VERONIKA OBERTOVA - making of Viliam and other stories

Lovely Veronika Obertova was so kind to give me an interview and share a little bit more very interesting details from behind the scenes of her beautifully crafted and very moving graduation film VILIAM. Veronika is currently working in collaboration with Michaela Copikova. The two directresses founded together Ové Pictures. Their first project is the "happy happy joy joy" FREE TO BE ME - again mostly made out of paper which seems to be the favorite material of these ladies. YAY! Go girls! Wish you lots of success with the next projects to come!

How long did it take you to finalize the idea and the script? Is there a personal motivation behind the story?Viliam is my graduation film, so I had one year for it. I wrote the script with scriptwriter Peter Minar, and it took us 6 months. There is a personal motivation behind the story. The story of Viliam is about art students, artist and maybe little bit about me, or anybody living in his own world. About the passion of doing what you want to do. It is also about how hard is it sometimes to open the door, and look around.. The most difficult thing during making my film, was that i had no idea, at the beginning, how hard it will be. Many of things I did for the first time..., and the deadline was short. For animation I had just 2 weeks. I had to finished my film till the end of the school, because this was my graduation project, and after that it took me 3 more months to finished it properly. I decided to change editing, and I remake some shots.

Why did you choose paper as your medium?I was sitting at home for nearly one month playing with paper. My first idea, was to work with origami, and pop up books, but I found it very hard, so accidentally made one pencil as a 3d paper object and flat hand...and..that was it! I realized that this is going to work. I used classic drawn animation, and watercolor for the drawing parts...I wanted to find two different worlds - one "real" and one "drawn". Everything is "pure" stop motion, I didn't use computer for post production, just for color grading. I used Digital camera, and mostly all of the shots are shoot from top. Just the parts with drops, houses, and car were shot from the side.

How long did it take you to craft it and did you make it completely by yourself or you had a helping hand?All puppets are made from paper. The heads of the characters are about 30 cm high. To do the puppets was like meditation for me..For example the about 100 drops of rain...It took me about 1 month for paper models, but I have four friends which helped me a lot! Michaela Copikova, nowadays my co-worker and really good director helped me with the animation. -Would you share some making of images?I did my film in "punk rock enroll" style, no studio. A really good friend of mine gave me her flat for shooting. I had really old lights, sometimes not working...and some of the shots I took in my kitchen...using the lights of the toaster. But yes, the sound was recorded in studio, and also color grading was done professionally.
Are you satisfied by the supervision that you received from your professors at school and did you expect such a great success?
Yes, I was satisfied, my professor at Academy of Fine Arts and Design are great. Jan Šicko my teacher helped me a lot. But also people outside of school helped as well. Vilo Csino, or Marek Šulík, who edited my filmas well as Boris Farkaš, a Slovak actor, who did the voice over…all of them are professionals, and they helped me for free.

What are you doing lately?
Nowadays I am back at school I study PhD. at visual communication department. Last summer me and Michaela Copikova - we established an animator's duo called Ové Pictures, so now we are working together. In September 2011 we will have premiere of Miska's movie, and there will be some other projects we are working on. We really like to work in classic animation techniques.

How did you feel about the success of your film and what came after?
And about the success….well I didn't expect nothing, I just wanted to make a animated movie...that was my motivation…and I thought, that it will be nice to have my film on some festivals….but when they chose my film to Annecy festival, which was the first big one, I was so happy.The prices do not mean so much for me. Well, yes I am happy when I got the prize, but the most important thing is that people like my small film, and I hope they got something from it.

Thank you for your time Veronika!
My pleasure! Thank you for the opportunity. 

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