Carlos Baena (2018)
La Noria is an animated short film directed by filmmaker and animator Carlos Baena and produced as an online collaboration with artists from around the world.
Carlos was born and raised in Spain. He moved to the US in 1994 and has been living and working there ever since. La Noria is a very personal story for him and is very different than most animated films that he’s worked on. It combines suspense, horror, and emotion. It’s about a little boy who likes to draw and build toy ferris wheels who after a devastating loss encounters some creatures who turn his life upside down. Having found himself in a dark and difficult emotional situation at one point in his life, Carlos always wanted to tell a story based on the dark and emotional journey in a very visual way.
We wanted to do horror in animation. However, given the dark nature of the story as well as the psychological backstory of the main character, La Noria has a quality that is very different from most animated films. Creatively, we wanted to create a horror film that creates tension through horror rather than making people jump. La Noria has been inspired by the work of great spanish filmmakers such as Victor Erice, Alejandro Almenabar, Guillermo del Toro, and Juan Antonio Bayona. Being from Spain and given the quality of their films, Carlos looked up to their work often. Other filmmakers looked at for inspiration were Tomas Alfredson, Kim Jee-Woon, Ray Harryhausen, Stanley Kubrick, and Roman Polanski. Art wise, we studied the work of artists Clive Barker, Zdzislaw Beksinski, Nirasawa Yasushi, H.R.Giger, and Francisco de Goya to name a few.
We found that when pitching the film to the artists we wanted to collaborate with, that universally everyone could relate to a story of struggle and finding ourselves in a dark place at some point or another in some personal way. We have all had that moment in our lives when everything went wrong. It’s in those moments when all you see are broken pieces around you, your courage has the ability to turn something dark into something unexpectedly beautiful. That is the essence of La Noria.
La Noria is bringing a new vision to animated films by exploring darker themes, elegant visuals and producing it using online production technology.