Bernie Roux Joins Bent Image Lab
Internationally acclaimed Director Bernie Roux has joined Portland, OR studio Bent Image Lab, bringing with him a medley of talents in animation and filmmaking. The award-winning director’s international directing experience spans the world (the United States, South Africa, Australia, Hong Kong, India and Russia to name a few), though his journey to Bent started with a few beers overlooking a river in France.
“I met the talented and enjoyable Mr. Roux (Monsieur Red) at the old castle sitting directly over a river in Annecy for a brief lunch that lasted four hours. Several beers later into the fading light of evening, one of the nearby table guests then handed us his half-drunk pint, climbed over the rail, and promptly relived himself into the rushing water below,” recalls Bent Partner David Daniels. “That’s how the afternoon went into the night: uninhibited and to the point, while our conversation only got better from there.”
Growing up in South Africa, Roux studied film, illustration and 2D animation eventually landing an apprenticeship under two of South Africa’s top animators Riccardo Capecchi in 2D animation and Lindsay Van Blerk in stop motion. “I grew up with a love for animation,” says Roux. “There was never a doubt that it was going to be in my future.” After getting his foot in the door at a South African production company, Roux worked his way up through the ranks, until he eventually founded his own studio Lovebomb Animation. He later joined New Zealand animation studio Yukfoo in 2007 and then Stockholm’s Against All Odds/Passion Pictures in 2010.
“I have lived and worked in many countries and regions, from South Africa to New Zealand in the East, Stockholm in the North, as well as traveling throughout much of Europe,” says Roux. “This expose to different cultures and their stories all influence and mold the way I direct, animate and tell stories.”
Among some of Roux’s favorite projects is his latest short film entitled “This Crowded Thought” in which his story is told through stop motion photo flashes that he took while walking to and from work in Sweden. The film screened at “Best of the World” in the Hiroshima Animation Festival in 2012 and won a platinum Pixie in 2013. In addition to this Roux has won multiple awards for his commercials including a Loerie Award for his MTN spot, a D&AD award for his Doom “Bugs” illustrations and a Silver Lion for his 2003 PSA for Childline entitled “Lucy Moonflower”. Some of his proudest work is a few Schweppes spots created in his native South Africa.
“I did two 'Schweppes' TVC's for Africa. I felt that the mediums that I animated the film in [tin/wood/paint] expressed African street culture honestly and not in a 'beads & spears curio' way,” says Roux. “The films felt very authentic to the target audience and the scripts, and possibly the closest I have come to an original look and feel.”