Interview with Filmmaker Björn Granberg (ART IS ANGST)

ART IS ANGST was the winner of BEST ANIMATION at the August 2020 Animation Feedback Film Festival.

 Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Björn Granberg: I have always been interested in the art of animation. 

Using 3d software suits me well, since it combines technical aspects with artistic creation. 

The animation short, Art is Angst, first of all started with my intention to 

develop my animation skills, and to learn more about the software.

The idea to the story began with my intention of creating characters that could communicate emotional expressions without using words.

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

It actually took a couple of years… about four, I think. 

I started the short with some vague ideas about the characters, and then began modelling them. During this process I decided to switch software, which caused some more work. 

I also think that I could have used a more efficient workflow. Hopefully that will shorten the time to complete my next animation short. 

However, Art is angst, has been a side project apart from my ordinary job as a teacher. 

Besides that, I have made it all by myself, including sounds for example. 

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

Brutal and Breaking

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

As an independent creator there can be problems with getting the time to focus on a project. I have though learnt to work in shorter moments, with a lot of breaks. 

Another thing is that I decided to make Art is Angst by myself. That was very enjoyable and a great learning experience for me, but of course made the whole process longer.

And obviously there were problems of a technical nature. I suppose everyone working digitally knows what mean. The earlier in the process you can resolve any issues, the better. 

In worst cases you have to spend time making a lot of things all over again.

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

It was a great experience, to see that people far away, with no relation to me, had a deep look into my animation. And 

I felt very glad to see and hear the audience pointing out things in my short, that conformed with things I put an effort in when making it.

It could e.g. be comments on details about the characters and the progression of the story. Their positive response really pushes me to continue making more animations. 

WATCH THE AUDIENCE FEEDBACK VIDEO:

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

One starting point was that I wanted to create ugly characters, looking a bit different from how 3d characters often look in films. For example, I tried to avoid making them totally symmetrical, and I also put an effort on the texturing. 

I also wanted to make the characters express emotions without using existing words, just using mimics, gestures and verbal sounds.

Those basic ideas of the characters lead to the idea of the frustrated artist, and the relationship between him and his model.

The creation of Art is Angst might also be influenced by the Me Too movement a bit. 

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

I have always enjoyed animated movies, and I have had the opportunity to watch a lot with my children. It is hard to say, but we have watched films like Ice Age and Despicable Me over and over again. Another one is Rango, which inspired me when making the characters to Art is Angst.

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

I think the site is great. It is very easy to find festivals. It is structured very well, and gives a clear overview of what is going on. I recommend it to everyone involved in film making. 

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

I listen to a lot of music, like Gary Numan, Sparks and Diorama.

To pick only one song is difficult, but if I have to, it will probably be a song from the early 80’s by Johnny Warman called “From the Jungle to the New Horizons”. It has inspired me a lot through the years. 

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

I am in the early process of forming ideas for a new animation short. I think it is going to be about a man and a woman dating. So even this animation will include some unique characters. I hope it will be entertaining.

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