We sat down recently with animator Quentin Zahaf (via internet) to pick his brain about his latest stop motion film. Here is what he had to say.
How long have you been animating?
I've been animating since about a month, more or less.
What got you interested in stop motion?
I've been making this kind of figurines for about three years, and I wanted to create some that could be animated, so I could make them move and live.
As an animator, what would you say are your biggest influences?
I've always greatly enjoyed traditional movies special effects, like the work of Ray Harryhausen and the stop-motion effects in movies like Evil Dead.
You have said that your puppets are made of cigarette filters. What kind of paint do you use on them?
I use acrylic paint and fine marker pens for drawing the faces.
Did you go to school for animation, or are you self-taught?
I learned how to draw in a traditional 2d animation school, but learned to animate on my own, so that makes me self-taught.
What is the film you are working on about?
I'm not exactly sure. This was just a test, and I'm currently working on a story for "the real one" (Writers may apply, if you know one, I might be interested).
How long did it take to build the sets and puppets?
It took a bit less than a month, sets included, since I was getting acquainted with the process of animating what I was creating as I was creating it.
What are the sets made of?
The wall is made out of cinderblocks, and the gutter is a real gutter found on the street. the floor is a polysterene block covered in plaster. The windows and flaps are matches, the door and letterbox are made of polysterene, the flowerpot is cork, the flowers are painted cardboard, the bin is out of carboard too and it's lid is a bottle cap. The whole set pretty much didn't cost me a cent.
Did you have any particular difficulties with making your film? How did you solve these problems?
None yet, but I have barely started.
When the film is completed, what are your plans for it as far as distribution and festivals? Will it be viewable on the internet?
I intended to do some sort of series out of this, and I hope I end up doing something that's good enough to be shown and distributed in festivals. It will most certainly be viewable on the internet. I'll gladly send you the adress of my blog as soon as I finish it. I wanted to thank you for the opportunity of making this interview and making my work known.
Thank you Quentin, this looks like a very interesting project and we look forward to seeing your film when it is completed!
[This interview was made by Don Carlson].