Jun 9, 2016 | By Alec

If you spend a bit too much time on YouTube, you might have come across the hilarious comedy series Gran’pa Knows Best. Featuring figurines of the 87-year-old Puerto Rican-American grandfather Victor Muriel giving advice to viewers and answering their questions, it’s a fantastic medium that highlights the amazing knowledge and insights the elderly carry with them. The second season of Gran’pa Knows Best is set to premier on HBO Latino, HBO GO, HBO Now, and HBO On Demand next week, and as grandson and filmmaker William D. Caballero revealed, the show completely relies on a series of 3D printed figurines.

William D. Caballero himself is a young filmmaker and an alumni of the Pratt Institute and NYU Graduate School. Previous projects, like the autobiographical documentary American Dreams Deferred, showcased some sides of immigrant life not often seen in the US media.

In some ways that theme also visible in this fun and much more lighthearted show, as it is actually completely based on Caballero’s own experiences with his grandfather (or Gran’pa, as he calls him in a Puerto Rican accent). “Ever since I left North Carolina and moved back to New York City for college about 10 years ago, my gran'pa Victor has left me a ton of voicemail messages on my cell phone. These quirky messages ran the gamut from happy birthday messages to random ramblings on life, but one thing was for sure - if I didn't call him back soon enough, he would leave me the world's angriest voicemail,” he recalls.

But the filmmaker also knew that there was something special in the voicemail messages his talkative grandfather left him, and he wanted to share that with others. “Something that could be a great piece of quirky art, preserving my grandfather's personality and encapsulating a tidbit of the Puerto Rican-American experience,” Caballero says. Back in 2013, he decided to gather a team of creatives around him, and used a couple of 3D printed figurines to make the short film called HOW YOU DOIN', BOY? VOICEMAILS FROM GRAN'PA, which received universal acclaim at more than 20 film festivals.

That success led to the creation of Gran’pa Knows Best, a comedy web-series that also starred 4 inch 3D printed likenesses of Caballero’s grandfather. The Puerto Rican-American grandfather actually voices the character, and provides hilarious and insightful advice on a variety of issues. Users are encouraged to ask ‘Gran’pa’ anything, from advice to tips and experiences. “Ask him what his favorite topping is on a pizza. Ask him if that dress makes you look fat. Ask him about young people nowadays. Ask him about growing old,” Caballero says.

The first season was a huge hit, and Gran’pa Knows Best has thus been picked up by HBO Latino for the second season. As part of a promotional campaign, HBO Latino is even taking Gran’pa on tour with the “Big Adventures of a Tiny Gran’pa” campaign. The show itself will continue in the same format as the first season, offering a unique and fantastic film experience and again starring 3D printed figurines.

As the Gran’pa Knows Best team revealed, they believe that their reliance on 3D printing is in fact one of the reasons why they have been able to captivate a large audience. “One of the reasons GKB captures the viewer’s attention almost instantly, is because of its visual aesthetic. The art of 3D printing is very innovative, and hasn’t really been used in such a way to tell these complex stories,” Caballero says. “It allows for a ‘WOW factor’ in a way that human actors would not.”

For the second series, about 35 figurines will be used. Each is modeled by Chang Kim, using Zbrush software. These are subsequently 3D printed in polymer resin using an Objet 3D printer, and passed on to Amy Yamashiro and Kate Keisel for hand-painting. Each figurine takes about twenty hours to make, including modeling, 3D printing and hand-painting. “One of the most exciting aspects of this project, is the work that goes into the creation of every Gran'pa pose. The 3D printing medium is a very new technology, and a crucial factor in getting real-life Gran'pa to look identical to his miniature avatar replicas. Every single pose of Gran'pa was created based on photos from the real man,” Caballero says.

The models are then placed in a 3D printed miniature model home, which has been designed by Seth Burney. Caballero films the models in macro perspective, alongside dozens of props of all sizes and completed with graphic designs and text animation by Chris Cookson. The result is a fantastic show that, thanks to its unusual style and interactive nature, is hugely entertaining to watch. The second series will premiere on June 17 on HBO Latino and other HBO mediums, and is a must-see.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Maheen Sehar wrote at 6/13/2016 10:09:57 AM:

Very nice well thanks to share this ...

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