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Creator Q&A: Iris Hefele

1. What is your name, what do you do, and which film did you make?

Iris Hefele, I’m an animator and illustrator (freelance for now and soon trainee). I made „Little Red Riding Hood“ (the one with the dancing wolf)

2. What experience do you have creating art and animation?

I think since I was 11 or so I wanted to become an artist (at that point Mangaka, which soon turned into illustrator).

I somehow stumbled into studying Interactive Media (which included a little tiny bit of animation) but soon realized that I want to be an animator (and illustrator, and story writer, so basically everything part of a movie). I finished my bachelor with my first short movie („The taste of walnut icecream“), in which I really animated for the first time. I then went to Denmark for a few months to „The Animation Workshop“ to take part in the 3D Character Animation Pro Course. After that I finished my Master back home, working freelance as illustrator, graphic designer and sometimes did little animations. Now I’m working as a freelancer but will soon start as an Animation Trainee at Daywalker studios.

3. What inspired you to pick the story you chose?

Puh, tough one. Actually I thought about two stories I’d like to do. Little Red Riding Hood was one of them. The story was planned much longer, but with the possibility to shorten it down (which I did). Which why I finally choose this one. I couldn’t really cut the other one. So mainly practical reasons.

4. What was your process for making your film?

Oh well, chaotic as always. The story and the storyboard just developed in my head, I never sketched or wrote that down. Then I started with painting the background, since I had no idea how my characters should look like (just had some rough ideas for the wolf). Then I wasted days deciding what music to pick, since I originally wanted the wolf to be more like a hippie doing a sexy dance. But because I was running out of time and I found the song more catchy, I eventually switched to the party song. Then I started animating and developing the wolfs final look. So far still didn’t know what Red would look like. I just knew I wanted her to be way smaller than the wolf to have a strong contrast and push the unexpected end even more. Eventually I found Red’s look, animated her, an finalized the short in After Effects.

5. How long did it take to make?

I can’t really say, since I squeezed it in between jobs. But I think about 2-3 weeks. 6. How experienced were you with narrative and story-based projects before making your altered fairytale? A bit? I love developing stories, but I have no clue if I’m any good at it. 7. What was the easiest part? Puh ehm… Cutting the song I’d say. 8. What was the hardest part? Animation. I love it, but always comes with pain.

9. What was your favorite part? Doing the background. Gave me a point to start with. 10. Do you have words of wisdom for anyone who might want to create an animated short of their own? Keep it short. I know telling long exciting stories seems wonderful int the head, but it’s so so much work. And if you don’t have enough time you just gonna end with a result you hate (learned that during my bachelor film). Know your limits and work with them.

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