Q&A with Simon Giraud on Short Animation, “Ichnos”

Simon Giraud received the 3rd Place Award in the PROFESSIONAL Category for his short animation, “Ichnos”, in the Summer Shorts Film and Video Contest (2017), hosted by StudentFilmmakers.com. Interview published in HD Pro Guide Magazine.

“Today, we need more creation in this world. Everybody can create something new and find his audience.” ~ Simon Giraud


HDPROGUIDE: What inspired the story for “Ichnos”?

Simon Giraud: Actually, it was the video game, “The Shadow of the Colossus,” directed by Fumito Ueda that inspired me for this project. I love the universe of this Game Designer, and I wrote my story, thinking about these games. I also read many books about mythology (Greek, north mythology) and different legends. This inspired me, because I love this way to explain universe mechanics with a poetic story. But all of that is about the writing process and the universe, you know.

Well, for the graphic design and the animation, I looked for somewhere else. I saw “The Approximate Present,” a great animated movie created by Filippo Baraccani. I love the 3D low poly effect and this visual render. So, I try to transform this 3D render to 2D render. For this process, I use Illustrator, a vectorial illustration software. That seemed to be good, so I chose to keep this graphic render for all movie.

HDPROGUIDE: What was the animating and moviemaking process like? What tools did you use to animate and edit?

Simon Giraud: That’s a difficult question. You certainly know this, but when you create a movie, you create your own process during all the movie making. Actually, I create all my assets in Illustrator, and I import them in After Effects, another software for compositing, you know. In After Effects, I create my shot with the different element created in Illustrator. I bring them to life with a puppet tool and a plug-in named Duik. With this plug-in, I can create a skeleton and bone mechanics with assets and create the animation. That’s the main process for the different shot. At the end, I use Premiere Pro to edit the movie. But you can also check the making of video online, (https://vimeo.com/225968461).

HDPROGUIDE: What were the some of the most important parts for you in the movie-making process for your animation?

Simon Giraud: I think all the parts are important. In my opinion, it’s a mistake to attach more importance to one part of movie-making process. That will create a loss of balance. A movie is not only a character, or an animation, or a shot, it’s all of that. Sometimes you attach more importance to one animation, however, nobody cares. Maybe because your animation is in the background or just because people see a movie not just an animation. But it’s just my opinion!

HDPROGUIDE: Can you share with us a “Challenge and Solution” in regards to the making of “Ichnos”?

Simon Giraud: The storyboard process was very difficult for me… It was a challenge! But I eventually find my storyboard after many tries. For one month, I made a new storyboard every week, again and again. Working on my different shots, I eventually succeed in finding something that I liked. I used “the rule of thirds” for example to create my shot. That was not an obligation for me, but that was helpful compose my movie. Sometimes, that’s for you to come back to the theory rule of cinema before breaking the rules, you know.

HDPROGUIDE: If you could share your Top 3 Tips related to animation and movie-making, what would it be?

Simon Giraud: (#1) Love your work. You’ll spend many hours because you’ll hardly work. But if you love your work, that won’t be a problem.

(#2) Talk about your project. Forget the myth about the genius alone who get the perfect idea. People can help you.

(#3) Live life to the full. Sometimes, ideas come out from anywhere. So, it’s very important to go out.

HDPROGUIDE: What are your thoughts about being selected and winning one of the top placements in the contest?

Simon Giraud: That’s amazing! It’s a childhood dream. Create my own movie and be selected in a contest. That makes me want to do more projects in animation, video games, movies…

Anyway, this project and contest are a real springboard for me. And now, I just wanna go on!

Film Credits:
Director: Simon Giraud
Thanks to: Léonie Siegler, Joann Guyonnet, Dame Karine, Sophie Gallo, Laurent Saussol, Marie-Estelle Dieterle, Zozo the wizard, the DMA, my Family and the Bro’.



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