Invidual residencies

F. XAVIER MANUEL RUIZ

From Monday, 13 September 2021 to Monday, 20 September 2021

F. XAVIER MANUEL RUIZ
Animation Screenwriter
La Seu d’Urgell (Catalonia)

Bio

Francesc Xavier Manuel (La Seu d’Urgell, 1988) is a Lleida-born animation screenwriter, active since 2009. Graduated in Audiovisual Communication at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, he debuted as a junior writer for TV3’s satirical sketch-show “Polònia”. Thanks to a “la Caixa” scholarship, he took an MFA in Screenwriting at Chapman University and worked for studios like Nickelodeon, Titmouse or Disney Jr. Once back in Barcelona last 2017, he wrote for TV cartoons like “I, Elvis Riboldi” by Peekaboo Animation or “Misha, the purple cat” and “Jasmine & Jambo” by Teidees. He’s also worked as a story consultant and recently wrote two commissioned animated feature films for Hampa Studio in Valencia and Uniko in Bilbao. But that’s not all: he’s actually a bunch of cats under a trench coat. Plot twist!

Project

Mindblown is my semi-autobiographical 2D animation feature project: it tells the story of a 7-year-old kid who faces loss through lucid dreaming. When Alec loses, one by one, his most beloved ones —his cat, his older sister, his best friend, his father— he starts replacing them with fantastical doppelgängers born from his dream world. These lucid dreams, though, will get out of control to end up escaping from Alec’s head. It’s both a pathology and a superpower, and if he abuses his skill, reality will be infected by dreams, turning into an ontological mutant nightmare.

A week for daydreaming

Us, daydreamers, we need time, tons of time. Time devoted to a kind of creative thinking that, seen with utilitarian eyes, would be considered essentially useless, unproductive, idiotic. Still, we don’t care what the Jackass Prophets of Efficiency think about. And that’s exactly what my script project (beware, spoiler!) needed: a little corner of quality space-time. Faberllull provided it to me like manna (or maybe UFOs?) raining from heaven. A week for unplugging, rituals, companionship, and perspective.

Alas, perspective. It’s so necessary when you have a truly personal script on your hands for years and years. The challenge is tremendous: an animated tale about coping with loss and dreaming as a constructed paradise. I did an exercise of speleology, browsing all the previous drafts of my script —sedimented layers of possibility— to extract the essence of each one of them and try to merge them into a definitive version. Of course, there’s the risk to bring life to a rigid, patchworky Frankenstein monster! But I had in mind its Jewish predecessor: the golem, made of mud and magically animated by the word.

I’m still modeling this narrative golem, but hey!, we’re not here to provide results in a crowded office but to share around the bonfire our process, in perpetual motion. Once returned from Olot, this creative momentum is still ongoing thanks to that daydreamy week. And I will keep taking care of my colossus until I’m ready to share it with the world. I hope it will soon revolt against its creator.

Notícies, articles i activitats

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