The genre of this short is psychodrama mixed with animation, and i was lucky to work on the animated part of this movie that was full of challenging tasks. The main 2 characters of the movie are Ziad & the cat. Ziad was shot in real footage and the cat in stop motion in a real environment, different from the usual Stop motion set; we had no wooden board elevated from the ground to fix the cat, so we had to research another technique to control the contact of the cat with the ground of the set.
Nadim Saoma, a great DOP and friend was working with me to find a solution to fix the legs to the ground and we finally decided to work with magnets and metals, so we had magnet legs for the cat and a metal ground for the set covered with a very thin moquette. The technique worked very well but we had few issues with finding the right magnets, and later having sticky hands and legs in some positions of the cat.
All this came after creating the actual puppet which was not an easy task. I had to create a puppet that will appear in most of the movie, so it has to be flexible in order to perform all the requested acts. therefore, we had to design a strong armature to handle all these tasks and movements. We had the choice of ordering a cat armature from abroad since we don't have armature here in Lebanon, but i wanted a customized armature to fit the design of the cat.
So we decided to do everything in Lebanon and we designed the armature, prepared the technical drawings and asked people working with metal to execute the designed pieces and the result was super satisfying. We were extremely happy to achieve this quality of armature here in Lebanon with the help of many people. We tested the armature after connecting all the parts into one armature, and we shot a very short video of the armature moving.
Later, I covered the armature with a fabric that suits the cat fur and i had to paint it in light grey to avoid overexposed parts of the final image as requested from the DOP Bassem Fayyad.
Here are some photos from the shooting and a video of the armature test.
We had as well outdoor shoots and this was a crazy process, as we stayed till 4 am in the morning shooting and animating and avoiding the cars' light reflection.
This was indeed an amazingly beautiful experience that i m ready to repeat specially with the amazing crew that surrounded me with all the beautiful energy to be able to finish the animation in 10 intensive days.
Thanks everyone and all the best Wajdi with the movie :)
Here are some shots of the film and hope you will have the chance to watch it in the film festivals.