The last time I spoke to Marzia, I was covering her in a Polaroid Style, casually chatting on the subject of how being a YouTuber can be hard – “…with becoming bigger and bigger, you also get more exposure, which sometimes is not wanted and might be overwhelming – but it’s worth it!” – and her #stylespiration – “Japanese fashion, but with an edge”.
However, after watching her secret announcements video, I naturally knew that I had to contact her and find out more about Announcement Number One.
Yep – it’s true! Marzia is releasing three animated episodes, inspired by her love for horror, Maya (her adorable one-eyed pug), and her imaginative scary stories. Episode 1 of the creepy ‘n’ cute series will be uploaded on her YouTube channel, this Saturday, on Valentine’s Day. I’ll also be posting about it here on Birdlessly – so keep a look out for it’s debut! 🙂
In this interview, Marzia and I chat again as we explore more about this particular secret project, as well as her passion for animation, the team behind the series and her “psycho” love for horror. Read our chat below! <3
EL: First of all, what fascinates and excites you about animation? Why do you like to animate?
M: Animating is of my preferred way to expressed the ideas in my mind; if you saw, for example, my short animation “Madness” I tried to approach the subject of hate in a light and clever way. Animations are fun, creative and entertaining – it doesn’t get any better!
EL: And so, what made you decide to do an animation series? Is this something you’ve wanted to do for a while?
M: Since my very first stop-motion animation on my channel, I realized that the response to my creepy story was very good: I knew right away that one day I would have want to make something bigger and better put together.
EL: How long has the process been from start to finish?
M: In December 2013 the actual idea came up, and so I started searching for a team. I looked for talented people all over the internet, but none of the styles they had to offer really captured what I was going for, so finally in March 2014 my manager Lilly submitted my story to Maker Studios: luckily, they loved it. They helped me searching for the right team, they showed me work from numerous animators but the one that instantly caught my attention was the one from the Maker Animation Team itself. When the team was chosen, I provided a sketch of how the main character should look like and together we adjusted the story as we moved on in each episode. A lot more has happened since then, but to cut it short, the whole process took about a year.
EL: Could you summarise your creative process for the animations e.g. coming up with ideas for the narrative, characters etc.?
M: The first step to create an animation is to focus on the story: I initially wrote 4 episodes that we later on decided to merge to create 3 instead. The second thing to do was to illustrate the characters: as mentioned, I already provided a sketch of what the protagonist should look like, as well as descriptions and names of each side character. The team came up with designs for me to select from and approve for each one of them. The third step is to sketch out the storyline, and after that, the actual animating work can begin!
EL: That sounds like a lot of hard work! Are you animating any of the episodes with your team, and who is your animation team?
M: I am not animating these episodes, I worked on anything else related to this animation, but any time I work with other animators, I don’t want to interfere with their personal style. The people working on this with me are the Maker Studios Animation Team, based in California.
EL: About the narrative, does each episode have a single story or does the plot continue across each episode in the series?
M: This animation project is divided into three episodes, all connecting to each other: in every one of them, you will follow the story of the protagonist and try to understand what really is happening. The episodes are very mysterious and one particular character will make everything extremely creepy.
EL: Are your main characters inspired by anyone or anything? Who is your favourite character?
M: The name of the protagonist is Maya Blake, and she is drawn in a way that resembles myself and Maya, my pug. In fact, she looks like me quite a lot, but only shows one eye, as the other one is covered by her hair (my pug only has one eye).
EL: I absolutely love her. Maya’s design is so beautiful! So, why do you particularly like the horror genre?
M: This will sound horrifying and will make me look like a psycho, but anything horror makes me happy! Since I can remember, I have always loved horror stuff: I used to play creepy games with my friends when I was little, watch horror movies with my parents, spy on my neighbors and write down creepy stories about them… it’s just something that deeply interest me, I can’t really explain it.
EL: Finally, can we expect a season 2 of this animation series?
M: If these 3 episodes go well, more projects might open up: I’m not sure season 2 would necessarily see the same characters, but it might bring something new to the table. In the meantime, I’m just extremely happy that this little series is finally coming out!
I really love interviewing Marzia and I wholeheartedly congratulate her on her success – I urge you to do the same (I’ve linked her social media below!) This whole process has made me so excited about the animation’s launch this Saturday, and I’m sure every Marzipan feels similar. This year long achievement really shows how Marzia has progressed on YouTube, from an individual stop-motion animator to finally having her own produced series featured on her channel. Yet Marzia isn’t just stopping at animation; the rest of her announcements include a Spring line of CutiePieMarzia fashion and finally, she has written a horror book called ‘La casa dei sogni’ (Dream House). It will be available to buy later in 2015, but currently it is available to pre-order on the Kindle (here in English / here in Italian) or on iTunes.
It is unquestionable that I admire Marzia and her work, and I know, without any doubt, that I’d love to interview her again in the future about her book or fashion line as she is the epitome of a Birdlessly Featured individual: intrinsically artistic and humbly hardworking.
If a next series is produced, I will report on its success on Birdlessly. Hopefully Marzia and the Maker Studios Animation Team will give us a Season 2 that’ll let us delve more into the mysterious world of Maya Blake and Marzia Bisognin.
So, have you marked the date yet? <3
Marzia’s links >