Nonstop to Hollywood – digital design for large productions

On Tuesday, October 23, as promotion of the film law recently passed, the Keynote Conference: Nonstop to Hollywood – digital design for large productions, was held. This event featured speakers Kino Scialabba and Carlos Argüello, creators of special effects of recognized films such as: Avatar, The Chronicles of Narnia, Fast and Furious 3, Mission Impossible 2, Speed Racer, X-men and 300.

The event began with welcoming remarks from the Executive Director of the City of Knowledge Foundation, Jorge Arosemena, who stressed that our country has much to say in the great world stage. Professor Arosemena also expressed satisfaction in working with CAPATEC, Venture Club and each of the sponsors, in an event that creates a space to dream and make those dreams come true.

Matías Prado, President of the Organizing Committee, spoke about the history of this event, now in its 4th year, and indicated that each of the steps they take is a process through which they take the country very far in innovation and technology. Meanwhile Jaime Blanco, President of CAPATEC, stressed that this international event is held under the framework of the National ICT Strategy 2018, which seeks to position Panama as an export hub of world-class technology.

Luis Pacheco, Director of the Motion Picture Association of Panama, listed the projects undertaken to turn Panama into a Film hub with the aim of attracting major productions to the country. Furthermore, Marcela Paredes de Vázquez, Rector of the Technological University of Panama, said that the University will start a course on digital animation to turn the film industry into a field of opportunity in Panama.

Within the context of the conference, Carlos Argüello said that he had a special interest in drawing and design since he was in school. So he decided to travel to the U.S., after studying architecture in Guatemala, and studied at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, located near Silicon Valley. Carlos said that when he touched a computer for the first time he found that it was the perfect tool to let him get into his art and express it. He worked in several productions doing designs for music videos for artists such as Michael Jackson, and recognized films as The Chronicles of Narnia. During his lecture he emphasized that each film he has worked on is an innovation, which in turn is constantly evolving. Upon his return to Guatemala, Carlos Argüello met several people who were working with 3d and decided to create Studio ©, a digital image design and production studio, which became the largest in the country. Later he decided to move back to Los Angeles, where he began to make designs and animation for major Hollywood productions but with the help from his team in Guatemala. He explained that the industry has changed and that Hollywood is adjusting to these changes, in which the goal is to bring the industry, and therefore opportunities, to Latin America.

Meanwhile, Kino Scialabba spoke about the journey that took him from Puerto Rico to California with the dream of working as an illustrator in comic books. However, once there, he ended up in the film industry where he met Carlos Argüello, and together they began working in digital animation for several films and television series. Kino said that in the industry he ended up doing all kinds of work related to background, design and storyboards. He also explained that with technology today there is a vast range of possibilities for what you can do and that makes the job very interesting, since they can build anything they want anywhere in the world.

Social innovation

Carlos Argüello, founder of Studio © and Antonio Arias, Member Service Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of Save the Children, met to exchange experiences on educational projects for children in multicultural environments and with limited resources, preservation of cultural identity, and sexual education and HIV prevention for adolescents. The development of such tools often guarantees access to quality education and has a sustainable impact. Proof of this are the initiatives of Studio © with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the projects that have been supported from the Foundation CA. «It is important that such actions are shown to support social innovation processes that affect directly those disadvantaged segments and especially the most vulnerable, who are the children of our region,» said Antonio Arias, pondering about the projects that Studio © has supported, and their importance and positive impact.

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