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Monster

2012 // Tragedy, Student Film, Cut Out, Silhouette, Stop Motion

2:30
mins

Dir: Erika Lewis


What is the film about?

A lonely wolf searches for companionship and acceptance. Captivated by the creativity of Man, the wolf reaches out to understand them more. But people rarely accept that which they don’t understand. Fear often makes monsters of men.

Based on a poem by Janos Pilinszky.

What influenced it?

Obviously, Lotte Reiniger is a major influence for this film. The use of silhouettes really fit with this particular story, and I took inspiration from her method of story telling to feed into my own way of working.
The director Jamie Caliri is also a major source of inspiration, and one of the reasons I started looking more into paper stop-motion instead of hand-drawn animation. I’ve also been influenced by the works of The People’s Republic of Animation, specifically with their short film The Cat Piano. The lyrical narration and Film Noiresque visuals were just perfection in my eyes.

A little background information...

This was a university brief, and the poem was chosen by a visiting lecturer (and later colleague). Despite being chosen for me, this is a genre of poem which I probably would have naturally gravitated towards; I often choose poetic and dark tales from different forms of literature to create visuals for. I’ve always been a fan of dark, horrible fairytales with tragic endings and cunning villains. In my mind, there would be no story without a villains to drive the narrative.

How was the film made?

This is a stop-motion animation with paper puppets. Every scene has a different and specific puppet to accompany it; after each shot was done, everything was stripped and scraped and a new scene was built. The scenes are made up of layers and layers of tissue paper, card, and tracing paper on top of a light box to give an illusion of depth.

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