Saturday, December 7, 2013

Kirk Hendry's Very Impressive "Junk"

Kirk Hendry is a London based director of the critically acclaimed short Junk, the story of a boy with a voracious appetite for awful things.  He took some time out to talk to FLIP....

FLIP:  Why did you chose to tell the story in silhouettes?
Kirk: I had previously made a film called Round that was made entirely with hand shadows, so was a big fan of the drama of silhouettes. I had made the animatic for 'Junk' without tying it to a particular style. Then I saw The Adventures Of Prince Achmed by Lotte Reiniger. After seeing Achmed, I got excited about doing that cutout/lightbox style with computers. It became an exercise in lighting that has been very useful ever since.

FLIP: How did you create the film? It has a mixed media look to it.
Kirk: That's right, it is a mixed media film. Thrown in there are silhouette cutout characters, live-action effects footage shot against black (snow, sparks, rain, milk-in-water-clouds etc) thousands and thousands of cut out photographs, 3-d models, miniatures, all set up in 3-d space and made to look like t was shot in-camera. That was the goal anyway. Even though it is mixed media, I think the blend is convincing enough that it doesn't feel like collage. That seamless blend of mixed media is something I think is very exciting about the future of animated (and even live-action) films.

FLIP: Has this film opened doors for you in the industry?

Kirk: The film has done very well at festivals, gaining over 100 official selections around the world over 2 and a half years and winning quite a few awards.   It has been a film that agencies have liked alot when coming to us for commercial work.  So it has helped create opportunities for us, for sure.  It's good to remind yourself of these things when you are stuck in the middle of a project that feels like it will never end! :-)

FLIP: What's next for you?
Kirk: I am currently working with my feature film partner Neil Boyle on a Simpsons 'couch-gag' for director Sylvain Chomet where the Simpsons 'turn French'. It's going to be great. That's coming out in the new year. Neil and I are also attached to direct an animated feature film of a well known book by author Michael Morpurgo with producer Sarah Radclyffe and screenwriter Frank Cottrell-Boyce.

Lotte Reiniger's inspirational The Adventures of Prince Achmed

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