The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unveils a series of videos in the company of the directors and screenwriter, head of story of the animated films nominated for the 2022 Oscars. The concept: return to a significant scene of the film, which allows to evoke artistic and technical choices.
Of course, spoilers are present. The videos are in English, English subtitles or machine translation are available through the Youtube interface.
- Raya and the Last Dragon : Director Carlos López Estrada and Head of Story Fawn Veerasunthorn return to a scene centered on Raya and her father, in a scene that introduces elements of the world of Kumandra with its five kingdoms, before Raya’s father uses a soup and its ingredients to explain that Kumandra should not be divided.
Carlos López Estrada and Fawn Veerasunthorn underline a few artistic techniques: frame within the frame of the image, repetitions in the design of the buildings, immediate introduction of a fantastic element to clearly indicate that we are not situated in the real world. Different versions of a transition are shown.
The duo then return to the clothing of the characters, inspired by Southeast Asian styles, the specific look of the sequences describing the kingdoms. The video also explains the presence of durian, this famous fruit with a very strong smell.
- The Mitchells vs. the Machines : director and co-screenwriter Mike Rianda looks back on elements of set design and screenplay, discusses the constraints of cloth and hair that forced the team to carefully choose the moments in which the young Katie Mitchell would put on the hood of her sweatshirt on the head.
Acting, the stylized look of the film are also mentioned, as well as certain lighting choices: videos from the family’s past, and a particularly dark scene that Mike Rianda managed to get the studio to validate, which was initially reluctant.
- Encanto : Writers and directors Jared Bush and Byron Howard return to a scene near the end of the film, when Mirabel is at her lowest point and begins to understand her grandmother, her past and her choices.
They explain having discussed this major scene for “years” during development, as it is so important. Being a musical, it was essential to think carefully about the sound. The directors finally opted for a total absence of music and subdued ambient noise, the aim being to give a feeling of a frozen scene as well as a slight discomfort.
The work on the songs, the evocation of violence are also addressed: the darkness of the sequence from Alma Madrigal’s past contrasts with the associated song. The very end of the sequence at the edge of the river is also detailed, the directors explaining that they were asked several times for the team to double the number of butterflies.
- Luke : Writer and director Enrico Casarosa returns to a scene at the end of Act 2, with a growing conflict between Luca and Alberto as Luca gets closer to Giulia.
Enrico Casarosa points out that this sequence is a direct parallel with the first descent on the bike of the two boys, while using the sets that will be used later for the big race which is the climax of the film. This double parallel allows Enrico Casarosa to show the evolution of Luca’s character.
The director also emphasizes the collaborative aspect of these sequences, with ideas placed by the story artists, others added to the animation like lemons.
The management of color, the dosage of humor, the evolutions of the scenario are also mentioned.
- Flee : screenwriter and director Jonas Poher Rasmussen returns here to his documentary film, which follows the journey of a young man who fled Afghanistan for Denmark, marked by his memories, an identity he must hide.
In the video, Jonas Poher Rasmussen details a sequence towards the end of the film: the central character finds his place, reveals his homosexuality to those close to him. The director evokes the visual references of the film such as the artist Edward Hopper and the feeling of loneliness that emerges from his works, the use of flashbacks, the music of Daft Punk, as well as a character inspired by .. Jean-Claude Van Damme.
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Oscars 2022: Go behind the scenes of the nominated animated films!