As the winner for the Best Animated Movie presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at this year’s Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge at San Diego Comic-Con International, Star Wars in a Notebook captured the imagination of what Star Wars would look like recreated with paper cut-outs in a notebook.
Starwars.com chats with Columbia-based filmmaker Oscar Fabián Triana Méndez.
What is your background in film? Did you make films as a youngster/teen?
I studied Graphic Design on the National University of Colombia, and last year I finished the new specialization in animation program at the same college. My first animated short-film, UnoCero (One-Zero) was made on 2003 while I was studying. It’s an animated film about a student who must choose his studies or the last minutes of a historic soccer game — our national team against Germany in the Italia ‘90 World Cup.
Later, I was working for several years “pioneering” video game development here, and from the last year, I just came back to the storytelling and narrative side of animation. On the specialization program, I made a couple of short films and experiments, from stop-motion to rotoscopy, and a main project called ImaGeForce. It’s not finished yet but it touches a lot of points that I developed later in Star Wars in a Notebook like kids, memories and spaceships.
What prompted you to make a Star Wars fan film? How have George Lucas and his films influenced your work?
I have been following the fan films and the Atom site for a really long time — way back to high school. For years I wanted to enter the Fan Movie Challenge but I never had enough time to make a film until this year. I have always loved all things about heroes, robots, outer space, as any kid, and years later in college. Star Wars was, and is, the obligated reference as a key piece on the audiovisual medium.
My first contact with the films was halfway through middle school, a couple of years before Episode I. When I saw the original movies on VHS, and the new one in the cinema, I was blown way! I even made a pod racer model for a physics class. It was the time when I was thinking, “Hmm, what I’m going to do? What career fits best for me?” Watching the “making of” TV specials, and interviews with the artists behind the movies I said, as many people have been doing on the last 30 years, “This is something that I want to do; create amazing worlds, characters and adventures!”