Mayan Wishes, my short has been selected to the Festival of very short videos “Festival Très courts”.
Proud to share with you a very first picture of Jack and the Cuckoo-clock Heart, the feature film I am currently co-directing with Mathias Malzieu.
FIRSTLY: dont touch the hands of your cuckoo-clock heart. SECONDLY: master your anger. THIRDLY: never, ever fall in love. For if you do, the hour hand will poke through your skin, your bones will shatter, and your heart will break once more.
Edinburgh, 1874. Born with a frozen heart, Jack is near death when his mother abandons him to the care of Dr. Madeleine—witch doctor, midwife, protector of orphans—who saves Jack by placing a cuckoo clock in his chest. And it is in her orphanage that Jack grows up among tear-filled flasks, eggs containing memories, and a man with a musical spine.
As Jack gets older, Dr. Madeleine warns him that his heart is too fragile for strong emotions: he must never, ever fall in love. And, of course, this is exactly what he does: on his tenth birthday and with head-over-heels abandon. The object of his ardor is Miss Acacia—a bespectacled young street performer with a soul-stirring voice. But now Jacks life is doubly at risk—his heart is in danger and so is his safety after he injures the school bully in a fight for the affections of the beautiful singer.
Now begins a journey of escape and pursuit, from Edinburgh to Paris to Miss Acacias home in Andalusia. Mathias Malzieus The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart is a fantastical, wildly inventive tale of love and heartbreak—by turns poignant and funny—in which Jack finally learns the great joys, and ultimately the greater costs, of owning a fully formed heart.
And in waiting for the film, here are 3 music videos I’ve directed for Dionysos, the rock band of Mathias Malzieu :
Tom Cloudman :
Tais-toi mon coeur – Shut up my heart (The very first spark of Jack and the cuckoo-clock heart) :
This Boiron film was directed by Stéphane Berla in Chez Eddy’s animation studio, thanks to Marina Coudray’s original designs.
One of the film’s intentions was to create a particularly textured and organic environment, which gives the impression it is a painting in motion, with a dynamic animation. Generally animated films are made of pictures with very precise outlines to facilitate the animation, howhever this is clearly not true here, so the project was complex.
To get this render, it was necessary to work with lots of layers in TV Paint to have a result very closed to the designs.
Then the animated elements were integrated in a 3D environment which enabled to do all the camera motions, and all the ink stains and watercolour transitions (which were shot).
The animation is in 6 frames per seconds: to lighten the production, but also for artistic reasons: as the characters are very textured, the outlines would have moved too fast with more frames, which would have lacked of elegance. “The old man and the sea” by Alexander petrov, was one of the references. Yet some parts must have been worked in 12 frames per seconds during wider movements.
Production : Swan
Agence : Swan / Indiana
Director : Stéphane Berla
Design : Marina Coudray
Animation studio : Chez Eddy
Lead animator : Patrick Imbert
Animator : Matthieu Gaillard
Compositing : Nicolas Hu
Music (not the official version) : Sandy Lavallart