Feature on Animator and Director Robert B. Gonzales

Great write up in San Antonio’s local newspaper.

Graphic designer wins in Southside category at film competition

By Kiko Martinez

Robert B. Gonzales doesn’t think of himself as a filmmaker.

As a self-taught graphic designer living on the South Side, he’s used to creating inventive logos and marketing materials for organizations such as the Museo Alameda and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Currently, he is a graphic designer at the Witte Museum.

“I’m just a print guy, not a motion guy,” Gonzales said. “But I always have five or six ideas in my back pocket.”

One of those ideas was to take his skills as a graphic designer and create an animated short film for submission into the San Antonio Neighborhood Film Project 3.0 sponsored by the Office of Cultural Affairs and the San Antonio Film Commission.

Gonzales’ film, “Ernie Takes the Long Way Through the South Side,” was recently awarded first place in the Southside category.

The animated short follows Ernie, his wife Patsy, and their twin granddaughters as they drive to Ernie’s cranky mother’s house in their Astro van. They pass the time by embracing the rich history of the Mission San José, King William District and Blue Star Art Gallery.

Other finalists in the Southside category were Frank Bernal (“Heart of Southtown”), Richard Jemal (“Espiritus de San Antonio”), Sam Lerma (“Flutter”), and Will Shipley (“Mentiroso”).

Gonzales graduated from Alamo Height High School in 1990 and earned two bachelor’s degrees (in philosophy and art history) from the University of Texas-Austin.

He said making his first animated film has taught him how animation can be used.

“I took this project on like a graphic designer and from there I was able to pull out all the ideas, jokes, and characters,” Gonzales says.

Gonzales said a competition like the Neighborhood Film Project is a great way to let everyone know how much pride citizens have in San Antonio.

“If you love your neighborhood, go out and show people,” Gonzales said.

Kiko Martinez is a San Antonio-based freelance writer.


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