C’est Un Loup tells the story of an old man living an isolated life in the woods and the lessons he learns following an encounter with a wolf.
Writer and Director: Seth Bortner
Director of Photography: Aaron Dienner
Animator: Seth Bortner
Edited by: Jordan Graff
Puppet Build: Seth Bortner
Set Construction: Christy Griffin
Art Direction: Ryan Smoker
C’est Un Loup is MAKE/FILMS debut into stop motion.
The following is told by project lead Seth Bortner.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Since this is our first dive into stop motion the process has been a learning experience for everyone involved. As always we started with script writing followed by storyboarding. From the storyboards, Jordan Graff and I put together an animatic with sound design to see how well the story plays out in real time. We showed the animatic around to gauge if the story lands and have received very positive feedback.
PUPPET DESIGN & BUILDING
Building puppets is fairly new to me, as well as stop motion in general considering I started about a year and a half ago, but this is a new type of puppet that I haven’t built before. I’ve pretty much only made build-up needle felt puppets until now, which is how the dog was made.
But I wanted the man to have a hard exterior both in his personality as well as in his appearance. So I knew I wanted to use more of a block puppet style and shape his head from a block of wood. I used a Dremel to shape his head out (which in hindsight was more difficult than it needed to be) and cut a chest and hip block for him too. His hands and boots are made from a moldable glue called Sugru. It has a working time of about 30 minutes or so to shape and mold and about a day to fully dry. It can get pretty stiff if it’s too thick so I had to be careful that his fingers and feet were thin enough to still move and animate. They all have a wire armature within them to hold positions. Then I used needle felt to build up his body to the shape I envisioned. What’s left to do: his facial features (eyes, eyebrows, mustache, hair, glasses) and his clothes.
I called on the help of a friend and one of MAKE/’s contractors, Christy Griffin, to build the man’s house. She has far more experience fabricating little furniture and houses than I do so I knew she would be perfect for the job. We’re all really excited to have her on board.
If all goes well, we hope to start shooting this spring and premiere of the film this fall.
PROJECT UPDATE MARCH 3, 2021
Last week was a big progress week for C’est Un Loup.
We’ll be sharing more behind the scenes over the next few days, but for now enjoy this timelapse of Seth and Aaron setting the stage in preparation for the cabin’s arrival the following day. They roughly set some lights using a placeholder cabin and ran a test animation of the old man (catch it in the beginning of the timelapse). How great does he look?
Stay tuned for more to come with C’est Un Loup!