A semi-animated short film portraying three artists living next door to each other, yet decades apart, at a glance: a painter in the early 1900s, a writer in the 1940s and a modern ballerina. Separated by walls and time, their connections unfold.
Director Biography - Margarethe Baillou
Margarethe Baillou is an award-winning filmmaker and founder of independent film production company M.Y.R.A. Entertainment in New York, London and Singapore, producing global, nonviolent and inclusive content. Productions have included the Academy Award-winning Call Me by Your Name (2017), The World to Come (2020) and Benediction (2021). Margarethe has written and directed two short films, Telling A You (2013) and Le Pardon (2014), which screened at festivals around the globe. She also founded M.Y.R.A. Photography as well as the M.Y.R.A. Initiative in New York, the philanthropic arm of M.Y.R.A. Entertainment, supporting children in crisis and promoting nonviolent cinema.
This short film is a digital survivor. I conceived And So I Begin. several years before putting a team together and filming it in 2016.
I had always been fascinated with the idea of time and its direction of travel. Does the present really only depend on the past, and the future on the present? Could the future and present not also echo in the past? In addition, I wanted to showcase human relationships, even among strangers, arguing that we are, in fact, all interconnected.
We collaborated with our friends at Mechanism Digital in New York for VFX, Tinpot in Dublin for SFX and, for the first time, with the British composer, Gabriel Prokofiev, for an original score. With so many highly talented colleagues working on the short, post-production proved to be very rewarding – until, halfway through, we suffered a complete loss of almost all high resolution files due to a major computer crash.
I found myself going through the five stages of grief, and I decided to shelve it for the time being. Fast forward several years, and we are all being humbled by the covid-19 pandemic. As a society, we collectively experienced real loss, real mental crashes and real devastations of dreams, plans and stories. However, we also learned about resilience, hope and ambitions to exist, now more than ever. Most importantly, we received proof that we are all absolutely interconnected.
As an artist, this awakening triggered the determination to repair broken dreams and treasure the smallest things. We dusted off And So I Begin. and began exploring ways to work with its low resolution files. The solution was found in the one film genre that seemed to be immune to the pandemic: animation. We turned to our friends at Liquid TV in London, and together we came up with a range of whimsical illustration-style animation extensions for our low resolution scenes, fittingly blurring the line between dreamscape and reality.
And that is how And So I Begin. was saved in 2022, with its 2016 scenes very much echoing the future. It is my team’s and my hope that, however small, our short film may contribute to much needed global collaborations and to our collective courage to begin anew.