Ten Ques­tions For Niki Lin­droth von Bahr

Animation Magazine - - Final Shot -

It’s been a great year for Swedish artist Niki Lin­droth. Her bril­liant mu­si­cal short The Bur­den, which fea­tured singing and danc­ing an­i­mals fight­ing ex­is­ten­tial de­spair in a mar­ket place, won the pres­ti­gious Cristal for Best Short Film at An­necy in June. She made time for us dur­ing her sum­mer hol­i­day to answer some ques­tions. Can you tell us a bit about the ori­gins of your award-win­ning short The Bur­den? I’d say there were some dif­fer­ent ideas com­ing to­gether. I have al­ways loved old Hol­ly­wood mu­si­cals, like Sin­gin’ in the Rain and An­chors Aweigh, and I wanted to do some kind of an­i­mated homage to this genre. But then I also wanted to work with a darker, con­tem­po­rary theme. If you were a low-paid em­ployee work­ing end­less hours in a generic shop­ping area, what would you sing about? Where do you usu­ally find your in­spi­ra­tions? Hol­ly­wood mu­si­cals, Tales of Beatrix Potter and the films of Michael Haneke—al­ways. What do you love about work­ing in this par­tic­u­lar medium (stop-mo­tion/pup­petry)? I love to make sets and pup­pets by hand. And stop-mo­tion an­i­ma­tion is the per­fect way for me to com­bine that in­ter­est with my fas­ci­na­tion by the film medium. How much did your short cost to make and how long did it take you to cre­ate it? We had quite a small bud­get, sadly, about 75,000 eu­ros (about $85,000), and worked on the short for al­most two and a half years. It’s been dif­fi­cult, to say the least! What would you say your big­gest chal­lenge was in mak­ing your short? There have been many, many chal­lenges, but def­i­nitely the low bud­get. Also, some of the sets were re­ally hard to make. Like the su­per­mar­ket, with hun­dreds of tiny food boxes made by hand. And the mar­ket place ex­te­rior set that mea­sured 2.5 me­ters (8.2 feet) in diameter. That model alone took me over three months to fin­ish. Have you been sur­prised by the ac­claim and at­ten­tion your short has re­ceived? Yes. I was very un­sure if the Swedish voices would work abroad at all, since there is so much speak­ing and singing com­pared to my pre­vi­ous films. Also, de­spite our tight pro­duc­tion bud­get, I’m so happy that my film has been screened amongst an­i­mated films with much big­ger bud­gets and high pro­duc­tion value. What are you work­ing on next? Right now, I make sculp­tures for a cou­ple of art ex­hi­bi­tions, which I do along­side my film projects. I’m also plan­ning to make some kind of an­i­mated hor­ror movie, which may take place in the financial world. What are your fa­vorite shows on TV or movies you have seen this year? I love the doc­u­men­tary show O.J. Simp­son: Made in Amer­ica. The in­sti­tu­tional racism and po­lit­i­cal move­ments that went on si­mul­ta­ne­ously with that case is just so in­ter­est­ing and im­por­tant to learn about. Who are your an­i­ma­tion heroes? I love the work of Réka Bucsi, Don Het­zfeldt and Daisy Ja­cobs. What is the best ad­vice you can give to those who want to make it in an­i­ma­tion? Be re­ally stub­born, I mean re­ally stub­born It’s also a good thing if you’re an in­cur­able time op­ti­mist. That means not be­ing fully aware of how time-con­sum­ing ev­ery­thing in an­i­ma­tion ac­tu­ally is, and man­age to re­press that ex­pe­ri­ence when start­ing your next project!!! To find out more, visit www.nikilin­droth.com.

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