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2016 // Childrens, Drama, Romance, Short Film, Digital 2D, Stop Motion


Dir: Vladimir Todorov

What is the film about?

Set in a dystopian universe, FLUTTER is a short animated film about despair, hope and the power of love. Fleo, the film’s main character, is an outcast, destined to trudge through the dark streets of his city. While the rest of the world goes about its business, Fleo has become invisible. Irrelevant. Trapped in a body that keeps him firmly pinned to the ground, Fleo can only watch from a distance as others defy the laws of gravity and fly freely above his head. His life is unbearable. If only Fleo can be like the rest of them! If only he could fly!

Desperation leads to innovation, and then to an unexpected encounter. With a pair of wings strapped to his back, Fleo’s first attempt at flying becomes a heart-stopping rescue mission. Having saved the life of a helpless stranger, Fleo has to make a choice. Does he continue on his flight path, or go back to his old life of being grounded? Realizing that there is something more powerful than gravity, Fleo embraces his old impediments. He has found the perfect solution. Instead of literally taking to the air, he will let his heart soar to new and dizzying heights.

What influenced it?

My inspiration did not come directly from other animated works as one might expect. Instead, I borrowed heavily from filmmakers like Tarkovsky , Kurosawa, Ridley Scott, Terry Gilliam and many others, whose films had influenced me over the years. My goal was to create a more cinematic experience, trying to capture the essence of my favorite Syfy movies…something that we rarely see in the majority of animated shorts in my opinion.

A little background information...

Flutter is my return to the world of animation, after more than seventeen years. My last work as an animator was on the first Stuart Little film. I then took off in a different direction, storyboarding and designing characters and concepts for big budget films like Harry Potter, Beowulf, The Polar Express, A Christmas Carol, and many others. I also co-authored and illustrated three children/young adult novels. During all these years, I’d been thinking of finding a way to get back to the medium I had started with…animation. And the short form seemed to be the most natural way to re-enter. So, finally, after finding the right story and coming up with a cool visual style of telling it, I picked up the courage and took the plunge.

How was the film made?

I wanted to create something different. An atypical animated short that finds a niche somewhere in between the two most conventional and popular styles of the medium…the sleek CGI high-end production value type on one end of the spectrum, and the edgy-artsy experimental avant-garde on the other. The entire film was hand-painted and animated on Corel Painter and Photoshop by myself. Towards the end, my friend and co-producer Ivo Venkov stepped in and helped by adding some subtle VFX. We also did the editing, sound and music together.

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