Phyllis Tam is a female Chinese American director with a deep understanding of both US and Chinese film industry and culture. She got her BFA in film production at Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in China, and MFA in filmmaking at New York Film Academy. She started as an artist studying experimental art, illustration, and graphic photography. These experiences shaped a unique aesthetic for her films.
She has directed over ten short films in the past three years. One of her works, “Fragile Moon” (2020) was recently selected as a finalist of the Student Academy Award, winner of the 30th annual IFP Gotham Awards winner of Indie shorts awards Cannes, and also selected by LA Shorts Film Festival, Holly Shorts Film Festival, Film Festival & Awards · Macao and Julien Dubuque International Film Festival. “Fantasy of Alice” (2018) won the Best Romantic Comedy of the Year award of the 6th Top Short Film Festival and official selection of Los Angeles Women’s International Doc Fest. “Wish Upon the Moon” (2016), was exhibited in the Eight Art Academies Exhibition in China. After the exhibition, the film was selected into different festivals. It was later bought by 56.com, one of the biggest video sharing websites in China, and played on the Beijing subway for over 90 million people.
As an individual born and raised in the same country -even in the same city- I am always a bit jealous of people with multiple cultural backgrounds as yourself being an immigrants’ daughter. Have you embraced both cultures -or the three of them as you mentioned shuttling between the United States, Panama and China- or do you feel like owning one of them over the other?
Before I came to the U.S. for graduate school, I actually spent most of my time in China. That’s why I’m still learning about American culture.
The aesthetic of your film is uniquely real which, altogether with the script, makes a beautiful and touching Short Film. Would you say this cinematography and ambient is the result of your early studies in experimental art, illustration, and graphic photography besides your directing experience?
As you said, my early artistic studies had a very strong influence on my film. At the same time, my understanding of Chinese culture and the culture shock I felt when I came to the States also contributed to the aesthetics of the film.
You put up a great acting ensemble. Have you directed both leading actors before?
Thank you for your comment, but actually that was the first time I worked with those actors.
Is this a Chinese saying?: “We could always stand together, sharing the light of the same moon, though we are thousands of miles apart”. Does it have to do with a Chinese holiday season?
This is a household phrase in China.This line comes from a poem by a phenomenal Chinese poet during the Song Dynasty (1706s). He composed this poem when he was thousands of miles away from home, during the Mid-Autumn Festival. So, yes, this phrase is usually associated with the Mid-Autumn Festival or family reunions.
Multi-awarded director Paul Mignot quickly made his way into the commercial industry with international campaigns. His visual narrative style led him directing high-craft for brands such as Samsung, Audi, Lexus, Jeep, BMW as well as fashion and beauty films collaborating with Dior and closely with Giorgio Armani.
Paul produced and directed ambitious shorts and features.
The latest,“All Blood runs red” is the step stone of a wider humanist project.
How did this project start for you?
The idea started two years ago when I heard the story of Eugene Bullard. I thought it would make a beautiful feature film or TV series about an incredible individual. He was born in Columbus, Georgia; stowed away on a ship to Europe; became a boxer in Paris; enlisted as one of the few black combat pilots in World War I; played as a jazz drummer; managed a jazz club in Paris; married; fought again for France in World War II; and eventually moved back to the US. His life was amazing.
Our short film began when ZEISS contacted me through RVZ. They wanted a film that would demonstrate the qualities of their new Supreme Radiance Primes under different types of lighting to show how the lenses react. Other than that, they left it up to us. It evolved into a proof of concept, a nine-minute story.
The production value was superb. How were you able to achieve all that? Were you able to get outside funding?
I asked some friends for additional help. The production value came from 10 years of experience in the commercial business: of finding the right locations, being in the right place at the right time, having good wardrobe, good actors and appropriate loca- tions. Also, we had great support from many people who donat- ed cameras, lighting, trucks and logistics. It was a little project that became a large scale passion project.
Your attention to detail in the film is extraordinary. How did you begin your career?
Thank you. I attended a film school called 3iS (Institut Interna- tional Image & Son) in Paris. I started as a camera assistant and Steadicam operator. I worked in the feature film industry for years, moving up to directing second unit. Then I started direct- ing and shooting commercials.
You directed and operated on this film?
We had two RED RANGER MONSTRO 8K VV cameras. Eric Dumont AFC was the DP and A-Camera operator. I directed and operated the second camera. I cannot separate directing from camera operating. Not on every shot—sometimes I step back a bit, but it helps me to have a connection with the actors. It makes me feel as if I’m in the scene with them.
You mentioned RVZ. What is the connection?
Samuel Renollet was also a camera assistant before becoming head of the camera department at RVZ. We can talk the same language. It’s not only about the story; it’s also a story of tools, and Samuel is amazing. I’m a director who is very interested in technique, optics, cameras, and all of that.
Doug Roland is an Oscar-nominated director for his film Feeling Through, which is the first film to star a DeafBlind actor. Featured on The Nightly News with Lester Holt, The Daily Show, in The New York Times, and LA Times and winner of over 30 film festival awards, Feeling Through is executive produced by Oscar winner Marlee Matlin and was made in partnership with Helen Keller National Center. Alongside HKNC, Doug created a fully accessible screening event around the film called The Feeling Through Experience, which has been featured at international conferences as well as schools and universities.
Doug’s short film Jada became a viral sensation with over 24 million views on YouTube. Doug produced the feature film Life Hack which won 16 awards on the festival circuit, including Best Independent Feature at the Cleveland International Film Festival. He studied film at the University of Wisconsin Madison and FAMU in Prague.
I BELIEVE YOUR FILM CONFRONTS US WITH THE INCLUSION WE SHOULD ALL BE FIGHTING FOR; THE INCLUSION OF THOSE WHO FACE TOUGH DAILY CHALLENGES MOST OF US ARE FAR FROM EXPERIENCING. WOULD YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT ROBERT’S ACTING EXPERIENCE?
I WORKED WITH HELEN KELLER NATIONAL CENTER TO CAST OUR DEAFBLIND ACTOR, AND ROBERT ACTUALLY WASN’T ON OUR CASTING LIST, HE WAS WORKING IN THE KITCHEN AT HKNC. SO IT WAS SERENDIPITOUS THAT HE ENDED UP AUDITIONING AND WINNING THE ROLE. FEELING THROUGH WAS ROBERT’S FIRST ACTING EXPERIENCE, BUT I’D LATER FOUND OUT THAT HE WANTED TO BE AN ACTOR HIS WHOLE LIFE, BUT DID NOT THINK IT WAS POSSIBLE GIVEN THE FACT THAT HE NEVER SAW HIMSELF REPRESENTED IN FILMS. NOW, HE’S A LEAD ACTOR IN AN OSCAR-NOMINATED FILM AND THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE DEAFBLIND SEEING HIM ON THE BIG SCREEN AND WANTING TO TRY THEIR HAND AT ACTING.
IF WE COULD ONLY RELATE TO OTHERS THROUGH OUR HONEST NEEDS IN DISREGARD OF OUR PRETENTIOUS SELF-SUFFICIENT APPROACH THE WHOLE PROCESS OF RELATING TO OTHERS WOULD BE A LOT EASIER SUCH AS ARTIE DOES IN THE FILM. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT ONLY A PHYSICAL DISABILITY CAN PUT US IN THAT GENUINE POSITION WHEN RELATING TO OTHERS?
I BELIEVE WE ALL HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO CONNECT WITH EACH OTHER IN A DEEP AND SUPPORTIVE WAY. IN FEELING THROUGH, THIS CONNECTION HAPPENS TO OCCUR BETWEEN A PERSON WHO IS SIGHTED AND HEARING AND A PERSON WHO IS DEAFBLIND, BUT THE MESSAGE OF THE FILM IS ABOUT THE UNIVERSAL NATURE OF OUR ABILITY TO CONNECT.
HAS STEVEN ALSO WORKED WITH THE HELEN KELLER NATIONAL CENTER (HKNC) (FOR DEAFBLIND YOUTHS AND ADULTS) IN ORDER TO MAKE SUCH AN AUTHENTIC PERFORMANCE?
STEVEN (WHO PLAYS THE ROLE OF TEREEK) IS AN INCREDIBLY TALENTED ACTOR. BUT MOREOVER, HE HAS A DEEP, HEARTFELT INVESTMENT IN HIS ART. HE VISITED HKNC ALONG WITH THE REST OF THE TEAM AND GOT TO CONNECT WITH AND REHEARSE WITH ROBERT THERE AS WELL. THIS EXPERIENCE ALLOWED STEVEN TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DEAFBLIND COMMUNITY AND SPECIFICALLY HOW BEST TO WORK WITH ROBERT.
WOULD YOU SAY THAT LISTENING AND SHOWING ACCEPTANCE TO SOMEONE IS ULTIMATELY A MATTER OF “FEELING THROUGH”?
FEELING THROUGH IS ULTIMATELY ABOUT THE POWER OF HUMAN CONNECTION DESPITE OUR DIFFERENCES. LISTENING TO ONE ANOTHER AND ACCEPTING ONE ANOTHER IS DEFINITELY A BIG PART OF THAT.
SPENCER SUSSER IS AN AWARD-WINNING DIRECTOR, SCREENWRITER, AND EDITOR WHOSE CAREER SPANS FEATURE FILMS, SHORT FILMS, COMMERCIALS AND MUSIC VIDEOS. HE MADE HIS FEATURE FILM DIRECTORIAL DEBUT AT SUNDANCE IN 2010 WITH “HESHER”, STARRING JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT, RAINN WILSON & NATALIE PORTMAN, WHICH SPENCER CO-WROTE, PRODUCED, EDITED & DIRECTED. SUSSER’S SHORT FILM PROJECTS INCLUDE “I LOVE SARAH JANE” STARRING MIA WASIKOWSKA (“ALICE IN WONDERLAND”), “THE CAPTAIN” STARRING TAIKA WAITITI (JOJO RABBIT). SPENCER RECENTLY DIRECTED 2ND UNIT AND EDITED THE OSCAR-NOMINATED “THE GREATEST SHOWMAN”, STARRING HUGH JACKMAN, ZAC EFRON, AND ZENDAYA. SPENCER HAS ALSO DIRECTED MUSIC VIDEOS, INCLUDING THE BREAKTHROUGH VIDEO FOR LANA DEL REY “SUMMERTIME SADNESS”. HIS WORK AS AN EDITOR IN MUSIC VIDEOS INCLUDES ARTISTS SUCH AS ELTON JOHN, CHRISTINA AGUILERA, GWEN STEFANI, BRITNEY SPEARS, AVRIL LAVIGNE, JENNIFER LOPEZ, AND MANY MORE.
I WONDER IF DRESSING RALPH UP AND PLACING HIM WITHIN A HOMEY HOUSE WAS TO SHAKE THE AUDIENCE UP ABOUT ANIMALS BEING SENSITIVE LIVING ENTITIES SUCH AS HUMAN BEINGS ARE. DO YOU BELIEVE HUMANIZING RALPH MAKES IT EASIER TO PUT OURSELVES IN THE RABBIT’S POSITION?
YEH, I DEFINITELY WANTED TO HUMANISE HIM BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY GIVE RALPH A VOICE. I THOUGHT TO MYSELF, WHAT WOULD HE SAY, WHAT WOULD HIS VIEW ON HIS SITUATION BE? RALPH’S A POSITIVE GUY SO HE PUT A POSITIVE SPIN ON EVERYTHING. HE KNOWS HIS SITUATION IS HORRIBLE BUT THAT’S HIS LIFE AND HE BELIEVES THAT’S WHAT HE WAS BORN TO DO. IT’S OUR JOB AS THE AUDIENCE TO SAY WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU? THIS IS NOT RIGHT, NOBODY SHOULD BE TREATED THIS WAY, NOT A HUMAN, NOT AN ANIMAL. I ALWAYS THOUGHT ABOUT RALPH’S HOUSE AS HIS CAGE WITHIN THE LABORATORY. SINCE WE’RE SEEING THE WORLD FROM HIS POINT OF YOU, IN HIS EYES HE’S MADE IT A COSY HOME WITH THINGS THAT HE LOVES, PICTURES OF FAMILY AND OF COURSE IT HAS THE BITS AND PIECES LEFT OVER FROM ALL THE RABBITS THAT HAVE COME BEFORE HIM. IT BREAKS MY HEART TO THINK ABOUT ALL THE OTHER RABBITS THAT HAVE LIVED IN THAT PLACE BEFORE RALPH. WHEN WE FIRST MEET RALPH HE’S DRESSED UP WEARING A JACKET AND TIE THE NEXT TIME WE SEE HIM HIS JACKET IS OFF AND HIS TIE IS OPEN, HE’S GETTING READY FOR WORK. HE WORKS IN THE LAB AND WEARS NOTHING SO HE’S GETTING UNDRESSED. I HOPED THAT WAS SOMETHING THAT WAS SUBTLE BUT COULD BE PICKED UP ON AND HOPEFULLY MAKE THE AUDIENCE LEAN IN.
THE VOICES DO CERTAINLY COMPLEMENT THE RABBITS PERSONALITIES . WAS IT TOUGH VOICE CASTING? OR YOU CAME UP WITH THE ACTORS’ VOICES YOU WANTED TO GIVE TO THE CHARACTERS ALONG WITH THE CHARACTERS THEMSELVES?
HAD THE PERSONALITIES PRETTY WELL DEFINED IN MY HEAD BEFORE I RECORDED ANYONE, BUT OF COURSE WHEN YOU HAVE SUCH TALENTED PEOPLE YOU WANT TO EMBRACE WHATEVER THEY BRING, SO THERE’S ALWAYS A BIT OF EVOLUTION. THAT’S WHEN IT REALLY COMES TO LIFE. THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE WAS CASTING A SMALL PROJECT LIKE THIS WITHOUT A LOT OF TIME OR RESOURCES. INITIALLY I JUST REACHED OUT TO PEOPLE THAT I KNEW OR HAD WORKED WITH IN THE PAST AND WAS SO INCREDIBLY LUCKY THAT THEY ALL SAID YES. TAIKA AND I MET AT SUNDANCE SEVERAL YEARS AGO WHEN WE BOTH HAD FILMS PLAYING. WE MADE A SHORT FILM TOGETHER AND I’VE ALWAYS CONSIDERED HIM ONE OF THE FUNNIEST PEOPLE I KNOW SO NATURALLY HE WAS MY FIRST CHOICE TO PLAY RALPH.
WOULD YOU TELL US SOME OF THE WORK HUMANE SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL(HSI) DOES?
HUMANE SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL (HSI) WORKS AROUND THE WORLD TO HELP ALL ANIMALS – WILDLIFE, DOGS AND CATS, FARM ANIMALS, ANIMALS AFFECTED BY CRUELTY AND DISASTER, AND ANIMALS IN LABORATORIES. SOME OF HSI’S BIG CAMPAIGNS ARE ENDING TROPHY HUNTING, EXPANDING STREET DOG PROGRAMS, ENDING THE DOGMEAT TRADE, RESCUING ANIMALS FROM DISASTERS AND ENDING COSMETIC ANIMAL TESTING IN MAJOR BEAUTY MARKETS.
WE WOULD HAVE EXPECTED RALPH TO BEG THE AUDIENCE FOR HIS LIFE; INSTEAD HE EXPECTS TO KEEP HIS JOB AS A TESTER VS. BEING JOBLESS BUT FREE. WOULD YOU SAY HE NATURALIZES HIS HARDSHIPS OR HE DENIES THEM?
HE’S JUST A REALLY POSITIVE BUNNY. HE’S ALWAYS LOOKING FOR THE BRIGHT SIDE, UNFORTUNATELY IN THIS SITUATION THERE ISN’T A BRIGHT SIDE FOR THE ANIMALS, BUT HE’S TRYING HIS BEST. I THINK DEEP DOWN HE KNOWS THAT IT’S HOPELESS FOR HIM. THAT’S WHERE WE COME IN. I REALLY WANT THE AUDIENCE TO EMPATHIZE WITH HIM. I THOUGHT IF I COULD MAKE YOU FEEL SOMETHING THEN MAYBE YOU WOULD DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, LIKE SIGN THE PETITION. MY GOAL WAS TO MAKE A FILM THAT WOULD HELP END COSMETIC TESTING ON ANIMALS FOREVER, AND I’M PROUD TO SAY THAT WE’RE STARTING TO SEE SOME REAL CHANGE. JUST YESTERDAY MEXICO BECAME THE FIRST COUNTRY IN NORTH AMERICA TO BAN COSMETICS TESTING ON ANIMALS. AFTER THE FILM WAS RELEASED, HSI GOT MORE THAN 1.3 MILLION PETITION SIGNATURES IN SUPPORT OF THE BILL TO END THE CRUELTY IN MEXICO. I’M SO INCREDIBLY PROUD THAT RALPH HELP MAKE SOME REALLY POSITIVE CHANGE IN THE WORLD!
INTERVIEW WITH DANIEL LOBB
“A SCAVENGER HUNT FOR PEOPLE LONELIEST IN THEIR OWN HOMES”
DANIEL LOBB IS AN AWARD-WINNING FILMMAKER AND MUSICIAN FROM LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY. HE WAS RECENTLY SELECTED BY THE PRICE HILL CREATIVE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION, AND HIS FILM SCAVENGER HUNT FOR PEOPLE LONELIEST IN THEIR OWN HOMES, IS SET FOR IT’S INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE IN CANNES WHERE IT WON BEST EXPERIMENT SHORT.
HIS OTHER FILMS INCLUDE MUSIC VIDEOS “LON AGO (IN 2019) BY ELLERY”, AND “STILL LIFE by R.RING.” HE IS CURRENTLY WORKING ON TWO DOCUMENTARIES AND A SOPHOMORE ALBUM FOR HIS MUSIC PROJECT, SO IT WAS.
LEXIE’S VOICE NARRATING THE SURVIVAL GUIDE CONVEYS EMOTION, THEREFORE, ENCOMPASES THE LOVELY EXPERIENCE THAT’S BEEN WATCHING YOUR FILM. THANK YOU FOR SHARING IT!
LEXIE’S VOICE IS THE FILM. WE STARTED ON THIS PROJECT RIGHT AFTER I FINISHED READING THEIR DEBUT NOVEL THE SHIP WE BUILT, SO EVEN BEFORE CREATING THE FILM, THE IMAGES OF THEIR CREATIVE WORLD WERE SWIRLING IN MY HEAD.
WOULD YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR OWN SCAVENGER HUNT FOR THE ITEMS TO COMPOSE THE VIDEO COLLAGE BASED ON LEXIE’S WRITINGS? HAVE LEXIE AND YOU BOTH SCAVENGED AND HUNTED FOR THEM? WHERE?
WE HAD ONE MONTH, FROM CONCEPTION TO DEADLINE, TO CREATE THE FILM AS A PART OF THE PRICE HILL CREATIVE COMMUNITY FESTIVAL, SO THE WHOLE THING TUMBLED TOGETHER THROUGH FIRST IMPULSES. I KNEW I WANTED TO WORK WITH LEXIE, ALEXIS, AND DAN, AND THAT WAS IT. AFTER LEXIE WROTE THE TEXT, THE REST OF US TRANSLATED IT INTO OUR OWN MEDIUMS, SENT EACH OTHER DRAFTS, REIMAGINED, STITCHED IT TOGETHER AND LET IT GO..
WHAT ARE THE STEPS TAKEN AMONG YOU GUYS IN THE FILMMAKING PROCESS?: ALEXIS MARSH (MUSIC), DAN DORFF JR (SOUND DESIGN), LEXIE BEAN (WRITER) AND YOURSELF AS THE DIRECTOR.
IT CERTAINLY WAS A PIECE CREATED THROUGH AND FOR QUARANTINE. WE STARTED IN THOSE EARLY DAYS WHEN WE WERE FIRST LEARNING TO COPE WITH ISOLATION. IT DICTATED THE VISUAL LANGUAGE, BECAUSE WHATEVER I HAD ON HAND WAS WHAT I USED. THIS BEING MY FIRST FILM, AND NOT KNOWING WHAT WAS POSSIBLE OR EFFECTIVE, I SPENT A LOT OF TIME STARING AT THINGS, LISTENING, TO HEAR IF ANYTHING WANTED TO BE SOMETHING ELSE. THE APPLE WANTED TO BE TEETH. THE BEADS ON THE NECKLACE WANTED TO TRAVEL. IT WAS THE PERFECT TIME TO LEARN THE RIDICULOUS ART OF STOP MOTION, AND TO GO THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF CRAZY PERSONIFYING THE WORLD AROUND ME.
THE “EIGHTEEN-STEP SCAVENGER HUNT GUIDE FOR PEOPLE LONELIEST IN THEIR OWN HOMES” SEEMS TO BE VERY USEFUL AS A SURVIVAL GUIDE DURING QUARANTINE TIMES. DON’T YOU THINK? (I UNDERSTAND IT HASN’T BEEN WRITTEN IN THIS CONTEXT)
ALL THAT TO SAY, YES, IT IS A GOOD SURVIVAL GUIDE. FOR ANYONE ANYTIME, BUT ESPECIALLY IN TIMES OF ISOLATION.
WOULD YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR FILMMAKING EXPERIENCE? HAVE YOU ALWAYS WORKED IN ANIMATION?
BEING A RECENT GRADUATE, I’VE HAD VERY LIMITED EXPERIENCE WORKING AS A FILMMAKER, AND EVEN LESS EXPERIENCE WORKING ON A TEAM. AS THE PRODUCTION WAS A SINGLE PERSON UNDERTAKING, ALL DECISION MAKING FELL TO ME. THIS MADE ME REALIZE AND APPRECIATE THE BENEFITS OF WORKING ALONGSIDE OTHER CREATIVES AND ANIMATORS, WHERE IDEATION CAN BE A GROUP EFFORT. WHILE I HAVE AN IMMENSE LOVE FOR CLASSIC FILMMAKING, ANIMATION, FOR ME, IS THE PERFECT MEDIUM TO EXPRESS THE THOUGHTS IN MY HEAD. IT’S METICULOUS, TIME CONSUMING, BUT THE ABSOLUTE CREATIVE FREEDOM IS EXHILARATING.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE SCRIPT FOR THIS ANIMATION SHORT?
THIS IDEA FIRST CAME TO ME WHILE I WAS SITTING IN A CAFE IN NEW JERSEY, SCRATCHING MY HEAD TRYING TO THINK OF IDEAS. ONE OF THE REGULARS AT THE CAFE WAS A DACHSHUND NAMED BABY, WHO I SPENT A LOT OF MY TIME WITH. PUTTING MYSELF IN THE SHOES (OR PAWS) OF BABY HELPED ME FIRST THINK ABOUT STORIES FROM A DOG’S POINT OF VIEW. FROM THE STAGES OF INITIAL IDEA GENERATION TO BEGINNING STORYBOARDS WAS ABOUT 4 MONTHS, THEN AFTER THAT WAS ABOUT ANOTHER 2 OR 3 MONTHS OF CONTINUOUS REWRITES AND REVISIONS BEFORE ACTUALLY SETTING THE GROUNDWORK TO START THE FILM IN 3D.
WAS THE MUSIC AND SOUND DESIGN ARRANGED ONCE THE ANIMATION WAS CRAFTED OR ALONG WITH ITS DEVELOPMENT?
THE MUSIC, BY EREZ KOSKAS, AND THE SOUND, BY SANDER HOUTMAN, WERE BOTH MADE SIMULTANEOUSLY ALONGSIDE THE PRODUCTION OF THE ANIMATION. AS I NEEDED THE BEAUTIFULLY CRAFTED DOG BARKS BY SANDER HOUTMAN TO ANIMATE OVER, I BEGAN WORKING WITH HIM WHILE THE ANIMATION WAS STILL VERY ROUGH, MONTHS AND MONTHS BEFORE THE FILM WAS EVEN READABLE. THE MUSIC CAME LATER ON, AND TRULY SET THE TONE FOR THE FILM. THE SCORE, ALONGSIDE ALL THE SOUND DESIGN AND VOICE ACTING BY RYAN PAUL, BROUGHT AN IMMENSE AMOUNT OF LIFE TO BARKING ORDERS AND BROUGHT IT TO LEVELS THAT I COULDN’T HAVE EVEN IMAGINED.
HOW CHALLENGING IS IT TO TELL A STORY WITH A FEW LINES SPOKEN WHEN BODY LANGUAGE AND GESTURES MUST SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES?
AS THE CORGI CAN ONLY COMMUNICATE VIA BODY AND EYE LANGUAGE, GETTING CLARITY IN THE STORY FORCED ME TO CONTINUALLY RESTAGE SHOTS AND RETHINK SEQUENCES, SHARING IT WITH NEW, SMALL AUDIENCES EACH TIME UNTIL IT WAS READABLE, FUNNY, AND SEAMLESS. READABILITY WAS NO DOUBT THE MOST DIFFICULT MOUNTAIN TO CLEAR AND LEFT ME HAVING TO RE-BLOCK SHOTS HALF A DOZEN TIMES OR MORE, EACH TIME RE-ANIMATING THE CORGI’S PERFORMANCE AND ACTING. IT FORCED ME TO CRITIQUE THE MOST MINOR BEATS IN THE CORGI’S BODY LANGUAGE UNTIL HIS EMOTIONS WERE UNDENIABLY CLEAR. IT WAS DIFFICULT, BUT GETTING TO WATCH MY AUDIENCES UNDERSTAND WHAT THE CHARACTERS ARE THINKING AND SAYING THROUGH BODY LANGUAGE ALONE MADE IT ABSOLUTELY WORTHWHILE.