'The Invisible' Wins MY HERO Film Fest College Animation Award

by Deborah Neff from United States

149461'Ida' in 'The Invisible'Winand Mey, with permission

The animation short, The Invisibleis about elderly woman named Ida who is invisible in the streets of a seaside town, where she remains unseen by all but a seagull and a cat. The moving film was directed by Winand Mey and produced by The Animation School.

Winand — pronounced Vee-nund — lives in Cape Town, South Africa. He was awarded his BSC in Computer Science at Stellenbosch University and then attended The Animation School for three years. He currently works at an international software company called ‘RenderHeads SA’ and plans to continue creating animations, too: The Invisible was his first animated film. 

149457The production team for 'Invisible'Winand Mey, with permission

The Invisible is based on a story that fellow Animation School student Kirsten Lewis had conveyed to Winand and the team the year before. Lewis had met an elderly woman at a wedding she attended who had told her, “The older you get, the more invisible you become.” The story resonated with Winand because his grandma, one of his personal heroes, had passed away two years earlier. He said that the rest of the team agreed that it was a topic that needed to be addressed, so they took the story and tweaked it.

The story’s personal meaning, Winand said, is that it appeals to all kinds of people. "So many people have felt left out—not noticed. Mostly it’s a reminder to be more deliberate with how they go with other people. Say hello: notice people."

149458Winand Mey, Production managerWinand Mey, with permission

Winand knew from a very young age that he wanted to do something creative. He’s always loved visual arts, especially photography. He’s passionate about animation, the tech aspect as well as the creative aspects: “It requires you think intelligently.”

We asked Winand if he had any mentors or heroes working in animation: 

If anyone had been an animation mentor for me, it would have to be my lecturers from The Animation School, and in particular Kelly Walker, our amazing 2nd year lecturer. Besides being incredibly knowledgeable, she also invests herself heavily in the well-being and growth of the students as human beings. 

If the question is aimed more at whether I have an animation idol or hero, then I would have to give the perhaps cliché answer of Walt Disney 😄 But I really do admire and aspire to be like he was, in terms of how he was not just another artist who can make pretty pictures, but someone who was also a dreamer and a thinker, and someone who had a grasp on all the aspects of the animation process--the creative, the administrative, the technical, etc.--but who was also willing to call for help with aspects that he was not so skilled at, such as the business side of things.

“My heroes? My Grandma and my mother,” he says, laughing at the thought. "My mother is my grandmother’s child. Both are inspiring to me because they embody all the values I admire: They’re not only humble and kind, but they are self-sacrificing, putting others before themselves." 

MY HERO asked Winand if he had any advice for aspiring filmmakers:

Make sure you are doing something you believe in. I love animation – it’s fun, and it is something through which I can make change in the world, be an influence for the better. It’s basically two things: passion and commitment. With these, nothing can stop you. 


Film Credits

Winand Mey: Production Manager, Editor, Look Development (Lighting and Surfacing) Lead, Compositing Artist, Texturing Artist

Avuyile Magwebu: Production Designer, Modeller, Look Development Artist

Emma Bodenstein: Texturing Lead, Modeller, Animator

Conor Goliath: Storyboarding Lead, Modeller, Texturing Artist, Animator

Quintin Matthysen: Rigging Lead, Animator, Visual Effects Artist

Hugo Tancred: Modelling Lead, Animator, Visual Effects Artist

Arend van der Merwe: Animation Lead, Modeller, Texturing Artist, Visual Effects Artist, Rigger

Nishaat Williams: Compositing Lead, Look Development Artist, Visual Effects Artist, Texturing Artist

Links for more information: Watch the film, The Invisible:

Learn about the incredible Animation School in South Africa:



Page created on 9/22/2022 3:06:49 PM

Last edited 1/24/2023 3:17:27 PM

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