5 min read

Interview With Animation Movie Director Fernanda Haiabe

Anubhav Chakraborty

June 30, 2022 5 min read

Movie: Too Many Crabs

Director: Fernanda Haiabe


Hello Fernanda! Welcome to Scénema! Tell us something about yourself!


Hello! Thanks for having me! I am very passionate about cartoons,  I just graduated from CalArts (California Institute of the Arts), and ended up becoming a Filmmaker. I want to tell my own stories and hopefully I’ll have my own show one day!


Too Many Crabs is so beautiful! How did you end up writing the story?


Thank you so much! My idea came from the reflection I had that everyone tries so hard to fit in and most of times they forget who they were in the first place. I think everyone is special in their own way and they shouldn’t change just to be accepted – they can be part of a group without losing the essence. The film plotline is “sometimes it’s best not to fit in” and it’s something I believe and practice in my real life. 

Fernanda, why did you pick up crabs as your characters?


I was fixated about making a film set in the ocean. I love ocean life and I love watching documentaries about animals and once I watched a video about decorator crabs and I found them fascinating and very fitting for my story. I think it’s pretty entertaining that those little animals know which decorations will make them look good. They also have great character designs! 


Animation is a very challenging medium. What attracts you to animation? What does it mean to you?


It is indeed very challenging! What attracts me to Animation is the sensibility that only exists in this medium because it is unique to each Artist and how they decide to put that into their own work. In other words, Animation is how the Artist is able to translate their message, vision, world and story in a language we can comprehend and be immersed and I think it’s wonderful. I want the audience to experience my vision and world too when they see my work. 


Fernanda, in childhood which shows have impacted you the most? 


So many! I grew up in the 90s so I was lucky enough to watch some very good shows. My favorites are The Simpsons, Doug, Spongebob Squarepants, Rocko’s Modern Life. I am also a huge fan of the classics: Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes and Woody Woodpecker.

In terms of creation, what kinds of stories do you wish to tell? 

I mostly wanna tell funny stories, but relatable ones! It sounds vague, but I just want to express my thoughts on the most random reflections I can have, just like I did with “Too many Crabs”.


Comedy eases a lot of people, but it is undoubtedly one of the toughest genres to write. How do you approach your content before you start writing the script?


I think most of my process comes from personal experience. I try to get a laugh at most things that happen to me in real life. Even if they were bad experiences, it’s important to try to get the best of it.


Fernanda, tell us something about your journey! How tough was it to get to the position you’re currently in?


Not gonna lie, it was very tough! I came from a Fashion Design background, which is a different world from Animation. I decided I was going to study Animation when I was 25 so I had to really catch up on drawing skills and becoming the best I could in a short amount of time to be accepted at CalArts (which is a very hard thing to do). It took me 2 years to finally get in! During school the workload was very intense but it helped me improve immensely! I have never animated prior coming to CalArts, so I am still impressed that I was able to finish all my 2D animated films during school.

Fernanda, it can be safely assumed that you’re familiar with anime and manga. Would you like to share some of your favourites with us and why you like them?


Oh yeah, I love anime and manga! The way they make storytelling and their pacing is very different and very inspiring. I am reading a manga called “Blue Period” and it’s an amazing story about a high schooler who suddenly falls in love with art and decides to pursue his dream. It’s very relatable and I’d recommend it to anyone who’s passion driven and hardworker!


Tell us something about your next project! What are you planning to work on?


I am planning on keep honing my skills and my portfolio to get a chance in the Animation Industry. I’d love to work in a studio and be part of a team one day. In parallel I’d like to keep working on personal project ideas and pitch my own show. I’d love to inspire other young artists the way I was inspired too!

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