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Interview with Kim Keukeleire (island of The Dogs) | Napoli Comicon 2018

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Published on May 09, 2018

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During the Napoli Comicon, we had the opportunity to meet the beautiful Kim Keukeleire, lead animator of the new work in stop-motion director Wes Anderson, the Isle of The Dogs. With an enviable cv in the world of animation (that includes the Chickens in Flight, Frankenweenie, Fantastic Mr. Fox and My Life as a Zucchini), Keukeleire was granted to the questions of the undersigned and of the other colleagues who took part in the roundtable in the beautiful setting of the hotel Grand hotel Vesuvio, overlooking the waterfront of naples.

What is the sequence of the most difficult to achieve?

The one with Spot and Atari in the hospital, because we had to figure out how to Spot you would have to move, the characteristics of the its and Atari. The technical part is always difficult when you start to work on a movie, because the models are not complete the one hundred percent and should be refined.

As you have worked with the director of photography on the set of the film?

The difficulty in a work like ours is that we are thirty animators on 45 set, while the director of photography works with a team of people that prepares all before we arrive, months prior to our work, and following a discussion between him, Wes, set designers and all those who contribute to the scene to try to find and build the framing right. When we arrive we, the sets and lights are ready, but at this point we have to tell him what will be our position, to work on the animation, and sometimes you need to change something to fit our needs and allow us to get to the models and move them depending on the development of the scene. Wes is very obsessive regarding the shot, he wants the characters to be completely in the center or completely to the side, and for this there is always a lot to discuss. Place a snowman, send a photo to Wes and he gives us directions on how to move it. Sometimes there are many consultations and changes, along with set designers and lighting technicians before being able to proceed. It is true that we are only about thirty animators, but there are more than three hundred persons at work on the film, and it takes a lot of coordination.

As you worked on the expressiveness of the characters?

The puppets of the dogs have an internal framework very different from that of the human characters. Wes wanted the japanese characters have little expression and animavamo the face by replacing the masks furniture, while the dogs had a structure that allowed us to move each part of your mouth, and every detail of the face, from cheeks to eyebrows. He wanted the heads of the dogs were extremely expressive in every detail.

As it has evolved, the craft of the animator stop motion in the last twenty years?

I started working in advertising after school, but the turning point came when I went to Aardman Animations for chicken run, because that's where I learned to work in a group. Technically, not much has changed, even if, for example, for chicken run we shot on film, in 35mm, and it was a nightmare. Today, the digital is a great help for the stop motion, the new rooms are more simple to use and also you can immediately check what you have done and correct if necessary.

Many stop-motion movies of recent times make wide use of CGI to support, but in this film are reduced to a minimum. It is a choice of Wes Anderson or you have said your as entertainers?

Definitely a choice of Wes. Every thing depends on him. From the outset he has chosen to use the stop motion just for the effect it has, otherwise he would have chosen another technique, by choosing to do all the effects live. For example, using the wool to make the smoke or the film to the water. It is exactly what I wanted it to, because you linked to his memories of the child.

And what do you think of the use that others, such as the Laika, make it as if it were the special effects of a movie?

I understand that in some cases are obliged to use it, for example, for scenes with many characters that would take too much work, but personally I prefer when you rely solely on the puppets. The Laika uses a lot and sometimes loses a bit of tangibility, and spontaneity that is typical of stop motion. In addition, Wes wanted to turn in step two, while the Laika runs in step one. This means that they move the puppet and taking a frame, while we have made two, and then not 24 frames per second but 12. It is more similar to the 2D animation and gives a feeling completely different, Wes has wanted from the beginning. This is part of the synchrony of the speech, which was photographed at the step one in cases where he wanted you to perceive the fidelity of the movements to the text.

The isle of the dogs, Fantastic Mr Fox, chicken run and Frankenweenie are all movies related to animals. It is particularly related to the topic or is it simply a case?

It happened! I think that depends on the fact that in films for children and for families, there are a lot of animals. You can see it even in the CGI animation movie.

How it is perceived by the children, the stop motion?

I don't think that the children will make a difference, for them it is a story. Perhaps begin to perceive a certain difference, when they grow up. As children we look at the many productions in stop motion made for television and in some way we are related. It also happens to revise by adults, something that we had looked at from children without that we realized how it was made.

Interview with Kim Keukeleire (island of The Dogs) | Napoli Comicon 2018 is MangaForever.net

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