Interview with Filmmaker Ariane Smith (THE PECULIAR ADVENTURES OF WILLOW B. STAR)

THE PECULIAR ADVENTURES OF WILLOW B. STAR was the winner of BEST CHARACTERS at the June 2020 Animation FEEDBACK Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Ariane Smith: I love strong female characters and wanted to create one that was in the Agatha Christie style that I loved reading when I was 6 years old, but I wanted her to be updated and funky.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

I wrote the book in 2007. Years later I decided to animate it. Once I started making the short it was a jam packed 6-7 months.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Edgy, Funny

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Raising the money.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

It was so gratifying to know that they all got what I and my team were going for. I never get to hear that kind of response.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

Reading the great mystery writers since I was a kid. I was also inspired by the work and humor of Wes Anderson in “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Among others, Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho.”

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

It’s a perfect platform.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

This is really hard question. I’ve always loved The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Californication” and also Jain’s “Mr. Johnson.”

10. What is next for you? A new film?

Yes. I’m working on a live action film this time.

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