Two years ago, young Mathilde Boiton of France was in Bucharest with Erasmus. On this occasion, Mathilde made animated short film Somn/ Sleep awarded as the Best Romanian Film at Anim’est 2013 editin. Two Romanians Marian Citu (Rufi) – sound designer, and Gugu Bogdan – the bass clarinet worked at this short with charcoal drawings.
Mathilde’s creation was conducted at the National University of Arts in Bucharest (UNARTE).
Below is an interview with Mathilde Boiton exclusively for animationmaazine.eu.
What is Somn about?
Somn is taking place at a family dinner. A girl is daydreaming in front of her soup. Then comes a plate with a strange fish laid on it which swallows and plunge her at the bottom of the ocean.
What is the message of the film?
Somn is about daydreaming, never-ending dinners where you sometimes disconnect yourself from reality and stroll off, travel, be somewhere else, flee… It’s about boredom, the need to escape with imagination as a locomotive.
What animation techniques are used in this production?
I worked with thick „Canson” paper, A4 format, charcoal, „bread” erase gum and a scanner: drawing, scanning, erasing, redrawing…and so on. After I assembled the frames with softwares such as Corel Draw and Adobe Premiere.
How many people worked at Somn?
At the beginning I was alone at work because it was my „master 2” final project. I made all the drawings and the screenplay, after I got the help of Adrian Constantin Medeleanu with the software edition. At last the music was missing and a friend of mine led me towards Marian Citu who made the sound design, and Gugu Bogdan who played the part with the bass clarinet.
What does the animation mean for you?
For me it’s a frame by frame work. Those frames are following each other. I think what’s mainly differentiating it from the classic film is the time variation: There is no particular need to stay in this 24 frames per second limitation.You can play with this gap to create distortions. The animation also lets a large space for imagination and plastic arts, which allows the encounter between different materials and surprising discoveries.
From who did you learn animation?
I learned it more or less alone, with a book called „The Animator Survival Kit” by Richard Williams. I was consulting it sporadicly. Otherwise I was trying several times to get an idea of the movement by passing scans of my drawings the most rapidly possible on my computer. With the charcoal / erase gum technique it’s easier and faster to get back on a drawing and correct it.
What projects have you worked on?
It was my first animation tryout and therefore the only one so far.
What do you think about contemporary European animation?
I don’t know that much contemporary animation. I’d rather go for classic animation techniques and stop-motion than modern computer generated 3D features. I often find it too cold and standardized.
What kind of animated films do you like?
I don’t have a special style in mind. I’m really into the work of artists such as Bill Plympton. I love his caricatural and misshapen characters, and his framing with overweening depth of field… I love Jan Svankmajer as well, for his modelings and peculiar ambiances, or René Laloux’s „Planète savage”, for his hybrid creatures.
What future projects do you have?
I don’t have any defined project so far. I don’t know yet if I’m going to redo other animated film. I still studying as we speak and I would like to learn and experiment the field of illustration.
What would you like to do in life that you couldn’t do it because of lack of time, resources, etc..?
To travel, participate to a bunch of collective and individual projects, expositions, fanzines, illustrate books. To be able to read ten books at the same time. To be able to watch tons of movies…