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Flash Goddess
December 2005


Fernanda Frick Hassenberg

Fernanda Frick Hassenberg: Pinch, Blink, Stay Alive

“I have been doing Flash animations for a year now. I just started experimenting because I was too lazy to really look at any tutorials. I didn't even know what onion skins were so my animation was a mess. With more practice I kept improving, but never did a long animation until now (Pinch, Blink, Stay Alive). I try getting freelance jobs through the Job Offer forum at Deviantart.com. I got the request of doing that Flash video there. And, well, I want to study animation... hopefully outside Chile because there aren't really good or specialized animation schools here.”

So, what's your story. How did you get into Flash?

Well, last year I got interested in learning different softwares. One of them was Flash. So I downloaded the trial, started reading a few tutorials, and didn't understand a thing. I thought, “Ah well, someday I will learn”. Three months later I opened Flash again, started experimenting, and thats how "My first Flash" came out. Sadly I got sent to a psychologist by my parents for doing that animation... but thats another story.

Do you like using Flash? Are there any setbacks/limitations you find when using it?

Yes, Flash is a great tool. It's simple to use and can lead to great results, even though it may be better as a web design tool than an animating one. Since Flash is vector based its a bit difficult for me to achieve some things. I find it way to clean sometimes. I like a more sketchy look. Thats why I made all the backgrounds for "Pinch, Blink, Stay Alive" in Photoshop and Painter. It gives a different feeling to the Flash. A problem I had with Flash was the actionscript, movie clips, and filters wouldn't appear when exported to video, but that was solved with SWF2VIDEO. Great life saver software.

Is there any other software you're into?

Animation softwares? I'm trying to get into Bauhaus Mirage and Toon Boom Studio. Mirage is cool because its bitmap based so I might be able to achieve what I want more easily. I also frequently use Photoshop, Corel Painter, Illustrator, Fireworks and After Effects.

Do you have any other creative interests?

Apart from animating, I like drawing (traditional and digital) and web design... Although I've never done any serious website.

What inspired Pinch, Blink, Stay Alive?

Well, mostly it was the song. It certainly gave the feeling of being underwater so of course it had to be in the sea. Even though this animation was mostly improvised. I didn't have a clear storyboard or anything from the beginning. And well... my friends joke that its based on SpongeBob Squarepants, hahaha! They may be right.

For your first "long" animation, Pinch, Blink, Stay Alive is incredibly polished. How did you pull that off?

I don't know, I think I put more effort into it than in other Flash. It's the first time that I'm satisfied with my work. Most of the time I hate it xD.

How long did it take you to make it?

Like 6 months working on and off. Mostly because of school, laziness, PC crashes, etc. The scene of the little guy walking with the fish had to be redone three times. It kept corrupting, so in the end it didn't came out so well because I was tired. It took so long that the guy kinda "evolved" through the scenes, if you can notice, hahaha. I think I changed the style way too much without noticing at first.

Are there any other animations/projects your currently working on? ...How about links to more of your work you'd like to share?

At the moment I'm taking a break, But since I'm on vacation I plan on doing another claymation. Also I'm planning a colab with some friends, they would write the story and I would animate.

Most of my work can be seen at my Deviantart gallery. I plan on doing a personal website soon, but at the time all I have is my DA gallery.

Who are your favorite artists?

I have tons but cant remember all now, hahaha! Maybe Jhonen Vasquez and Adam Philips (animator of the Bitey Of Brackenwood series).

If dreams came true, what would your ideal wish for your future be?

To study animation and become a professional animator someday, living outside of Chile. I mostly want to specialize in classical or 2D animation. If not, I would also be interested in studying Audiovisual Arts.

Curator Review:

After stumbling across the "Pinch, Blink, Stay Alive" music video, and hearing a fourteen-year-old was the creative mastermind behind the piece, I was delighted when she agreed to a feature. Having only used Flash for a year her first lengthy animation is so meticulously polished and well-animated that it stands at the same level of perfection one would expect from a professional animator. Displaying a strong talent in story-telling, Fernanda's work is both charmingly comical and incredibly imaginative. She is definitely a developing talent worth keeping your eye on. So be sure to take a peek at her Deviantart gallery, and don't miss her Flash section at Enigma Comics.

Curator: Nathalie Lawhead
Nathalie Lawhead is an artist, poet, writer, and sculptor. She works as a senior designer, and Flash developer for the infamous group of IT goons’ known as AlienMelon. Momentarily her physical location is the medieval town of Kranj, Slovenia but she lives online fused to her computer and the web.