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Interview: how 4 students created a Treasure that will be showcased at SIGGRAPH 2021

3DVF: Your short film was created during the pandemic : how did this affect the production of the movie ?

Silvan: I think we can also speak for many other filmmakers who recently graduated, such as ourselves, that this was an unexpected difficulty.

Out of all the things that could affect production, never would we have imagined it would be a global pandemic!

Philipp: As for many others, our whole workflow and planning had completely shifted overnight. Schools were shutting their doors and daily routines had changed.

Despite the four of us not being in the same room anymore, we put communication at the center of our priorities and took this time as an opportunity to first, slow down and second, get “back to the drawing board” by writing and storyboarding in order to push the story as far as we could.

After a tight two months lockdown, we fortunately managed to get back on track and approached the remaining months with fresh eyes and a new perspective.

3DVF: What are you the most proud of, looking back at this project ?

Philipp/Silvan: We think it is fair to say that keeping morale and motivation at a high level during a pandemic was by far one of the most challenging aspects of our year working on this film.

We are fairly proud of how far the film has come ever since we screened it at graduation.

Working on the same project for over a year takes a toll on your own perception of it, so seeing the movie being able to travel the world, to be screened and even receive awards, is unlike anything we would have ever expected for Treasure.

Overall, it was a very humbling and rewarding experience.

We’d also like to add that we are extremely proud of Dorian (Spiess) and his work on the film’s music. The film’s achievements are his as well, for sure.

3DVF: Treasure has been shortlisted for the BAFTA Student Film Awards, and the film will also be featured in the 2021 SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival. Do you have any advice for students willing to create a successful short film ?

Guillaume: I’m really not sure. Seeing the movie having this level of success is a huge surprise for us. I think the best advice I can think of is: make a movie! Try things and have fun (the most important part).

Alexandre: Being shortlisted for the BAFTA was a big surprise to me, as I did not expect it to be this successful, I remember how I felt and thought that it wasn’t really happening. The same thing happened for SIGGRAPH, two days in a row ! I think that there are no rules in creating a successful movie. Films are stories and there are no bad stories to tell, what matters is the way you tell them. So I would say, first, do not focus on how successful you want the movie to become, it’s unpredictable, so there is no point in thinking of it. Just try to make a movie as best as you can and be involved from the start to the end on telling your story.

Philipp: If someone had told me a year ago that our short film would be pre-selected for a BAFTA and set to screen at SIGGRAPH, I would not have believed it! I was at a loss for words when I found out and am still trying to wrap my head around the idea to this day. It is rather amazing to say the least, but above all…very humbling.

I don’t think there’s one single valuable piece of advice I could give, but after five long years as a student, I can certainly think of things I’d tell my past self if I could. While there are no specific steps or formulas that will determine the success of your film, the first thing I’d say is, embrace the unexpected. Dive into your craft by staying true to yourself,  your roots and the stories you want to tell. Keep an open mind, an open heart and prepare to be surprised, whether it is by failure or little successes along the way.

So get creative and dive right in!

3DVF: Where have you been working since you left the school ? Are you open to new opportunities ?

Guillaume: I’ve been working for Studio Hari since November 2020 as a prop modeler. In the future I would like to work in different studios in different countries, to learn new workflows and improve my skills in modeling.

Alexandre: I was working in Angoulême as a lighting artist on an animated series and will be moving to Arles for the same position. I’m closely working with Cube Creative and the writing team in parallel on writing animated projects, both are quite fun to do, although my heart mainly points toward writing. One important point in my work is to feel that I’m progressing everyday. So any opportunities for artistic growth are welcome.

Philipp: I have been keeping quite busy! After graduation (and some much needed rest) I am very happy to be working as a Storyboard Artist at Cube Creative in Paris.

I am very much open to new opportunities in the future. The world of animation is a vast one with loads to discover. I’d say my main objective overall, aside from traveling and trying my luck at different studios, is to continue learning, growing and having fun along the way.

Silvan: I’m a CG Animator at Superprod’ Studio in France since November, 2020, I’ve been looking forward to pushing my skills in animation further and to keep drawing and developing graphic universes.

With the world of animation being as it is, I stay open to any projects that would help me improve and grow as an artist while enjoying the process and the fun it could provide me.

For more information

Treasure will be featured this summer during the SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater. You can already register to the event, which will take place virtually 9-13 August.

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