Platige Image Talks Animation & VFX
Platige Image, the award-winning Polish post-production studio, has an Oscar contender with its latest animated short, The Kinematograph, about the invention of movies with dire consequences, directed by Tomek Bagiński, as well as noteworthy vfx in Lars Van Trier's Antichrist. We spoke to Bagiński (also the studio's art director) about animation and CEO Jarek Sawko and Jakub Knapik (film department head) about vfx.
Bill Desowitz: Tomek, what inspired you to make The Kinematograph?
Tomek Bagiński: It's quite a long story. Everything began just after we finished Fallen Art when I was looking for an idea for the next film. One of my friends brought me a comic by Mateusz Skutnik called Revolutions convinced that I would be interested. Revolutions is a multi-volume series of short intertwining novellas taking place in a steampunk reality. The comic seemed to me quite good, but not good enough to be made into a film. In the third volume, just as I was about to put the material away, I got to a story entitled The Kinematograph. On the one hand, it enchanted me with its simplicity and the fact that it was a complete whole, and on the other, with the level of emotions it evoked. These strongly stylized pages touched me deeply. Because I try to choose productions in such a way as to avoid repeating the previous styles, the making of this romantic tear-jerker after Fallen Art seemed like a good idea.
TB: Initially, I wanted to copy the style of the comic. Mateusz Skutnik has a characteristic stroke and chose a very interesting style both for the comic and the characters. However, what worked well on paper wouldn't necessarily come out in the film. As early as that, I understood that the style of the picture contrasted with the fairly nostalgic story should be complex and pretty in a classic way. Finding a style for backgrounds didn't cause any problems, but characters transferred onto 3D from the comic pages weren't as interesting and pretty as I would like them to be. We had quite a lot of pre-production, storyboards, parts of the set design projects, but I had no idea how to handle the style of characters and it made me lose faith in the project. Because at the same time I got a proposition for making a very big and interesting commercial project, I put The Kinematograph into a drawer for almost two years.