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IT’S ART: Who made up the team worked on this project?
The team at MAKE included Aaron Dabelow, Tyson Ibele, Kevin Wisdom and myself. Everyone acted as a generalist in this piece, while I was limited to some compositing.
IA: Where did the initial idea for the script comes from?
The initial design and layout was created by Matthieu Roussel and Nathalie Tousnakhoff for the book, published by Kilowatt.
IA: Can you speak about the creative process, how did you exchange ideas between the different members of the team?
Unlike most of our internal projects here at MAKE, this was the first time we collaborated with someone outside of the studio. Matt did such a fine job on the book design that the book itself acted as our storyboards. We tried our best to maintain the same look and aesthetic so that the two would be identical. Once the look was achieved, we then had to focus on adapting the stills to the animated medium. Developing a language for motion of the characters and world was a ton of fun! We really tried to compliment the design with our aesthetic.
IA: Did you experience any difficulties during the creation due to the fact the film is an extension of a book for kids?
There really weren't any difficulties. I would say that the story obviously isn't an epic, adult oriented tale, but it was very much a pleasure to create a piece for a different audience. Most of our work is in the commercial world, so this was pretty much the complete opposite. It is also great to see how young kids react to it and how they are attracted to the visuals, asking to watch it time and time again.
As mentioned, with the look already established in the book, our main contribution was pacing, flow, and of course the introduction of motion. Developing a style for these characters' motion was actually very intuitive. We pretty much knew from day one we wanted to have fairly simple motion that would almost be realistic for these characters; as if they were real paper mache figures. Also, the transitions from scene to scene were a decision made very early on. Adding a bit of a graphic element to the piece was always in our minds, and it kind of added to the theatrical feel of the scenes.