January 27, 2017

'But she’s nice…' by Tomek Pilarski

I sat down with the creator of the film for a quick chat about this project.

What inspired you to create this concept for a story?

“But she’s nice…” was my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Fine Arts in Poznań in 2014. Right at the beginning of my last year I knew I wanted to make an animation about the boy and his shadow. I was inspired by a short story that I had found once in a collection of short stories, but it is not too important, because ultimately I moved away from the story, and the only thing left was the shadow as a character.

How long did it take you to make from start to finish?

I was working on it throughout whole academic year so around 9 months. During first semester I was working on preproduction while in second semester I did whole production (by myself, except music and sound of course).

Did you have the idea of making the film color-less early on?

One of the characters is the Shadow and because of that I was kinda forced to restrict myself to black and white. I will not say I was complaining because, frankly, I had been very afraid of the color (until the next animation (Whaddup Fish!) where I faced the color for the first time).

Whaddup Fish! if needed, but frankly I would use it only as a link because it is colorful and it will attract attention to itself too much.

The art direction is interesting, more cinematic in composition, and having plenty of soft lights, textures in the background and rough edges on everything, what was the process of discovering this graphic style?

I wanted to enrich the flat surface and make the whole thing look as it was hand made. I prepared loop of paper texture (which also caused slight flickering), at the top, of course I added a layer of grain etc .. Grain adds a lot of charm. It’s instant quality don't you think? [laughter] And of course black bars at the top and bottom - at the time I was in love with making everything as cinematic as possible (while staying in realm of hand made feeling). I also tried to achieve the effect of slightly overexposed black and white film, to emphasize the presence of the Shadow.
So basically my art direction here was marriage between hand made look and cinematic look, which I was trying to achieve in relatively short period of time, while avoiding cheap look. [laughter]

What are your plans for your next film? Already in progress?

Glad to hear that question! Right now I’m working on my directorial debut called “The Firefly Grove” which will be finished in 2017 so stay tuned! I won’t say more. [laughter]

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