Interview with Filmmaker/Animator Liu Shuo (OUTSIDER)

OUTSIDER played to rave reviews at the June 2022 ANIMATION Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

Originally, I got this idea from a dream thirteen years ago when I just started to study for my MA degree in London. In this dream, the people I cared about spoke, laughed, and merged into the table. I checked out with the table and asked them ‘how could you do that?’. They looked down upon me said ‘that’s normal.’.

I wrote it down as a sad story that could show my feelings of being abroad alone for the first time.

I never thought I would make it into an animation until 2020, the pandemic came and there was nobody at the school I taught at. Then I took my summer holiday to make this animation.

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

I’ve done it from the idea to all the footage in one month all by myself. But I gave it up for more than one year because I was always busy at work.

I’ve finished the post produce in another one month during Dec. 2021 to Jan. 2022.

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

Emmmm… Society and Communication perhaps.

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

The time was super limited, and I had to do it by myself.

I was told this short animation would be a 3 to 4 months’ teamwork. But anyway, I decided to do it my own.

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

Really appreciate for liking my animation. I’m grateful that the audiences got my idea, I could tell from the feedback. The feedback also made me realize I’ve made a right decision to make the animation no matter in what kind of situation.

PS. Some of them mentioned the tones and harmony. It was my voice, thanks for that!

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

Actually I’ve decided to make an animation called Inside Out in 2017/2018. However, the process was slow because it wasn’t one person’s work, and all my friends were busy.

Then I decided to make something similar but simpler that all could be finished by myself in one month summer holiday. The idea of Outsider came up in the end of July 2020.

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

I’d like watching all kinds of films… Speaking of the films influenced me mostly, I’d say Jan Švankmajer’s.

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

Nothing. You’re the best. As an animator, all I want is to get feedback and improve with it, and that’s your mind idea.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

Great! Super convenient!

10. What is your favorite meal?

Braised Pork Belly in English perhaps, or Hongshao Rou (Red cooked pork) in Chinese.

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

After question 6, I’ve got an idea for a new animated film indeed. Besides, I’m also writing an article of animation history, I also need to learn 3D digital animation. A lots of work to do then, hope I’ll finish my new animation and to share it with you soon.In


By matthewtoffolo

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

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