Animator Joseph Pierce’s film SCALE has already made waves on the festival circuit after premiering at La Semaine de la Critique of Festival de Cannes when it was chosen by our guest curator Olha Raiter as part of our Lighthouse Selections 2022. The film appears on T-Port through our partners at Salaud Morissete.
We caught up with the British filmmaker to find out how he fared during the arduous 5 year filmmaking process.
Introduce yourself in a sentence or two
I’m Joseph Pierce, an animation director and writer based in London. I directed the short film SCALE.
How did you feel/react when you found out you had been selected for the T-Port Lighthouse?
I was extremely honoured and touched that SCALE had been selected for T-Port Lighthouse 2022. The excellent exposure will be of invaluable help in developing my new projects and raising my profile.
What does making the selection mean to you and the future of your short film?
T-Port comes at a crucial time for our short SCALE, after premiering in Cannes in May it will give it a much needed boost in time for the BAFTAs and awards seasons.
What was the inspiration behind SCALE?
The film is based on the short story Scale by the author Will Self. It was an extreme privilege to make this film, it took about 5 years but I was able to work with incredibly talented animators and artists in 4 different countries, which was really a pleasure.
Having been through the process of making your short – what do you wish someone had told you in advance?
I wish someone had warned me how long it would take!
What were the biggest challenges you encountered during production?
Working around COVID was a huge challenge, but the biggest one was keeping my distinct style but on a larger scale.
How was it to collaborate with your cast and crew? Have you formed any particular meaningful connections?
My existing relationships with crew members were further strengthened and I became very close with Sam, our lead actor. I also met many brilliant artists mainly in France who I’d love to work with again.
Tell us about the visual choices in your film. What were your main goals and techniques in creating the visual style of your film?
The main differences between this film and my previous is that I decided to work in colour, have fully realised backgrounds in 2D, 2.5D and full 3D, this was a huge challenge but was brought together wonderfully by our post production team in Brussels.
Tell us about the sound choices in your film?
I worked with my long time sound designer Dominic Fitzgerald to create a truly immersive soundscape. I also enlisted the efforts of the brilliant London duo Lungdart, who scored the film based on my love of their music.
What would you like people to take away from your film?
I’d like people to think deeply about addiction, mental health, and the creative process.
What did you find (or still find) as especially lacking in the process of distributing and promoting your film? What was especially challenging?
I don’t find much challenging as I think a good film speaks for itself, I think a proper awards campaign is a bit daunting as it’s not always the best films that get nominated for the big prizes.
If you were to have infinite resources – walk us through your fantasy film project
I would love to do a feature length animated film for an adult audience.
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