She’s got the power…
Sunderland, the plastic imitation jewel in North East England’s grimy industrial crown, there’s a lot to be said for the place, but if you can’t say anything nice… No, just kidding, Sunderland is, for the most part, lovely. Sorrento on the other hand requires no such qualifiers. If Sunderland has an opposite it’s Sorrento, the beautiful beach resort on Italy’s southwest.
All this is to say that if you’re offered a swap then it’s an obvious choice to make, and that’s exactly what Casual Films animator Bianca Pollio did. She did it the wrong way of course, swapping her role in the family restaurant business in sunny Italy for a degree course in the chilly north east of England, but that’s Bianca – bold, fearless and entirely unpredictable.
Her main hobby is a perfect example. I could give you a hundred guesses and I can say with absolute certainty that you wouldn’t get it, so I won’t. It’d be a waste of your time and mine. It’s powerlifting. Yes, proper powerlifting. She’s been at it for a little over 18 months and right now she can lift 70 kilos (that’s equivalent to 11 stone or a fully dressed Justin Bieber) though she’s at pains to point out that she’s currently lifting with the notable handicap of being 9 months pregnant. A non-pregnant Bianca could lift a whopping 100kg (imagine lifting a fully loaded washing machine over your head, it’s heavier than that). It’s as impressive as it is surprising.
Bianca got into lifting the same way she gets into many of her scrapes – by just saying yes to things. Her ‘try anything once’ attitude has seen her travel the world, go rock climbing and throw herself out of a plane. The next adventure might be the biggest though, as in just a few days she’ll be introducing a baby boy to the world. Typically of Bianca’s attitude she’s looking forward to the birthing experience “I think I’ll probably enjoy it” she stated as I winced in terror at the thought of that sort of pain. If you’re thinking that nothing scares her though, think again. Blessed with the perfect combination of being easily surprised and a tendency not to notice her environment, she can be made to leap out of her chair shrieking by simple things like seeing a coat that’s been hanging in place for hours. It makes for very interesting times in the office.
Yes, they broke the mold when they made Bianca, she is most definitely one of a kind and we definitely get the benefit of that in our work. Her character work is fantastic, she loves taking time to generate animations with personality and relishes jobs where she can get really involved with the creative direction. You can see some of her work here, it’s really very good.
As we wave her off on maternity leave the space she’s going to leave in the office is notable – it’s going to be quieter, less interesting and we’ve got nobody to lift the fridge freezer when we drop stuff under it…