around with 3D software. This friend showed me the basics of how to use it, and I continued by myself, as I am an autodidact. I was immediately drawn to character animation, and it's been my main interest ever since.

hey cartoon image After six years of working as an animator in different studios, I landed up at DSPI Animation Studio and worked on an animation feature. DPSI had a lot of experienced and knowledgable animators that gave us animation courses and classes. I learned there everything I didn't manage to learn by myself.

One of the events that opened the floodgates of visual imagination in my head was an acid trip I took when I was younger. I really love "Allegro Non Troppo" which is sort of the Italian answer to Disney's "Fantasy", especially the animated part to the music of Ravell's classic "Bolero". I love the work of Hayao Miyazaki, in particular the movie "Spirited Away", which lead me by its imagination and atmosphere when working on "Hey". I love the fantastic wild fixation-free surrealism in the Japanese anime and in Miyazaki's work in particular. Its kids that refuse to grow up and play with magic, dragons and hallucinations. Everything that a mature kid chooses to leave behind as far as rich imagination goes.

I admire and am a huge fan of Don Hertzfeldt. He is number one for me. I enjoy most of Pixar films, especially "Monsters Inc." and "The Incredible". I admire and influenced by the work of Bill Plimpton and Michel Gondry, especially in the way he deals with his famous one shots. I like the art of "Codehunters", which inspired me as an art reference for "Hey"'s art concept.

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