Je Suis Un Caillou

Interview: I am a Pebble, a touching and stylized French short featured

Reading time: 11 minutes

3DVF: Of course, an unexpected challenge for the team was the pandemic. How did this affect your work ?

M. Berteraut, Y. Bresson, L. Coulombier, N. Grondin, M. Le Chapelain & L. Massé: The biggest change with the lockdown was the need for better communication. Indeed we had to find new ways to keep a strong link between us and to maintain our organization, thanks to Discord and Google Sheets. It was really important to communicate twice more than before to prevent misunderstandings, because we couldn’t just check things on the screen of a team mate. This was sometimes complicated in addition to working alone at home, which is not suitable for everyone, but we made the teaser during the lockdown and we achieved it by talking, showing and explaining our work to all the team.

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

We are very proud of our team cohesion. We were a group of various tempers and skills, we trusted each other, which allowed us to experiment with new practices through our project. Due to the graphic style challenge, we embarked on a project without having the certainty that we would achieve the expected result and sometimes it was quite stressful, so we really had to trust each other, be reactive and adapt when needed. For example we had to fully change our compositing system quite late during the production, to make it more efficient, or reverse the order of the two compositing steps to get a better result. At the end, we were able to make the film we wanted while spending a great year together.

3DVF: The film will be featured in the 2021 SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival. Do you have any advice for students willing to create a successful short film ?

The most important thing for us was to create the short film that we would love rather than the successful one. We didn’t try to impress anyone or make it remarkable like a demo reel, we wanted to tell this story in the best way possible. Therefore, we did a project that we would enjoy working on for more than a year, a film that could challenge us. This does not make anything easy but if you love your characters you will never give them up. To shorten it, work on a project that you love for itself. It definitely shows on the final result, and on your well-being !

3DVF : Your short film is now “Oscar-Qualified”, which mean you may win an Oscar: what did you feel when you learned the news?

We are very happy that people are touched by our movie I am a Pebble, that the story speaks to them. Of course, this is a very unique project for us, we put a lot of ourselves inside this movie. Which is why we are so pleased by the fact that viewers like it! We feel very attached to the characters, we put so much love into them, each of them has a unique story and a personnal narrative arc (even the butterflies). We tried to put them in the spotlight as much as possible, to tell their story, and now they meet people, they travel around the world, we are of course deeply touched by this! Being Oscar-Qualified is a very nice surprise, and a huge honor. This means Bulle and the Pebbles will be able to reach even more people, and we are so happy about this!

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

Mélanie Berteraut worked first in compositing for Jungler and works now as 3D modeler for a tv show at SuperProd in Paris. Yasmine Bresson joined the brand new “Nobody Studio” in Montpellier and is still working there as a Scene Assembler. Léo Coulombier is now fully working on his video game “Beasts of Bermuda” he started during his years at school. Nicolas Grondin is since december 2020 on the animated series The Smurfs as a compositor. Maxime Le Chapelain continued to animate creatures in Paris and is now open to new projects. Louise Massé worked as a Rigger for Ritzy Animation and Aardman Animations and is now starting on a new project.

For more information

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