Inspired by an adolescent belief that the map of the world would continue on the other side, Simon Scheiber’s visually impressive short The Lighthouse uses striking black-and-white stop-motion to deliver its poetic storyline. A dialogue-free tale of a lighthouse keeper that discovers a mysterious phenomenon at work, Scheiber’s film sees this age-old occupation transported to celestial realms in this enigmatic short.
Seven years in production, The Lighthouse’s imposing aesthetic combines classic techniques with modern technology (rapid prototyping and digital motor/light automation) to create a film of truly impressive craft. Keen to discover why he adopted such a time-consuming animation approach when creating his film, we spoke to the director about his production process:
“Stop-motion always had a special place for me ever since I saw Wallace & Gromit for the first time”, Scheiber reveals. “Although I was working in the field of digital animation and design for a couple of years, I had no practical stop-frame experience whatsoever when I started on The Lighthouse. Because of that I had to teach myself the fundamentals of all kind of professions that are essential on a stop-frame production. Additionally, I self-financed the whole project which didn’t help speed up the process either”
With The Lighthouse now released online, Scheiber can concentrate on new projects, currently working on a few short term commissions whilst he develops a new script, the filmmaker is happy to admit that his next film” will be pretty different from The Lighthouse in regards to story, technique, colour, and edit”.