September 20, 2017

'HEAD' by Stav Levi

Stav's 2016 Graduate film is released online today, he was gracious enough to share some concept art and development sketches he made for the film and I had a chance to do a quick interview with him about the short film.

What inspired you to create this story?

I like when an image seems to be potent with meanings no matter how you turn or spin it.
Feeling really crummy one day, I made a sketch of a man hanging his head, until it just fell off. This is what started the concept for this short.

What technique of animation and software did you use?

The technique I used was classic animation, which is just to say every frame is a new drawing. TVPaint was a great and intuitive tool for this kind of basic approach.

The style looks like it's animated on 4s, did you choose this for stylistic reasons or to be more economical with the traditional animation process?

Like with a good sketch, you wouldn't necessarily feel compelled to refine it more and more. There is a beauty in the bare minimum that still manages to work. Applied to animation in this case - when the motion and nuance seemed to have been conveyed I stopped and moved on.

Of course, the awesome production cost that smoothing everything down and cleaning everything up would require meant to me that I should have a really good reason to pay it - and I didn't, so banking on beauty in bareness seemed right for me. I also enjoyed the flexibility it gave me in the process, very much.

The simple, thin black lines and boiling shapes adds a life to the drawings, what made you go with this visual look?

I believe that if done traditionally, the pencil on paper would have added this life to the visuals. Using the digital format, I wished the life to arise from the "digital space" and its own kind of special randomness.

Do you have another film in the works right now? When could we hope to see its release in festivals?

If all goes well I'll be releasing a short, 30-seconds loop in the next weeks, but it is my greatest wish to start working on a new film in the next year span.

Meanwhile I do smaller things like little loops and illustrations on my website, which I love doing. (

Thanks Stav, and good luck on your future film endeavours!

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