|(image source: all images seen in this interview were provided by Fiona Dalwood)|
As mentioned in our previous post in the lead up to the Melbourne International Animation Festival we have some features on some of the best Australian stop motion animation films at the festival whose names were given to us in our interview with Malcolm Turner a couple of weeks ago.
To kick off our first feature we have Fiona Dalwood talking about her film The Batchelor Experience (which sounds hilarious!)
The Batchelor Experience screens on opening night at the festival which is Sunday 19th June at 6.30pm as part of the Best of the Next Program #4: Australian.
Can you tell us a little about the story of The Batchelor Experience and some of the concepts and themes within the film?
The film is about an exclusive restaurant-cum-gentlemen’s club in the heart of the city where patrons can be free to behave like a complete slob. The dress code is “No shoes, no ties, no pants” and that pretty much sums it up – the full blokey bachelor pad experience.
The idea came to me from time spent working in a very corporate environment, surrounded largely by middle-aged family men. I’d try and imagine what freedoms were left to them between the lives they lived at work and the lives they shared with their families at home. They’d disappear at lunchtime and saunter back into the office looking a lot more relaxed.
To me the film is a quick and cheeky look at the lifestyle we’re setting ourselves up for if we continue to allow our every movement and behavior to be regulated in the way that it is now. Community standards are becoming so uptight that I suspect taking part in even the most basic pleasures in life (such as drinking beer in your undies) will become underground privileges in the near future. In a world where we’re pressured to be amateur chefs each night or to pluck every hair on our bodies I wanted to explore how it might look if we put a price on something as simple as slobbing out.
Can you tell us a little about what inspired the look of the film? What made you decide to use stop motion animation instead of other animation techniques?
The Batchelor Experience shows us two sides to the same character, so I was looking for a quick and dirty way to convey the split between Albert the Suit and Dirty Bert the slob.
I limited my colour palette to two distinct moods, so the film starts with washed out greenish-grey hues ramps up to pulsing reds as Bert loses his inhibitions. It’s a very condensed nod to films like Heathers where our hero starts out inoffensively pastel and ends up a saturated monster. It was a fantastic challenge to set myself in terms of stop motion, particularly working with plasticene, because the process of making the puppets and sets is so much fun that the temptation is there to use every colour in the box.