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NFB Hothouse 10: ‘All The Rage’ (Alexandra Lemay)

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AlexandraLemay_croppedAlexandra Lemay‘s enthusiasm for the medium of stop-motion began during her Film Animation BFA at Concordia University. She has since gone on to study Practical Effects at Sheridan College in Ontario. Prior to her involvement in the tenth edition of the NFB‘s Hothouse scheme, Alexandra has worked for exhibits, special effects studios and costume shops and is particularly adept at puppet and modelmaking, having been encouraged in her youth to express herself artistically and create her own toys. Alexandra’s Hothouse film All The Rage, described as “Fantastic Mr. Fox meets The Shining” takes inspiration from the found sound of dogs growling.

The 10th edition of the NFB’s Hothouse program was particularly appealing to me because their “found sound” theme encouraged so much creative freedom. Inspired by the “growling” soundtrack in the Hothouse sound library, the narrative of my film, All the Rage, follows a mink’s shopping experience in a luxury fur store. As I pictured two animals talking, I imagined what they might be complaining about. This led me to make the connection to fur items growling at the consumer. Given that the film’s message is expressed through clothing, I felt it would be fun to make it in stop-motion with actual fabrics.

My first pitch was pretty clumsy; I had the seed of an idea but I kept limiting myself because I thought I wouldn’t be able to physically build it. When the mentoring team told me to stop restricting myself, I just let my imagination go, and a story developed naturally. Once I had my first storyboard draft, my ideas became clearer and the visuals spoke for themselves. Feedback is so important, because you are too close to your own project to know whether something is being communicated properly or not. I chose to deliver my concept in a playful way because I didn’t want it to take itself too seriously and lose the audience in the process. I would like people to laugh and have fun watching it. Although I hope the viewer understands my message, I want them to feel free to find their own meaning. A lot of what I feel the film is about became a little ambiguous, but I think that a film’s true personality is found in its subtleties.

Working with the NFB was better than I could have ever imagined, and we are so lucky it exists. This whole experience totally inspired me and made me fall in love with animation all over again.

-Alexandra Lemay

Keep your eyes on Skwigly over the coming days to hear more from the Hothouse 10 participants. To learn more about the work of Alexandra Lemay visit

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