Raindance Film Festival 2021
Shorts Programme: Animation 1

Kinga Syrek
Too Late

UK Premiere

raindance.org

An animated short film depicting the life of Edie Sedgwick, star of Andy Warhol’s films. The film, however, is not about Edie’s relationship with Warhol, but the relationship with her abusive father. Her difficult childhood has cast a shadow on her adult life, soaked in alcohol and filled with drugs.

Hey Kinga, it's great to talk with you, how have you been keeping during these strange times?

Hi! I have been fine, however I really missed traveling a lot and meeting up with people. I am glad I could have travelled to London after almost two years of staying in my hometown.

Has this time offered you the chance to find some new inspiration or opportunities?

While staying at home during the lockdown I had plenty of time to finish my first animated film “Too Late”, which has been accepted for the Raindance Film Festival.

Congratulations on having your UK Premiere of Too Late at Raindance 2021, what does it mean to you to be at the festival?

Having my film accepted for the Raindance Film Festival was truly a dream come true! It is such an amazing opportunity! I couldn’t have imagined a better place for the UK premiere of “Too Late” than at the iconic and endlessly fabulous Raindance! I am having a great time meeting new people from the film industry here. The opening gala at the Dorchester Hotel was a blast - the best party of my life! I will never forget it!

You had had an incredible festival run with Too Late picking up Best Animated Film at the Long Story Short Film Festival, Wrocław, did you imagine you would get this type of reaction to your film?

Thank you! It makes me happy that my dedication and hard work that I put in “Too Late” has been appreciated by the festival’s programmers and jury! Recently, “Too Late” has also picked up another award for the Best Animated Film at the Złoty Samorodek Film Festival in Złotoryja, Poland.


This is my debut film and the recognization that it had already received is a huge motivation to continue my work as a filmmaker.

Can you tell me a little bit about Too Late, what was it about Edie Sedgwick's life and her relationship with her father that inspired you to make this film?

The film focuses on the complicated relationship between Edie and her abusive father, because I think it was a key factor of her life’s problems, addiction and early demise.

How do you balance all the creative roles you undertook on this project like this?

Actually, it was pretty easy, because I exactly knew what I wanted to achieve in this film. Making an animated film alone is challenging and time-consuming, but I didn’t have to rush with this project. I came up with the idea for the film after I came back from vacations in California, where I visited Edie Sedgwick’s family’ ranch and her gravesite, in 2017. It was a time, when I had to decide what will be a theme of my bachelor’s thesis at the Academy of Fine Arts. We decided with my professor Krzysztof Kiwerski that for a bachelor’s thesis I will create a teaser for the film and the entire film for my master’s. It was a perfect time for the film to release, because this year is the 50th anniversary of Edie Sedgwick’s death.

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What would you say was the biggest challenge you faced making Too Late?

When I started working on “Too Late”, I was a beginner in animation and in filmmaking. While I was creating the first scenes for the film, I was learning the software for animation at the same time. The beginning was difficult, but which each finished scene it got easier and easier.

The soundtrack to Too Late was produced by Robert Margouleff, what was the expereince like working with someone who had had such a close relationship with Edie Sedgwick?

It is such an honor that Robert Margouleff produced the soundtrack for “Too Late”. He is a legend, who was present during the significant moments in Edie’s life. Edie lived in his apartment after she set her room on fire at the Chelsea Hotel. Because he knew the story first hand, he and his team, including a composer Aaron “Zeus” Zepeda and sound engineer Gio Bertuccelli, could accurately choose sounds. While working on the soundtrack, Robert was sharing his memories with Edie’s fans on the Facebook group run by me called “Conversations with Edie Sedgwick”. One particular scene in “Too Late” brought memories to him. It was the one at the Chelsea Hotel. There are no existing photos of Edie Sedgwick’s hotel apartment, so I had to design the set from imagination and descriptions of how the hotel rooms looked like. I put the hand- drawn illustrations of Edie’s clothes and accessories, including a leopard print coat, on the wooden floor. It was a background design for the scene of the infamous fire. Robert said that his father had had a fur company and he lent him some furs for the “Ciao! Manhattan” movie, in which Edie played the main role. The furs got burned at the Chelsea fire and his father was very mad at him.

Have you always had a passion for animation?

I became interested in animation during the high school years when one of our tasks was to create a one minute stop-motion film. For inspiration, I chose one of my favourite cartoons - Courage the Cowardly Dog. My first animation came out very well and even was complimented by the creator of the original cartoon himself - John R. Dilworth from Cartoon Network. That wonderful experience motivated me to develop my animation skills - I wanted to learn a software for 2D/3D animation, so the natural choice for my higher education was in the Intermedia Department at the Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts. The professors who teach animation at the Intermedia department are very passionate about the transmission of their knowledge to their students. In this course I gained a solid foundation for using software for animation and motion graphics.

"I'm certain we’re not fully aware of this as it happened so it's not enough to know you have good intentions."

Is there any advice or tips you would offer a fellow animator?

Animation is a field in which the creator must be disciplined, show patience and be focused.
Never give up, even if sometimes it feels difficult. Think of what you want to achieve and always be positive. One of the things that motivates me is seeing characters come to life.

Do you have a favourite Edie Sedgwick quote?

She had some very brilliant quotes, but the one that every artist should take to heart is this one:

“I want to reach people and express myself. You have to put up with the risk of being misunderstood if you are going to try to communicate. You have to put up with people projecting their own ideas, attitudes, misunderstanding you. But it's worth being a public fool if that's all you can be in order to communicate

yourself.”

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

After watching “Too Late”, viewers who weren’t familiar with Edie Sedgwick will know who she was, but popularizing her is not the only reason I made this film. I would like to tell people about the huge impact that family has on young people’s life and what happens when young person can’t rely on a parental figure. I wanted to raise awareness about Mental Health. Before Edie died she warned people about the dangerousness of drugs. She wanted to be free. She tried so hard to overcome the addiction and start a new, healthy life, but unfortunately she couldn’t escape from her past.