Our path in life may change drastically but it does not mean that it ends neither life deserves to be judged as being absurd. This is what my graduation film Les Tournesols teaches me. I directed Les Tournesols with the aim of exploring closely intrinsic values of the human being.
The story tries to give and understanding of a contradictory relationship between two persons struggling with loneliness and depression but conforming to take life as the best possible way . The two characters are very different persons and the plot ends with a situation reversal .However, there is something that didn’t change: though they are worlds apart, they continue to live together as friends and much alike as two persons isolated from the world.
I am fascinated with satire and caricature. By caricaturing human relationships and bad emotional experiences, man enters into the world of the absurd, telling the truth at the same time.
My film is made with the animation technique Stop Motion, with two puppets, non- reproducible and provided with their own character. I incorporate sequences animated under-camera , with Plasticine in order to bring the paintings to life . This work explores the essence of character animation and Mise en Scene .
Les Tournesols is a narrative short animated film that presents with a sense of humor the relationship between two men that struggle with loneliness: a crazy ,cold and obsolete psychiatrist who perform irrationally the most inhuman mental treatments and his friendly but depressed patient who takes care of him and offers his friendship.
The interior set design comes from the research of old psychiatric hospitals. I realised that several buildings have in common big areas with big windows that allow a lot of daylight come through. But also the closed rooms are dark and scary.
All the scenes are shot during night time, except for the sequences of sunflowers. Those are done at Concordia, in the under camera studio with the oxberry system and a Canon DSLR with 50mm lens. Lamps are LED, but a yellow filter allows to change the color temperature more naturally instead of manipulating the parameters in the cinematography window. For the three dimensional scenes, those are generated with a Canon, rebelT3, and 18-55 mm lens.
A lip synch set is done previously in DragonFrame to generate a basic exposure sheet. Because the sequence of sunflowers are to be animated with plasticine, the lip-synch is based on Claymation to conform to the whole aesthetic. The difficulty of this technique is the need to sculpt the head every frame which means that the process of animation is stretched in time. Moreover, it is necessary to be careful at the moment of putting the head back in the armature so that the puppet will not move too much.
I am very satisfied with my puppets who made a great job and never gave up (no broken pieces).Sometimes I perceived a kind of magic that came from them and I must confess that certain scenes were extremely though, impossible to animate I would say, for many reasons .However the result is surprising due to my puppets performance. Really, they are true actors willing to improvise whenever is needed.
© Samia Kafati 2016