Iris Rouschop   
Screening Session: BLOCK 1
3rd Papaya Rocks Film Festival Online
22-28 Feb 2021 | Tickets £5 / £10 Full 7-Day Pass: bit.ly/PRFF-Tickets
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An animated short film about the realities of living with everyday traumas.

Hi Iris thank you for talking to TNC, how are you holding up during these very strange times?

I’ve been doing alright, all things considered. It turns out that my life was very much like it is in lockdown anyway, so it hasn’t made that much of a difference. I guess that’s one of the things about animation, you’re going to mostly be stuck behind a desk anyway.

Has this time offered you any creative inspiration?

Definitely. I’ve been making craft projects and working on film related stuff non-stop since we all got sent home. I was doing a lot of that anyway but being able to concentrate only of crafting things has been great.

Congratulations on having your film selected for the 3rd Papaya Rocks Film Festival, what does it mean to you to be part of such an amazing lineup of short films?

It means so much to me. This is the first festival any of my work has been selected for. To be considered amongst all these other wonderful films is amazing.

Can you tell me a little bit about Giants, how did this film come about?

The film has a very long and winding road to being made. In 2016, after Trump was elected, I was living in New Zealand and participated in the Women’s March there. In one of the speeches someone said: ‘We are standing on the shoulders of giants’, which inspires me to write a poem, about actually being stuck under the weight of those giants, of those expectations. When I started my master's degree in 2018, I found the poem again, and realised I wanted to work on a short inspired by those words. 

What where the biggest challenges you faced brining your film to life?

The biggest challenges where those imposed by the university course I was making the film for. I was doing a filmmaking degree, not an animation degree and the University did not have an animation department or any special equipment for animation filmmaking. I had to figure out how to get everything to work mostly by myself. And that is all before putting in the hours to make it. I worked 80 hour weeks at some points in the process to get the film finished before the deadline.

Looking back is there anything you would have done differently on this film?

There is very little I would change about how I made the film, because it taught me so much about my own creative process. The one thing I would change is perhaps getting other people involved earlier in the process. I had to shoot reference footage and I could have shot that earlier in the process of making the film.

"Filmmaking is always about pushing boundaries."

Describe your film in three words?

Experimental, strange, conceptual

Where did your passion for filmmaking come from?

I have always had an interest in visual art and media. Film and animation were a natural extension of that interest. We always had a camera with us when going on vacation, so using the camera to create something has always been what I’ve been used to. 

What has been some of the best advice you’ve been give?

Just making a little bit is better than making nothing at all.

Should filmmakers continue to push the boundaries of the films and stories they want to tell?

Filmmaking is always about pushing boundaries. However, pushing a boundary can also just be a personal boundary and doesn’t have to be a whole new creative process. 

Do you have any tips or advice you would offer a fellow filmmaker?

Be prepared for anything. Filmmaking like any creative process will throw curveballs at you, so have your plans as well as your plan B and C all ready to go in case your situation changes.

And finally, what do you hope people will take away from Giants?

I hope people take away that animation is a style, not a genre and that there is still so much we can do in animation that has not been done before. Animation is limitless.

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