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Watch This! Sopro (Blow Out)

Animators work extremely hard. That makes it all the more impressive when an animator works on a personal project in their free time. One such filmmaker is Lucas Fraga Pacheco, a Brazilian animator currently working at Pixar.

Sopro (Portuguese for Blow Out) is a film Pacheco had been working on for some time. "Sopro originally started out as a college project that I had to put down multiple times due to life events, like starting work, returning to Brazil for my visa, coming back to the US, and taking on leadership roles at Pixar," he told AFA. ". I chipped away at it after work hours for years on-and-off. It was tough, but I had lots of support and encouragement, and I’m happy I finally finished it."

The film premiered at Rhode Island International Film Festival last year. It then embarked on a successful festival run, making the selection for several more including Canberra Short Film Festival, Venice Shorts and Festival Of Animation Berlin, before finally being released online.

The film centres on a group of scouts who are challenged to keep a candle alight while doing their level best to blow out their opponents. One boy finds himself partnered with the group outcast, with unexpected consequences. The story is inspired by Lucas's own experiences as a scout in Brazil. "But for my stories, I tend to draw inspiration from emotions rather than from actual experiences," he said."In this case, I tapped into the visceral feeling of injustice that we have as children when adults pass unfounded judgment."

Soporo was made digitally, employing Adobe Photoshop for the storyboards, Adobe Animate for animation and backgrounds, After Effects for compositing and Premiere for editing. Despite the clean-looking finished result, the film was entirely hand-drawn and does not use puppets or cut-out animation. The hand-drawn animation has a vibrancy to it that helps the short pack an emotional punch.

Lucas says he hopes that the film will make people think about tough ethical decisions they have made in their own lives. "Did they do the right thing? Was it worth the consequences? And are they in a better place for it?"

Check out the film for yourself below.

SOPRO from Lucas Fraga Pacheco on Vimeo.