“Wow Lisa” is a 26-episode children’s series that mixes 3D and stop-motion. The script idea is inspired by what we used to like as kids. The director and creator of the series, María Elisa Soto-Aguilar, recalls that when she was about 4 or 5 years old – for some reason – she collected little bags, those bags that usually have a stamped pattern, but at the same time, still look simple.
As a creative team, they analyzed their environment and noticed a common place. Many people, men and women, at some point in their lives had some sort of collection (not necessarily something important or significant). Most people want to collect and treasure something, a trait that they also observed in their own children, who collected small rocks or candy wrappers, etc.
They decided to explore children’s capacity of wonder, an essential trait during childhood that generally decreases as we grow older. Little boys and girls still see the world around them as something new and full of possibilities. Later, the studio merged this concept with a subject they had wanted to develop for some time: sustainability through recycling and repurposing. This is how they created the concept for the series, which won the CNTV Production Fund in 2020.
“Wow Lisa” is a series created by production company PunkRobot, an animation studio in Santiago de Chile. The studio was created by Antonia Herrera, Gabriel Osorio, Maria Elisa Soto-Aguilar and Patricio Escala. Since 2008, and thanks to a great human and multidisciplinary team, they have developed projects of high visual impact for television, publicity and film such as “Flipos” (2010); “The Adventures of Muelin and Perlita” (2013); the animated short “Bear Story” (2014), winner of the first Academy Award for Animation in Latin America, and the preschool series “Guitar & Drum.” Their objective is to create, produce and internationalize unique animated content that contributes to society, especially to children.
The one-minute trailer they submitted to apply for the CNTV fund was the last project they worked on at their office before going into quarantine. They had to leave the sets and all the clutter from the production as is. They say that all that is now “covered in dust.”
Making a series during the pandemic? A challenge
The one-minute trailer they submitted to apply for the CNTV fund was the last project they worked on at their office before going into quarantine. They had to leave the sets and all the clutter from the production as is. They say that all that is now “covered in dust.” The sets for the trailer were made by the directors. To them, it was a challenge to work with their hands again, glue, sticks and tons of other materials. “It was like being back at college. We had to ask our friends from the world of stop-motion for advice, because it was too much new information,” (laughs)… “But it was entertaining and rewarding, we loved it! When we started developing the concept, we asked everybody in the team to bring into the office their collections. We got bus tickets, old cameras, clothing tags, and the most surprising of all… a collection of animal skulls!” (laughs) recalls Maria Elisa Soto-Aguilar, co-creator and director of the series.
With “Wow Lisa” they are mixing 3D and stop-motion for the first time. They will work with real sets, to later add the 3D characters digitally. What will happen to the sets if the lockdown continues? “That’s a problem we hope to solve by the time we get to the production stage,” says the directors of the series.
Now, after receiving the funds, they will start pre-production, closing the character’s design stage to get started with the scripts. Once the series is completed, they hope that it will reach as many children as possible.