Case Study: SPELL Philippe Safire captures our fascination with the digital world.
Home Nieuws & Inspiratie

Case Study: SPELL

Philippe Safire captures our fascination with the digital world.

Between mystery and drama, Spell captures our fascination with the digital and its power to disrupt communities and cultures. Director Philippe Safire tells us how he created his animated short.

"I had estimated that the design and animation would require eight months of work. It took approximately ten."

09 september 2021

Exploring visual ideas

"I started nearly three years ago by taking notes and exploring visual ideas. Then, I wrote the script (an original story) later in my Hudson Valley studio, New York. A writer and theatre director reviewed the document and offered edits and suggestions. I made adjustments after watching an early cut. It took four drafts to get it final.

After that, I collected my doodles, sketches and came up with a large storyboard with captions. Once the flow of the scenes felt right, I wrote the dialogues and completed the script. When it was time to cast, we were deep into the covid-lockdown. It was not possible to meet with people and discuss the project in any depth further with them. 

Luckily, my animated film Spell does not have much dialogue, and I only needed voice recordings. My goal was to compile a diverse range of tones and energies. I contacted people in my network who would be the best fit for each character. Only one professional actor was involved. All participants brought something special to their performances. I had estimated that the design and animation would require eight months of work. It took approximately ten. The film was self-produced."

Over 200 versions before final cut

"I did the editing and montage using motion design software. The script remained pretty much intact. But, the order of shots on the storyboard was modified numerous times; more than two hundred versions were created before the final cut of the film.

I sought out two different genres of music: electro and classic. A great friend and composer was unfortunately not available. Therefore, I turned to public domain music and found pieces that worked well stylistically with the film. For sound effects, I recorded some of them myself both in my studio and outdoors.

Because my film is computer animated, I had a lot of control over colors from the very beginning. I had difficulty with some codecs that had poorly compressed gradients. I created the DCP with DCP-o-matic.

Numerous festivals

"To date, Spell has received official selections and awards from international film festivals located in: Italy, France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, India, Slovakia, Egypt, Portugal, Ukraine. Most promotion is happening on my social media accounts.

Tips for other directors

"How about this:

Tell a story you are deeply passionate about that reflects a personal experience. Taking tips too!"

Watch this short at Shift Film Festival

September 17-19, online.

Tickets & more info.

(c) All visual material is used with the filmmaker's permission.

0 Reacties

Reageren is alleen mogelijk wanneer je bent ingelogd met een CineSud Account. Log in of maak gratis een account aan.