British Shorts Berlin 2019
Gabriel Gabriel Garble
‘Open Beyul Torrent’
Festival Screening / Animation Special / Plus: Audience Award Winner
Animation / Comedy / Drama / Experimental / Music Video
Mon 21.1. 20:00 / Sputnik Kino 1
"Open Beyul Torrent" shows a digital man being hypnotised by what's on his screen - it is about many things, but mainly about our preoccupation with technology. The video is composed entirely of code.
Hi Gabriel, thanks for talking to TNC, you all set for British Shorts 2019?
Yes! I follow British Shorts on their social media, and they have been hard at work all year round preparing for this – so whatever they have in store, I am sure it will be fantastic. I am both humbled and proud to be part of British Shorts 2019.
Do you ever get any nerves ahead of a festival screening?
In a good way. You literally dedicate a part of your life and identity making a film, that it becomes you in a way. It is difficult not to correlate and use the audience’s reaction to supply more meaning to that dedication, as there isn’t necessarily a distinction between me and my work, but that’s what makes it thrilling every time. Every time I am at a screening, I watch pretending I haven’t seen my own film and try to channel the audience’s experiences as my own. It’s never the same at every festival. It’s nerve-racking because you never know which way the reception will go, but I welcome it because it gives me an improved sense of physicality.
How does it feel to be back at the festival with Open Beyul Torrent?
It makes me feel many things. I didn’t send my film to that many places this time around, so to be part of
the line-up this year is really nice because it becomes so much more intimate and meaningful.
Tell me a little bit about Open Beyul Torrent, how did this project come about?
Open Beyul Torrent started out as a collaboration between me and my filmmaker friend Sam Handley. He does live-action, I do animation. He approached me with an idea he would like to see animated, so we had many lunches trying to work out the treatment together, and many months later, Open Beyul Torrent came to be.
There are several ways of reading it, but mainly it’s a reversed interpretation of our preoccupation with technology, reflected through a digital man who has never been in “nature” as we know it.
What was the biggest challenge you faced bringing Open Beyul Torrent to life?
I was working at an animation company during the making of Open Beyul Torrent, so actually finding the time to make it was challenging because I did not have that many. I lived on the other side of town from work, so by the time I commuted home and made dinner, I would be left with about 1 hour to work on Open Beyul Torrent before needing to go to bed so that I could wake up to be in time for work the next morning. After spending 8 hours a day on a screen at my day job, spending a 9th was something that I would not look forward to, but I did because I believed so much in me and Sam’s vision.
Had you had much experience creating a project like this completely out of code?
This was my first time. Open Beyul Torrent required it because the work is set in a computer.
Have you always wanted to be a filmmaker?
Not consciously. For the time being, it seems that all my subjective experiences with art – be it my work as a musician, a painter, a designer, or a sculptor – whilst simultaneously being inter-informative, are all leading me to animation, so I see it as a very natural progression for myself as a multidisciplinary artist to get into film next.
What is it about video art that interests you so much?
The potential of telling so much more at your disposal, the potential it can tell, and its disposable nature.
How important is the collaborative process for you?
As a person who works mostly solitarily, I think it’s important because it brings about another subjective experience, one that isn’t your own, that you have to deal with – which is always great because you’re exposing yourself to ideas that you might not necessarily agree or be acquainted with. I think you can always distil growth from collaborating, even if they don’t work out in the end.
How much has your approach to your work changed since your debut project?
A 360 turnaround – I am back where I started, but better informed about my intuition. After VACUUM in 2017, I ran the opposite way and made work that was overt in meaning and urgent calls for action, but after Open Beyul Torrent I realised that dismantling an audience’s entire personal belief system, and then building it back up with mine was not only something that wasn’t truthful to myself as an artist, but it was also impossible to do. Now I just want to raise questions through “the sublime”, which I think VACUUM had a fair bit of.
Do you have any advice or tips for a fellow filmmaker?
Always go with your intuition, and if you don’t understand it, keep asking “why”.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on my next animated project, Greener Than Sprinkler Green, a film about hedonistic nihilism, which is quite the change of pace for me, I think. It sounds pretentious because it is about pretension. I am working on it through 2019. It is objectively my most ambitious work to date, but I am having so much fun.
And finally, What do you hope people will take away from your work?
To may not understand things, and that’s OK. I think that is the root of all tolerance.