Feb 27 / Phil

Punctured picks up Tropfest prize

Punctured is an animated short film by Nick Baker and Tristan Klein which won third prize in the world’s largest short film festival: Tropfest.

Their film was the only animated entry selected from hundreds of live-action and animated shorts to make the sixteen finalists.

Ozanimate spoke to Nick and Tristan about their animated short, how they made it and what advice they’d give to other animators targetting their films at the festival scene.

Ozanimate: How did Punctured come about? What was the inspiration?

Nick Baker: We wanted to tell an original, heartfelt story that used the signature item (a balloon) to its full potential.

Oz: Is it a neat split between the writing and animating for you two – or do each you do a bit of both?

Tristan Klein: We both nut out the story and we both talk about art direction, styles, shots and story boarding. Then Nick writes the screenplay and I animate.

Oz: How long did Punctured take to make?

NB: Six months to plan the story and a month to create the art and animate.

Oz: This isn’t the first time you’ve entered Tropfest – what other films have you worked on?

TK: We teamed up last year to make Seed – our first project together, that had a similar visual style to Punctured. The film was shortlisted for Tropfest 2012.

Oz: Punctured has an interesting visual style with paper cutouts and what looks like old Chinese newspapers for textures. How did you come up with the look of the film?

TK: We played around with a few different styles, some water colour, some in acrylic and some mixed media. The mixed media one seemed to work the best.

NB: Tristan had studied design and illustration and Enmore Design Centre and got to experiment with a lot of different styles there.

TK: We figured this style best expressed the ‘dystopic future’ feel we were after.

Oz: Can you tell us a bit about the process of making the film. What software did you use?

TK: Most of it was done in After Effects and the faces were animated in a program called Crazy Talk. Crazy Talk helped animate emotion in a short period of time.

Oz: Any tips for animators who have plans to enter film festivals and competitions? Any traps to avoid?

NB: Just keep trying, make sure to have fun, work on what you can do the strongest.

18 months ago Tristan didn’t know how to use After Effects or any other animation program, but
with YouTube tutorials anything is possible these days.

Planning is everything, especially when it comes to story. The longer you spend planning the story,
the better the film.

TK: Animation software has become so accessible that productions by young up-and-comers have skyrocketed. It’s a blessing and a curse because accessibility is fantastic but there is now so much competition- so we asked ourselves, what can we offer that is original, unique and bucks certain trends?

Oz: What projects are next on your list?

NB: We have a lot of projects that are very early on in the stages. Hopefully the Tropfest placing will lead to bigger and better things!

TK: We would like to explore working on children’s books and also perhaps some interactive apps for IPad or Andriod if we can get the funding for them.

And of course we are playing around with some ideas for more short films.

You can see more of Nick and Tristan’s work at their production website: Seekandhide.com.au

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