From early YouTube sensations to acclaimed features Marcel the shell with shoes I’m keeping a distance. In fact, the anthropomorphic shell that bears its name is a painfully fascinating A24 film that covers longer distances than ever before. June 24th at the theater.. It’s the best of Dean Fleischer Camp, recognized as a director, producer, co-author, co-editor, and co-star, and Jenny Slate, who offers one of the most hilarious yet heartfelt narration performances in animation history. It’s a masterpiece. .. An off-screen marriage between Freisher Camp and Slate, which ended after the original short film hit, lends a full length Marcel A subtle metalayer that appeals to the heart, AV club review Note. )
The blend of live-action and stop-motion animation in the movie may be small, but as Freisher Camp revealed, it wasn’t a small feat. AV club.. The filmmaker also delves into his and slate’s shared approach to emotions, the director’s imaginative challenges, and why creating comedy doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a comedy fan.
AV club: I cried while watching this movie. Drinking water before seeing it should be accompanied by some kind of warning.
Dean Freisher Camp: [Laughs] “Keep hydrating, everyone.”
AVC: We need to cover how this movie was made. Can you explain how you did the apparently semi-improvised narration, adding stop-motion animation?
DFC: One of the things I really committed to saving original A kind of real, loose-sounding audio and that kind of documentary texture. Therefore, it was necessary to invent a new production model for that purpose. Shorts are just like writing a joke and understanding what works, so it’s very easy to imagine how they will be combined. But I knew that the feature needed more orchestration. We wanted to make a very personal movie that was emotionally quite ambitious. And you need to understand, well, how can you not only maintain its spontaneity, but also structure things with its classic screenplay structure? So I invented this production model, which co-writer Nick Paley and I outlined. I wrote for a few months, then recorded two days with Jennie and then two days with Isabella. And the rest of the cast. And I record all the scenes we wrote, but then, oh, I see that this line isn’t really working very well. And Jennie and I cooperate and understand each other. How can I improvise a better line or do you have a better joke? I also deliberately tried to set up a situation that would allow it to unfold and record naturally.
And what gave us that flexibility is that Jenny can always maintain her personality. I happened to hear her answer the phone call from her sister in Marcel’s voice. It’s a really great gift. And doing these two days between writings is very productive, especially with someone who is as good at improvising as Jennie. Next, Nick and I, who are from editing, actually met editing together on a TV show, and examined all the audio they recorded, found jewelry, and found what they liked and disliked. rice field. And it will be folded in the next few months of writing the script. And basically, that process, that is, such an iterative process, was repeated over and over for two and a half years. I think I recorded about 10 or 12 days in total, but it was split during that time.
AVC: I have never heard of such a production model. Next, how is the stop motion animation process considered?
DFC: So, towards the end of the process, I started a storyboard with animation director Carsten Lupoa, and she and I drew all the storyboard shots for the entire movie. Next, I prepared a live-action “plate” and took a picture. This is basically the whole movie you’re watching, but it doesn’t include anime characters.Some of the things that made our process possible are our stop-motion cinematographers. [Eric Adkins] In the daily set of live-action, I was incredibly meticulous about the lighting.You should see his iPad, it’s like every time I glance at it, it’s Beautiful mind Scratch equations and measurements.
This is Step 1, live-action. Step 2 is all the animation part that takes place on the animation stage.When [Adkins] The conditions that existed in the live-action film are completely reproduced. So if you separate Marcel and place it in its place, it will work perfectly. I’ve explained it in some way, everyone knows how to shoot a movie with a Marvel movie and then add special effects and a computer. And it’s all about CG modeling and everything. Ours are as if you didn’t have a computer here. There was another shoot that was an animated shoot. And all the lights need to be exactly the same, so you can’t do that with a computer within your budget. Some of his notes were like “Marcel stands 4 inches from a Coca-Cola can and can reflect light.”
DFC: And when you think about some of the interactive elements, it gets very complicated. We are driving by the trees, like when Marcel goes out in the car, and the shadows are passing by. And each of those flicker is the passage of shadows. So he got the light that replicates the sun. Next, I set a flag that moves one inch at a time because I need to move it frame by frame so that it can be animated. Therefore, the flag that exactly matches the timecode when passing through the tree is moved. [Laughs]
AVC: Can Jenny Slate and Isabella Rossellini, for example, organically repel the dialogue? It’s sometimes disappointing to know that narrated actors don’t actually record together.
DFC: Oh yeah, I was completely against it. I have always been in a position to impose as many documentary constraints as possible. Logistically, I’m convinced that this has given the producer a million headaches. But that’s part of why it sounds so real. So, for example, I said “I don’t record in the studio. “ Almost nothing is recorded in the studio, except for the last few lines we had to pick up. That is, everything is in the real place, all the characters are in the real place together, not so different from the real place in the scene … the path most Hollywood projects follow is to write the script and then the movie. Is to make. .. I have always felt like depriving us of many things that can happen in a way that people interact nonverbally.yes [with Marcel The Shell], You can listen to the audio. If you weren’t in the same room, you would never write a particular line.
AVC: Also, I would like to ask you and Jennie about their seriousness. Is there honesty in fashion these days? How do you balance seriousness and irony?
DFC: I always tried to take seriousness in my work. But again … when you say “I’m serious about it,” it tends to hug and feel saccharin. I grew up in a family that actually used irony as self-defense. [Laughs] And maybe many of our generation have done it. You see, The Simpsons When Dahlia—I mean, I love those shows — I have a very ironic sense of humor. But the irony hides the vulnerability. And I always talked about it and tried to make a piece that tried to break it a little. In terms of whether it’s fashionable or not, I think it’s a bit more fashionable than before. Paddington A kind of breakthrough.I know people are in love Ted Lasso, I think this is trying to do something serious. But yeah, I always felt like I was enthusiastic about irony and cynicism. You are like keeping yourself out of some of the true beauty of life by not being honest.
I know this won’t appear in the article, but there is a French filmmaker-philosopher named Isidore Isou who had this theory that I always think of. He is exactly what you are saying. He said every cultural movement, every political movement, can basically be divided into an ampoule phase and a chisel phase. A paradigm is set and it’s cool to amplify it. And it finally reaches its apex. At that point, it has nothing to do with it. So the only interesting thing is to carve it. And finally, there is a new little paradigm that is set after it is carved into the dust. It’s the case of many things in culture, and definitely the case of honesty. It may also be relevant — you know, I think people felt safer 20 years ago. They felt that the world wasn’t that unstable, so there was room for more irony and ridicule. On the other hand, people now feel a little more vulnerable.
AVC: As a filmmaker, what do you think about what you want your audience to feel? How consciously do you consciously amplify, carve, or adjust bitter and sweet things?
DFC: I think coordinating it is like the director’s only job. There is a lot of theory and trash about how to become a director. But it’s all about what you want to express, or what you want the audience to feel at a particular moment. And I think the main challenge of becoming a director is to be there directly on the set and to stay in touch with what the audience is feeling at that moment in the film. But most of the time, it’s a very different situation. In other words, you are sitting on the set. Or, for example, I’m sitting on a set looking at an empty space where two shells are talking to each other. And I have to think, well, this will be a very emotional moment when he says goodbye to his grandmother. It can also be difficult to depart from the current reality because the viewer empathizes with or empathizes with what they are feeling at the moment.
AVC: Then how do you approach comedy?in the case of Marcel The Shell, Are you and Jennie just wandering around? Or is it the result of the comedy putting itself in a story situation and taking it fatally and seriously?
DFC: I have a comedy background, but I’ve always been a fan of funny movies. I’m not a fan of things like comedy! I’m such a student. But my brother is a stand-up comedy, and my brother seems to be one of the weirdest people I’ve ever met. So there is definitely a shorthand that Jennie and I have about comedy in general. However, when it comes to telling a story in a movie with a script or character, watching a good movie is always disappointing, but it prioritizes jokes over the character’s reality. If you jokingly sell off your character’s reality, it will be fun for a second and you won’t bet on the scene. For us, even if you think of an interesting joke, if it breaks the rules of Marcel’s world, or breaks the bet on the next scene or emotional moment, it’s easy to see that it’s never worth it. increase. That’s why I always try to take the character seriously. And certainly, it is important for Marcel to tell his story with some dignity.