Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Accomplished Animator

In the April 2014 issue of Viking, we talked with Academy Award-winning filmmaker and illustrator Torill Kove. She currently lives in Montreal where she works on short films and children’s books. Here’s more from our interview.

Q: What makes a great film in your opinion? 
A: There are many different ways for a film to be great. Sometimes I can't even really put my finger on what it is. But I really like a good story, or content that invites to reflection on what it means to be a human being; some little insight about the complexity of life. I love films that leave me with a feeling of having witnessed something unfold, even if I am not quite sure what it is.

Q: What are some of the challenges and rewards of working on a short film versus a long format? 
A: The biggest challenge for the feature director is to be able to communicate clearly to the creative team what your vision is. It's not easy because this vision only exists in your mind. The goal is to get the final product as close to this vision as possible, using the skills and talents of the team. The responsibility feels bigger on a feature because in addition to being art. It’s also a business, which means that your producer's livelihood depends on the film's success at the box office. When directing and animated short, you can be much closer to the actual creative work. Many animators do everything themselves, perhaps with one or two assistants. It is often a very personal process where the translation from vision to film doesn't have to pass through so many different channels. It's more direct. From an artistic point of view this is very satisfying. Short films do however not generate income once they are made. They travel to festivals, occasionally screen on television, and if there's an audience for them, they can have long, if not very profitable, lives on YouTube. The disadvantage of this is that finding funding for short films is difficult. The advantage is that once you have funding you can allow yourself to work quite free from pressures of box office expectations.

Check out Kove’s Academy Award-winning short film, “The Danish Poet.”

Anya Britzius is associate managing editor of Viking magazine. She lives in Minneapolis, Minn., and enjoys baking, reading and keeping up on modern Norwegian trends.

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