"Cartoon Brew: What got you interested in animation?
Aymeric Kevin: Japanese anime. Like it was the case for many, it started as a hypnotic fixation with the shonen genre. Anime had a large presence in France in the 1990s—shows like Dragon Ball, Saint Seiya, City Hunter, evenFist of the North Star—there were many shows being aired on TV at the time. Later on, Masaaki Yuasa’s Mind Game and Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke swept me away and to this day remain my favorite films. It was during high school when I become really fascinated in the animation process through the making of videos, peeking into the world of the many devoted people working together, sweating over the desks, crunched over focused on a singular mission. This made me want to be in this industry. I still spend hours re-watching the documentary, How Mononoke Hime was Born (Mononoke Hime wa koushite umareta). For those who have not seen it yet, I highly recommend it.
Cartoon Brew: Gobelins has a good track record of producing remarkable student films. What makes Gobelins different and what did you learn there?
Aymeric Kevin: The rhythm here is quick; the moment you are accepted into the school the pace of progression within their walls accelerate. The fact is, they usually choose people with solid drawing skills to begin with, and that is probably why the fast pace is sustainable. Gobelins likes to remind people they are not going to teach anyone how to draw; they teach how to animate. Yet they offer a very comprehensive course where students are taken through every stage of the animation production. Knowing all of the stages and processes helps you make better decisions whatever you end up doing in animation.
What I have mainly learned though started as a realization during the first entrance exam. I was in a large room with rows of tables, but more importantly, rows filled with hundreds of applicants. It was
clear: there are a lot of drawers out there. This emulation, this reality of competition, remains strong and vigilant throughout the years at Gobelins. Whether it is good or bad, it undeniably pushes one to do their best at all times.”