Interview with Filmmaker Pepijn Claus (INSIDE)

Pepijn Claus’s short film “Inside” played to rave reviews at the Family/Animation Short Film Festival in August 2016. His film is a classic animation/comedy – something this Generation Xer loved, as it reminded me of my childhood watching Saturday morning cartoons. It was an honor sitting down with him to talk about his short film.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Pepijn Claus: I wanted to make something fun, that people would enjoy to watch. A classic cartoon is the perfect genre if you have that goal.

Also, by making a classic cartoon, you have the opportunity to really test your animation-skills.

MT: From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

PC: A year

MT: How would you describe your short film in two words!?

PC: Inside a magpie

MT: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

PC: The animation. I wanted to test my animation-skills: exaggerate! Do a lot of squash and stretch! Try to think like Tex Avery! Not stiff, but loose!

It was a big challenge to make the animation exactly like I wanted it to be, but by being so feverish, I learned a lot about the medium!

MT: What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

PC: It made me feel proud of myself. I was smiling during the whole video. It was great to see that everyone was so positive!

Great feedback! Thank you!

MT: How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

PC: When I was eleven years old, I wrote a story about what happens inside your stomach. I wrote about food that came alive inside your stomach and consequently lived in its own unique world.

Ten years later, when I was working on my bachelor film, I got the idea to make something similar for my master film. The story about food that comes alive inside your stomach seemed too big to tell in three minutes. I didn’t come to an alternative, until I saw a blackbird catching a worm. With a grimace I thought about what the worm could do if he was still alive inside the bird. How would he escape?

I continued building on this idea and that was the start of my master film!

MT: What film have you seen the most in your life?

PC: Disney’s Aladdin, I think.

MT: What is next for you? A new film?

PC: At the moment, I am an assistant animator in Walking the Dog Animation, Brussels. The film I am working on is an autobiographical documentary about the last summer of 10 year-old Steffan and his little brother living with their mom, who is an alcoholic. You can find more information about the film through this link:

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK of INSIDE:

Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Fesival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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