Lunch with Niebieski Pokój (A Blue Room)
A few years ago I met Ron Dyens from Sacrebleu Productions at the Animation Film Festival in Zagreb. He liked my previous graduation film, and he was willing to do something new with me. It was the first time I presented him the concept of Niebieski Pokój. Back then the project was more experimental. During the creative process it slowly turned into a narrative film. Somewhat it still differs from a classic narrative. The inspiration for the production of the film partially came from my personal experience. My father was in a coma for some time before he died. This prompted me to reflect on this state. What can men hear? Where are their minds? I thought that film would be a good medium to show that – the state of suspension between live and death. It could give the viewers the opportunity to experience something like that.
In many cultures, blue is connected with the spiritual world. Although to be honest, my choice was more intuitive. It seemed to me that there is something overwhelming in a room with such an intense blue. That there is a kind of spiritual coldness.
Unfortunately, I do not know the answer to that question. Each of us has to reveal this mystery by himself.
Painting gave the film its final effect – every frame of the animation was painted on glass.
But before it has happened we had created an outline animation and a scenography in 3D application as a blueprint for further work. After the stage of painting the film was black and white. Adding color and compositing of all the layers was made in a computer program.
I wanted the protagonist of the film to be an artist. He is a musician, maybe a composer, it is not entirely clear. I wanted the soundtrack to reflect his interests as an artist. Music and sound constitutes another layer in a world where everything seems out of place. Then over time the hero somehow finds out and understands something of this. However, at the beginning the dreamlike images appearing in front of him are entangled, like echoes of his consciousness and past life. I think it is what I wanted to achieve – the effect of entanglement with music, sound and images.
Maybe it was in relationship to the life of the hero, maybe he stuck once in a broken elevator. It is hard to say. In dreams there often appear elements that we seem as irrelevant to the action, however they have its function. It was the effect I was looking for.
As for the technique- we did a moving city in 3D application at the beginning. Then all the frames were painted on the glass. Vibrating effect is made by painting each frame separately. This scene was the most time consuming of the whole film.
The window is the only link for the hero to the outside world. All the information comes through it. The idea came from creating a parallel where the room represents the mind of the hero and the exterior outside the window represents the reality he cannot reach. This state I wanted to show by creating this metaphor not only refers to the people in coma. I think many of us worry about the fact that we can not escape of our body, we are its prisoner.
Yes, as far as I am concern, science cannot tell us too much on this matter. There are studies, but from what I know, it is still largely unknown how the mind works in the coma. Also diagnosing of brain death is still a controversial issue because there were cases of patients waking up after they were examined. Actually, the memories of people who wake up from this state can tell us more than science itself. For me it was more interesting.
In France, there is a strong tradition of auteur cinema. This implies that the director’s voice is very clear. It favors the production of original films which extend traditional storytelling and challenge the viewer. I have the impression that the film community in France somehow feels responsible of preserving the tradition of film as an art form.
Programme for viewing Niebieski Pokój: National Competition F7.
More info Soon we will be showing the film at:
-9th Tehran International Animation Festival (in competition), Tehran (Iran), 2015 (March)
-Festival International du Film d’Aubagne (screening), Aubagne (France), 2015 (March)
-Festival Court Métrage Ciné Poème (in competition), Bezons (France), 2015 (March)