Eran Hilleli is an animation director based in Tel Aviv. He went to school in Jerusalem, at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design where he studied animation. His graduation project was a short film called Between Bears. “It was kind of my first step into this world so I was a bit naive” Eran says. “I wasn’t dreaming of being a director or anything. I just wanted to make animation films and design characters… through that film I got a lot of opportunities. It was also part of the Vimeo Festival. It won the Best Animation Award which got me far more attention. It was very surprising. That was 2010 when I finished the film. Then 2011 was when stuff started happening.” Straight after university he got signed by XYZ, an animation studio in Australia and started being represented as an animation director working on projects like commercials and music videos. In parallel, he kept working on personal projects which ended up having him represented by Hornet Film in New York as well.
In the magical and surreal worlds formed by Eran Hilleli, creatures great and small come together through a connection with their strange surroundings, blurring the lines between person and place and experiencing epic journeys. He often experiences different approaches to character design. For instance for his piece as part of the Character Walk at the AG Cemetery Museum he showed a beardy head on a screen linked to a synth keyboard, so people can play the character as they would a piece of music, in order to make him move, come alive and even fall apart or change face shape all together. This spontaneous and interactive approach to character design makes the viewer feel like the animator, bringing the head to life and giving him personality and movement.
Eran is going to talk at Blend in Tuschinski Amsterdam on 8 April.