Wednesday, December 07, 2022

At the age of 25, he sold his series to MTV but the door slammed: from extremely low profile to the return of Alejo and Valentina.

At the age of 25, he sold his series to MTV but the door slammed: from extremely low profile to the return of Alejo and Valentina.

alexander szikula He was just 25 when he opened his website, locoartsand . uploaded the first chapters of Alejo and Valentina, the Flash animated series that would change his life forever. It was the year 2002 and the internet was still an area that had to be explored. The social media revolution would come nearly a decade later, and YouTube still didn’t exist for video sharing and viewing. In this context, this young self-taught animator began with a humorous proposition that would propel him to become one of the most visited sites in the country, and went on to receive an email from MTV that would support his project. Will make a 180-degree turn. , However, a door was slammed after the success, years of low profile and almost 20 years later, the second round.

also known as Mad, the nickname he chose to enter cyberspace in 1996, Szicula was born in Buenos Aires and can be defined as an animator, voice actor, as well as, why not, a comedian. But what stands out in his course is his role as the founder of a universe that has attracted thousands of fans across the country and the world: Guest, valentina, carlitox, old man with cane, Matthias Walterland You Gregory Orto They are some of the characters who, with their catchy phrasing and witty phrasing, entered the collective imagination of a generation that arose in the heat of broadband and internet forums.

Alejandro Szicula on stage with Alejo and Valentina (Photo: Courtesy)

,It all goes back to the year ’84 or ’85, when they gave me a Commodore 64In conversation with says Alejandro, who is just 45 Country, And start remembering. ,There I was already flashing through some games with creating animations. They were the basic opposite, I wanted to draw characters on the computer, the same thing I did in school, on the blackboard. I drew the original characters, I started that way, they were like little sparklers”, he recalls between laughing and making some voices that refer directly to the series:”My bonnet is flying!,

Alejandro was good at inventing characters and putting in weird voices beyond his stammer. And he noticed it because his friends asked for more from him. ,Being a stammer, introvert, shy since I was six, I feel like I’ve isolated myself so much that I developed a whole creative side”, he reflects. ,I came up with voices and made characters. I stuck them as posters in my room! -remember-. And they turned out to be good for me, I realized they were successful, my friends laughedHe also recorded voices on cassettes, telling stories and making jokes, as in a personal radio program of sorts.

Years later, the first PC arrived at his home and with it the long-awaited modem to connect to the Internet. ,i had to put one hole And I put El Loco because Alejandro Andres Szicula, my full name has 22 letters. and 22 is Mad In the pool”, synthesizes Alejandro. Born and raised in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Balvanera, better known as Abasto, he says he spent his teens in front of a computer.

“I was on the computer all day. I came from high school and there I was, computer, computer, computer,” he says. “Because I was a stammer, I didn’t go out to dance, I thought I’d never have a girlfriend, that I wouldn’t get a job. As I developed this whole creative thing, I procrastinated And was able to prove to myself that I could do everything I thought I couldn’t. In the end, I could,” he celebrates.

When he had to give his website a name, Alejandro decided to add his surname with a tribute to his favorite video game company. ,I was a fan of games made by LucasArts, Lucasfilm games at the time, like Monkey Island—he explains—. Some already came from Commodore and later, from PC: Mad Mansion, Jack McCracken and the Alien Mindbenders“, recall. With his knowledge of the matter, he reserved Page’s domain for free and received a hosting which he later began to pay for through an exchange. “I advertised in the same episode. And he says he knew how to get the site well established in Google and Yahoo!, the most important search engines.

The Cast Of Alejo And Valentina (Photo: Flixxo)
The cast of Alejo and Valentina (Photo: Flixxo)

,One day 50,000 people entered and the server crashed”, recalls Alejandro, an attempt was made to graphically depict the level of accessibility of LocoArts. The site’s figures were clear, but the most unbelievable thing was not the numbers, but the reflex they had in their characters’ real lives. “It started out as a curiosity, something that made me very happy. But that’s when I realized it had an effect when I walked through the door of a cyborg and heard ‘You you you!’ He says in Carlitox’s voice. he was no more feedback Received via the Internet, had already been broadcast. Talk of Cyberspace Happened in the Real World, a Rare Thing”, says the producer of Alejo and Valentina Still surprised.

Amidst all the “reactions”, as he calls them, that he began to receive for episodes of his series, one day he received an email from the MTV network with an offer that was hard to believe. ,They offer me to do the season. Each season, imagine it, has 13 episodes. And they were not as short as me, they were already 22 minutes, minimum”, recalls Sikander. then he crossed her path Pablo Zimmermanwho in turn approached him Adrian Peralta, the current animation director of the show. “Julian Castro is also on the team, they’re all the people Pablo introduced me to and that’s how it began to expand,” he says, adding that from that moment on he had to focus completely on the script and Removed the animation over and over. Recordings of all the voices of the characters.

An excerpt from “Mac King” (2002), the third episode of Alejo and Valentina

Although he had already managed to make his livelihood out of LoCoArts when MTV appeared on the horizon, Alejandro had to professionalize himself and rely on his work team. In total, there were four seasons on the American channel, with ratings numbers that surprised locals and strangers, but the affair did not end well. ,they wanted to internationalize itSzikula argues.

,They wanted us to make jokes that could be understood everywhere, from here to Czechoslovakia. They started putting limits on us, so they asked us for some changes that were absurd, Thus, by the fourth season we were exhausted and so were they. Sometimes we would deliver episodes late because I was late—he admits—. There was some friction between us, I think the relationship was getting weaker. Later, for the fifth season, they didn’t want to pay us the numbers we asked for, so we never got a fifth season on MTV.”

When the relationship with MTV ended, Alejandro wanted to get away from everything. He was tired of television and its rhythm, and to find a way out, he accepted an idea from his father, who had long insisted that he go to work in the National Highway Administration. “He worked there and I said: ‘Okay, I’ll try something else because I need the money,'” he analyzes from afar. However, things were not easy. “I had a quiet year, but the second I already started saying ‘what am I doing here’. On top of that, my co-workers knew me from the series and they themselves told me: ‘What are you doing here?’“, remember.

Alejandro was not comfortable with his new business. He started having some absences, he ran first, he started neglecting work and asking for leave. ,I stayed there for more or less two years, and then three or four more years which were very bad.”, he assures. However, fate still had a surprise for him.

Adrian Garelic (Ceo Of Flixxo) And Alejandro Szicula With Alejo And Valentina (Photo: Flixxo)
Adrian Garelic (CEO of Flixxo) and Alejandro Szicula with Alejo and Valentina (Photo: Flixxo)

When he left his public employment, Pablo Zimmerman contacted him again. they got an offer flixxo, the WEB3 video platform focused on Microseries and Creators 3.0, and has its own cryptocurrency, FLIXX. The idea was to make the delayed fifth season of Alejo and Valentina There, and go for even more and throw the sixth.

Alejandro Szicula in 20 Years of Alejo and Valentina

,We were separated with Pablo for 10 years. We got together and said: ‘Let’s try it, let’s see if it works as before’. And it worked, it’s working: we do shows, presentations, things we didn’t do before”, Alejandro said in reference to the 20-year event of the series, which he put together in the Belgrano Auditorium. until that day Brenda Asnicari It was part of the celebration. It is that the actress is a fan of the program and will lend her voice in future chapters of the imminent release.

Alejandro Szicula And Brenda Asniker At Alejo And Valentina'S 20 Years Event (Photo: Flixxo)
Alejandro Szicula and Brenda Asniker at Alejo and Valentina’s 20 Years event (Photo: Flixxo)

“I was surprised that there were more people than we thought,” admits Alejandro, who, in addition to recently becoming one of a kind front manHe was in Montevideo over the weekend, doing the same at Freaky Fest—he released a book about the series: Alejo and Valentina. ultimate guideA special item for fans.

Alejo & Valentina – “Carlitox Rap Music Session #1: El Viejo del Bastón” (2022)

Meanwhile, in addition to all the chapters that can be viewed on Flixxo, they share short videos with topics related to current affairs on the program’s official social network. That’s how you can hear the old man going viral in a parody of bizarre sessions, or Gregory, Mattias, Rogelio and company doing their thing in the pavilion busy,

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