Carrying on our recent trend of featuring black and white animated shorts with unconventional narratives (see Plug & Play and Chronemics), today’s pick combines distinct monochrome imagery with a quirky storyline. The first of a series of 2014 RCA graduation films we’ve had our eye on here at Short of the Week, Isaac Holland’s La Petite Maison is an unorthodox romantic-comedy, utilising a playful approach and some surreal comedy to create its distinctly tone and feel.
“She was a tart, she was an extravagant French tart and that was the summer she left him”
Based around old relationships, interactions with lovers and past conversations (although Holland admits he wouldn’t label it as an autobiographical film), whilst La Petite Maison is certainly offbeat in many ways, it manages to stay accessible through its many relatable themes. Now whilst most of us may not have ever imagined our partners as “extravagant French tart’s”, the themes of perception and indecision covered in the storyline, as we’re taken through key moments in a couple’s relationship, are ones we can easily identify with.
Admitting, in an interview I did with Holland for Directors Notes, that he wanted to try to enjoy making his graduation film as much as possible, after seeing his peers somewhat struggle with their process, the filmmaker adopted a workflow he was “comfortable with and kept to working within those limitations”. “From writing to exporting It took six months to make”, Holland says, “apart from Adobe Premiere for editing I just used the Lino crayon in Photoshop to design and animate everything. I wanted to keep the production as simple as possible. My work flow was incredibly simple and the script facilitated the minimalistic film I wanted to make”.
Described as “the most challenging thing I’ve ever had to make” by Holland, the experience of creating La Petite Maison will have taught the animator many valuable lessons he can now carry on in his post-RCA life. Currently working as a 2D animator and making a comic about a man who marries a melon in his spare time, Holland admits he hopes to make another short film in the future – to keep updated with his work, be sure to check out his Tumblr or Twitter