Jun 16, 2017

Filmmakers Finish Project Involve Shorts at EFilm, Company 3

As the clock ticked away to the LA Film Festival (LAFF) premiere of the short film, "The Mud," writer/director/animator Brandon Lake and cinematographer Farhad Ahmed Dehlvi worked closely with colorist Matt Wallach inside a finishing theater at EFilm where such blockbusters as The Fate of the Furious and La La Land were colored. We spoke with the filmmakers as Wallach put the final touches on the short.

"The Mud," a highly personal clay animation project about a clay man who tries to escape his identity only to then realize its true beauty, came about in part due to Project Involve – now it in its 24th year -- a mentorship and diversity program from Film Independent (the organization behind LAFF) dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers. Deluxe companies EFilm and Company 3 have been supporters on the post production side of Project Involve since 2014.

Lake is an experienced pro as a stop-motion animator but this film was a particular challenge. "Even in the world of stop motion," he says, "everybody knows clay animation is if not the hardest, then the most annoying, kind of stop motion to do because it's messy and you're always getting fingerprints on the clay. But I knew I wanted to mold things and rip and tear them for this film and the best way to do that was clay."

"The clay was one of the exciting aspects for me," Dehlvi chimes in, explaining that more high-tech forms of animation can be frustratingly abstract. "With clay, you're in the moment in a tactile environment with objects that actually absorb and bounce light. It gives you a way to engage with the medium and maximize the emotional story you're trying to tell."

The clay and camera movements were animated traditionally, a frame at a time at a very small space the filmmakers rented in Culver City. A DSLR camera mounted with cine-style lenses was used to capture each meticulously-crafted frame in stills format. "I've done a lot of tabletop work for commercials," Dehlvi notes, "and the biggest challenge here was to not let that affect how I worked because primarily this was not about making things 'pretty;' it was about serving the emotion of the narrative."

The duo was excited to work at EFilm's digital cinema grading theater. "It was fantastic seeing the movie projected here," Lake enthuses. "Seeing it on the big screen, and then observing as the color work takes shape, is tremendously gratifying." Adds the cinematographer, "When you shoot, you're not just seeing what's in a monitor. You're also imagining what it will look like at the end of the process. It's really in this environment that I think we could see that the images are as robust and emotionally compelling as we had hoped."

"The Mud,"  Brandon notes, is something that would have taken many years to realize if it weren't for Project Involve. "It's not just about Film Independent and all the wonderful companies like EFilm that help," he declares. "It's also that Project Involve gives us a reason to create."

"The Mud" joined other projects -- all of which were finished at either EFilm or Company 3 -- at the premiere screening on Thursday June, 15th. These include: "This Little Light of Mine," from director Esteban Arango; "Suitable," directed by Thembi Banks; "Untitled," directed by Brittany "B.Moné" Fennell; "Great Again," from director Christpher de las Alas; "Emergency," directed by Carey Williams and "The Station," from director Daniel Foerste.


SPOTLIGHTS ARCHIVE

  • FEB 14, 2020 - EFILM’s Tom Reiser Helps Dole Out the Eye Candy for “Sonic the Hedgehog”
    VIEW ARTICLE

    JAN 23, 2020 - Deluxe Creative and Technical Artistry Recognized with 2020 AIS Lumiere Awards
    VIEW ARTICLE

    DEC 25, 2019 - EFILM’s Natasha Leonnet Colors Blue Sky Studios’ “Spies In Disguise”
    VIEW ARTICLE

    DEC 13, 2019 - EFILM’s Mitch Paulson Ventures Beyond the Jungle in “Jumanji: The Next Level”
    VIEW ARTICLE

    DEC 12, 2019 - Deluxe at Sundance 2020
    VIEW ARTICLE

  • NOV 27, 2019 - EFILM’s Natasha Leonnet Brings Suspenseful Color to Facebook Watch Series “Limetown”
    VIEW ARTICLE

    NOV 25, 2019 - Deluxe New York’s Sam Daley Brings Colorful Contrast to “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”
    VIEW ARTICLE

    NOV 22, 2019 - EFILM’s Natasha Leonnet Honored with 2019 HPA Award for Outstanding Color Grading on “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
    VIEW ARTICLE

    NOV 15, 2019 - EFILM’s Skip Kimball Infuses Vivid “Ford v Ferrari” Look in Subtle Nostalgia
    VIEW ARTICLE

    NOV 12, 2019 - EFILM Senior Colorist Walter Volpatto Enhances Historical Heft of “Midway”
    VIEW ARTICLE

  • NOV 8, 2019 - EFILM’s Jason Hanel Brings Lively Color to “Green Eggs and Ham”
    VIEW ARTICLE

    NOV 4, 2019 - EFILM’s Tony Dustin Re-Teams with Cinematographer John Toll, ASC, on “Harriet”
    VIEW ARTICLE

    OCT 16, 2019 - EFILM Celebrates Film Independent's 2019 Project Involve Fellows
    VIEW ARTICLE

    OCT 11, 2019 - EFILM’s Mitch Paulson Joins “The Addams Family”
    VIEW ARTICLE

    OCT 1, 2019 - Congrats to the 2019 HPA Award Nominees from EFILM, Deluxe Toronto, and Encore VFX
    VIEW ARTICLE

  • SEP 20, 2019 - Deluxe Explores New Frontiers with James Gray’s “Ad Astra”
    VIEW ARTICLE

    SEP 19, 2019 - “It Chapter Two” Post Services Handled by Deluxe
    VIEW ARTICLE

    SEP 13, 2019 - EFILM’s Walter Volpatto Enhances Bold Filmic Look for ‘Hustlers’
    VIEW ARTICLE

    AUG 23, 2019 - EFILM’s Natasha Leonnet Keeps Colors Vibrant in “The Angry Birds Movie 2”
    VIEW ARTICLE

    AUG 15, 2019 - Deluxe at TIFF 2019
    VIEW ARTICLE

  • JUL 18, 2019 - EFILM’s Skip Kimball Brings New Vibrancy to Netflix’s “Stranger Things 3”
    VIEW ARTICLE

    JUN 13, 2019 - EFILM SUPPORTS FILMMAKER BOB TALBOT’S BEING DOLPHIN 4D
    VIEW ARTICLE

    JUN 12, 2019 - EFILM Colorist Jason Hanel Reteams with Illumination for ‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’
    VIEW ARTICLE

    JUN 7, 2019 - EFILM's Mitch Paulson Re-Teams With Ava Duvernay For Netflix’s “When They See Us”
    VIEW ARTICLE

    MAY 28, 2019 - EFILM’S MITCH PAULSON COLORS SUPERHERO HORROR FILM ‘BRIGHTBURN’
    VIEW ARTICLE

  • MAY 24, 2019 - Efilm’s Skip Kimball Accentuates Noir Vibes For ‘Pokémon: Detective Pikachu’
    VIEW ARTICLE

    MAY 9, 2019 - EFILM Welcomes Senior Colorist Tony Dustin
    VIEW ARTICLE

    APR 9, 2019 - EFILM’s MITCH PAULSON DRAWS OUT DETAILS FROM THE SHADOWS FOR ‘PET SEMATARY’
    VIEW ARTICLE

    FEB 14, 2019 - EFILM’s SKIP KIMBALL HELPS REALIZE THE VISUALLY COMPLEX WORLD OF FOX’S ‘ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL’
    VIEW ARTICLE

    JAN 16, 2019 - Deluxe’s EFILM and Coca-Cola Regal Films Support Independent and Emerging Filmmakers at Sundance 2019
    VIEW ARTICLE