100 SECONDS ON THE RED SOFA: Finding Pictures
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100 Seconds On The Red Sofa shines the spotlight on movers and shakers in the Singapore film and media scene, with each episode featuring people that are making waves and contributing to the industry’s growth and enrichment.
The Red Sofa has come a long way and has a rich history, dating all the way back to Sinema Old School in 2007. It’s seen a generation of young local filmmakers come into their own; now we’re dusting it off for another round.
The Directors’ Fortnight is a non-competitive segment of the Cannes Film Festival where Singaporean films like Eric Khoo’s Be With Me (2005) and Anthony Chen’s Ilo Ilo (2013) have been previously screened. This year, The Directors’ Fortnight saw the premiere of a unique animated short film produced by Singapore’s independent animation studio Finding Pictures called Piece of Meat.
Finding Pictures’ founders and animation directors Mark Wee and Jerrold Chong explain how far from simple the production process of this stop-motion animated film is. Going for a Richard Hamilton-esque collage style, they painstakingly cut out images of the characters and other objects found from various sources. The main characters are a Lamb Chop and her younger brother, a Durian and as silly as that sounds, Piece of Meat does address important social issues – the object-saturated universe in which the Lamb Chop is oppressed and exploited as a prostitute is a critique of consumerist society.
The story of Piece of Meat is based on one that was written decades ago by Eric Khoo. Despite the complicated process of a cut-out stop-motion animation film, the idea stems from Finding Pictures’ aim of showing the limitless possibilities that animation entails. Visuals created can range from realistic to surrealistic to abstract, all without undermining the mature stories that can connect with the global audience. Their other films award-winning films like the dark and surreal What Has To Be as well as the dystopian sci-fi Automatonomy testify for this.
The success of Piece of Meat did not end at Cannes as it was also screened at the Annecy International Film Festival in Annecy, France. Encouraged by the number of Asian and Southeast Asian films finding success at Cannes, Mark and Jerrold are hopeful for more animators and filmmakers to pursue independent animation filmmaking. The animated duo voice out their hopes for a breakthrough in Singapore’s commercial industry that comes largely from a visual-effects and motion-graphics standpoint.
Finding Pictures is currently working on an animated short film for 15 Shorts and a feature film project for the Annecy Animation Festival. You can find out more about their work on their website.