AUBREY GRUMP, 1min,. USA
Directed by Mike Dietz
"Some people are only happy when they're not."
Get to know the filmmaker:
What motivated you to make this film?
Last year I met artist/animator/producer Casey Follen while working on a freelance job. Several times a year Casey and her partners release a compilation of animated shorts called Animation Wild Card. It's a fun platform for independent animation artists to collaborate and showcase super short-shorts created just for the joy of animating. The only requirements are that the films be animated and have a runtime somewhere between 15 and 90 seconds. Casey invited me to submit a film for an upcoming episode, so I tried to come up with an idea that would be fun to animate and could tell a worthwhile story in a minute or less. Aubrey Grump is what I ended up with.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
I spent 2 or 3 three months working on it, fitting it in here and there around my paying gigs, mostly nights and weekends.
How would you describe your film in two words!?
Fun and relatable, I suppose. We all know someone like Aubrey. We may even see ourselves in him.
What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
The hardest part was keeping it short and to the point. The more I animated him, the more I wanted to draw him, and the more things I wanted to have him do. But in the end, I think keeping it simple gives it more impact.
What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I was pleasantly surprised to hear how much meaning people seemed to get out of such a short little film. It was interesting to hear the different interpretations.
When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I'm not really sure. I'm self-taught as an animator, and I've always taken an interest in animation and film in general. I started out animating for video games, which led to working on game cinematics, which eventually led to working in television and film.
What film have you seen the most in your life?
That's a tough one. Maybe 2001: A Space Odyssey. Or possibly The Jungle Book. I watched that one a lot when I was learning to animate.
What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
I'd love to see other festivals embrace your model of providing feedback to the filmmakers. I was a judge for a couple of years for a small feedback festival, so I know how much work it can be to provide meaningful feedback to multiple films, but it is incredibly useful, especially to new filmmakers.
You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
So far FilmFreeway has been great. It makes everything so easy and it seems most festivals are accessible through the site.
What is your favorite meal?
Real NY Pizza.
What is next for you? A new film?
I'm working on a pretty big video game project right now, but I also have a new film in the works that I hope to have finished sometime next year. It's something I'm doing in my free time, so it'll be done whenever it's done.