Earlier this month, we were lucky enough to have director, visual artist, and motion design animator (not to mention VFS alumnus!) Pedro Allevato join us for an Online Industry Talk. Pedro, also known by his professional moniker “Sugar Blood,” called in all the way from London, but didn’t let the time difference (it was two in the morning by the end of the talk) keep him from sharing his journey from VFS student to an award-winning filmmaker and highly sought-after motion designer with an audience of the VFS community.
Colin Giles, Head of the School for Animation & VFX, joined Pedro to discuss the latter’s approach to storytelling through animation, the success of his short films, and his promotional animation work for franchises like Stranger Things, Spider-Man, and The Last of Us. His fluid animation style has also attracted work from the Gorillaz, Adidas, Google, Apple, the BBC, and even Tottenham Hotspur FC!
As the above clip from Pedro’s “Stranger Things Saturday Morning Cartoon” demonstrates, Pedro’s animation bursts with colour, energy, and dynamism. Netflix approached Pedro to reinterpret an iconic scene from the show, and he chose the elaborate handshake Steve performs with Dustin after securing his first job at the ice cream shop. Pedro’s animation allowed their imaginations to come to life, which we can see with the lightsaber Dustin wields and the background shifting into the Upside Down.
His Stranger Things cartoon also shows off Pedro’s commitment to character in his animation. Stories are fundamentally about characters, he says, and successful animation has to reflect that too. “It all started at VFS.” It’s a lesson from the 3D Animation & Visual Effects Program that he brings to all of his projects, and an approach he credits as having helped his work stand out over other motion designers. But it’s also made a huge difference in his award-winning short films “Dark Room” and “At First Sight.”
In the talk, linked below, Pedro discusses another key lesson from VFS that’s made him get noticed: a relentless pursuit of process. Pedro emphasizes the importance, but also the joy, of building your portfolio on your own, rather than waiting for projects to come to you. Refining and developing your own style is key to showing what makes your work exceptional. It’s a practice he continues today, and one that makes him reminiscent of his time at VFS.
“That's your craft, it's your art, and in the process you just learn so much.”
This talk is an absolute must watch for animation enthusiasts and creatives of all stripes, whether animators, motion designers, or those who simply love creative process. Watch below:
Thank you again to Pedro for joining us for a riveting industry talk! In the meantime, keep your eyes and ears open for news about our next Online Industry Talks. If you want to be the first to know about these discussions with amazing industry professional, be sure to sign up for our newsletter, VFS Premiere!