MA Directing Animation students at the National Film & Television School have been the magicians behind our official festival trailers for the past 13 years! During that time, we’ve been delighted by hand-drawn, stop-motion, pixilation, claymation, puppet, rotoscoping, 2-dimensional, 3-dimensional, hybrid animation… so many techniques celebrated! Each one informed by a considered concept and imbued with the unique personal touches from a Director and their supporting crew.
For LIAF 2023’s trailer the emphasis simply had to be on celebrating our 20th anniversary and Danielle Rhoda‘s ‘Cake Extravaganza’ concept perfectly fit the bill! Here’s what Danielle had to say about the process:
Coming up with the idea for this year’s trailer was a lot of fun given the clear theme of this being the 20th anniversary of the festival. I knew I wanted to create something sweet but punchy with a ‘surprise’ element of a grande cake, the best way to celebrate a birthday. Given the festival’s history and location I wanted to spotlight London but at the same time make it all about the LIAF. Every year the films are new but the journey to the festival remains the same, through character packed busy streets of the capital to the magical atmosphere of the cinema, and for most of us that journey includes the tube! I wanted to reanimate that journey and give it a sense of celebration, as if to say ‘here, you made it in, now sit back and enjoy’.
In my practice of late I’ve been more and more pulled towards mixed media and this trailer posed itself as a great challenge to set up a cohesive world using two different techniques at the same time. Using collage for the city scenes and stop motion for the cake I managed to set up an efficient process that is simple and straightforward but playful, tactile and effective.
For the pace of the film I was guided by the idea of creating a catchy ad which is short and to the point but in visuals gives enough variety that keeps the eye searching even when watched multiple times. This thought was important when approaching the music, composed by Edoardo Vella, we wanted to have a layered piece that felt textured and detailed but also somewhat naive just like the animation.
A special shout-out to Felix Surplus who made the fantastic cake all the way from his home in Ireland. It’s been an absolute pleasure to create this LIAF Cake Extravaganza!
‘Cake Extravaganza’ appears across our venues and online throughout LIAF 2023. As well as Director Danielle, we want to thank the fantastic team she put together for the production: Jono Le Grice – Cinematography
Alessandro Zolfanelli – Assistant Animation
Felix Surplus – Model Making
Edoardo Vella – Composing
Anna Carpani – Sound Design
Barrett Jay – Editing
And here’s the finished trailer…