What She Does: We came across Sophia while reviewing Two Star Symphony's latest album, Titus Andronicus. Violinist Jerry Ochoa mentioned to us that a Vancouver animation student who had just moved back to Houston was producing music videos for them. She used a pencil test video of their song "Goblin Attack" as a project at the Vancouver Institute of Media Arts. Currently she is working on her second music video for Two Star Symphony, a track called "Off Into the Quiet," which is one of the sole moments on the album that isn't full of rape and cannibalism.
Why She Likes It: Vassilakidis was kind enough to send along the exact two paragraphs she used to get into VanArts...
They say that film, being a medium of the senses, is less able to explore more abstract and philosophical ideas than is literature, but for me, animation's ability to imbue pure representations with character and meaning allows the viewer to contemplate ideas or narratives that would be too overtly symbolic or thematically heavy in 'real life'. Unlike the photographed image which captures or at least simulates reality, animation approximates, distorts and reinterprets, but never IS reality.
Like dreams, which morph from disjointed points in space and time, a purely animated cosmos can flow effortlessly from conceptual point to point, following associative and symbolic logic without being locked by physical limits. Live action films can be purposely elliptical, fragmented, associative, and surreal, but I doubt if a film like Satoshi Kon's "Millennium Actress" would be as successful or even possible in live action.
What Inspires Her: Vassilakidis isn't comfortable claiming any influences at this stage of her work, but many of them are Japanese artists like Satoshi Kon, Masahi Yuasa, Katsuhiro Otomo and Mamoru Oshii. She's also a fan of the Last Unicorn, the Secret of Nimh and Disney films from the '60s and '70s.
Why Here: Unable to find work in Vancouver, she returned to Houston to her regular full-time job. She is hoping to get a transfer to return to British Columbia in hopes of finding an opening for a young, green animator. Though a lot of animation is done out of Houston, the work is primarily 3D based and her skills lie in 2D.
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If Not This, Then What: "If I can't make it as an animator, I'll go back to being an indie-film maker...I love filmmaking, live-action or otherwise, and if nothing else, Houston has a burgeoning and supportive independent film community," she says.
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