Exclusive interview with Sara Jurić -Filmmaker
Sara Jurić was born in 1994 in Gattinara, Italy. She lived her whole life in Croatia and got educated there as well. She began her education at the University of North as a media designer and enrolled in master’s degree program in Animation at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. She graduated from Animation in 2019.
One of the first competitions that she participated was for the company Philip Morris Zagreb Ltd., in which the task was to design T-shirts for InMusic and Ultra Europe festival in the year of 2014. In both competitions, she won the 1st place. Moreover, her work (e.g. pictures, drawings and videos) was exhibited in Koprivnica at the Arts & Sh*t exhibition in 2016. In addition, she participated in a group exhibition “Creative Clutter” that was presented at the Ivan Rabuzin Cultural Center Novi Marof in 2017. The exhibition consisted of posters, books, picture books, visual identity of the Zagreb Archaeological Museum and cover for a gramophone record. Her original love is actually painting. Thus, two paintings were exhibited in the Croatian series “Pocivali u miru” (eng. Rest in Peace) in season 3 in the second episode in the year of 2018. For her graduation thesis, she made an animated film called the “HealthMakers” which is a short 3D animated movie that is currently travelling around the world and will be presented on different film festivals. She is currently working on a 3D project and her goal is to continue to learn and explore more about the world of animation.
NY Glam: How long have you been making films and videos?
To be absolutely frank, I am not long in this field. Firstly, I was working in the word of visual communication and in that period of time animated movies were an unknown media for me. I completed my bachelor degree in Media Design from the University North in Koprivnica, Croatia. Since I was a little kid, I loved to watch animated movies, but I never thought that I would end up doing this as a profession. At the end of my bachelor studies, I decided to do a short 3D animated movie “Don’t worry bee happy” for my bachelor thesis. I made that movie in a month and a half. I actually made that movie in such a short period of time because I needed to le-learn everything from the scratch. Thanks to that movie, I was accepted into the master’s degree program Animation at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. Step by step, I entered the world of animation. Now I can safely say that I love this work and that I will learn the magic of animation for the rest of my life.
NY Glam: What film was your directorial debut?
I could consider that the “HealthMakers” are my directorial debut, even though I created it for my master thesis in the year of 2019. Moreover, the movie would not be possible to make without some people like Siniša Mataić (Director Consultant and Animation Sensei), and of course my family and friends. Thanks Vale!
NY Glam: What is your recent film about?
It is a story about a little girl who wanted to help her dad. She had enough of seeing him tired every day after a long day of work. So, one day she decided to paint a couple of weird-looking creatures that would help him with his problem by entering inside of his body. With the help of her imagination they came to life and she named them the “HealthMakers”.
NY Glam: How did you go about casting for the film?
The charm in animated movie is that you can create whatever you want. Even small creatures that are the result of a child’s imagination. There are five characters. Each character has its own character, visual and a name. One friend told me that the set of these characteristics from the characters in the movie represent my character and personality, which was a very cool observation! In addition, I asked my friends and their siblings if they wanted to give their voices to those characters and they agreed. I had luck that most of them were coming from an art background and had the motivation and the time to participate in it.
NY Glam: What was the most important lesson you had to learn that has had a positive effect on your film? How did that lesson happen?
Time management is everything. The better you prepare, the more time you will save. In my case, I needed to have self-discipline when I was making this movie. I was simultaneously studying the Autodesk Maya program, which I didn’t know at all. Additionally, I worked on a storyboard, character design, 3D modeling, animation, texturing, and editing. Lastly, I lent my voice to the character called Handy.
NY Glam: Tell us a bit about the other films you’ve made and your other projects.
The animated film “Don’t worry bee happy” is a result of pure fun and creativity. You can find it on the following link – https://vimeo.com/245169397. It was my very first animated film, that I have ever made, and it was my first animation I have ever done as well. Thinking about it, it was a funny project, but a crazy one. I did it in month and a half and back then I knew very little about 3D software. That movie brings me joy because it signalizes a new beginning of my journey.
NY Glam: What role have film festivals played in your life so far?
Actually, right now I am making my very first experiences with the film festivals as an artist. I am ecstatic every time when a festival accepts my film. I could not believe that my movie will be presented on this festival in New York. I just could not stop smiling the whole day when I got the news. So, yes, film festivals have a crucial role in my life, because of them my work is getting acknowledged by different audiences that I never imagined before. One day I’d like to visit the Big Apple and experience the streets, the noise and the people. I have to thank my mother for helping me in distributing this film. Thanks, mom!
NY Glam: Is it harder to get started or to keep going? What was the particular thing that you had to conquer to do either?
It wasn’t hard for me to get started due to the fact that I was very stubborn and persistent. I knew what I wanted. I was lucky to have a great team of people who made this movie a reality. My boyfriend and my mother helped with the story. Siniša Mataić was my animation sensei. Domagoj Vicković did the beautiful lighting and the composer was Ivan Evačić. Iva Kašutin and Radar.hr helped me with the camera, while Kim Kukuruzović, Nina Kukuruzović and Niko Gulam gave their voices to the characters. With such a productive team, it was not difficult to start and finish this film. Daniel Šuljić was my formal comentor on Academy.
NY Glam: How has your style evolved?
I still did not developed a specific style. I am still learning a lot. And I believe I will never decide just for one style. There are a lot beautiful animation and art solution, and because of that I don’t want to limit myself in the future.
NY Glam: What has been your personal key to success?
My personal key to success is the love and support I receive from my family, friends and the team. That tenacity has pushed me only further.
NY Glam: What are you thinking about doing next?
My goal is to learn and soak all the knowledge that is out there. But, I still want to improve on other aspects in life. I want to train my body to the maximum and experiment with myself and just enjoy the ride.
NY Glam: Where does your studio want to go from here?
Can’t tell you much, but at the moment we are doing a very first Croatian full-length 3D animated movie.