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Cannes
Short Film Corner 2022 
 
Interview

Susan Crowe
Making An Entrance
pingcreates.com

A sentient, dimension-hopping door is on a quest to find a peaceful corner of the universe.

 

Hello Susan, it’s great to get to talk with you, how have you been keeping after everything that’s been happening?

 

Hello, it’s great to speak with you too. I’ve been keeping well, luckily I’ve been able to work from home for the majority of the pandemic so my life hasn’t changed too much through the turmoil and I am grateful for that.

 

Have you been able to remain positive and creative at least?

 

I have thankfully! Over the pandemic I’ve been working on improving my drawing skills and delving into some writing projects to keep the creative juices flowing. Keeping busy has definitely helped me keep a positive outlook.

 

What does it mean for you to be in the Cannes Short Film Corner with Making An Entrance and what do you hope to take away from this experience?

 

I’m excited to be included in the Cannes Short Film Corner as it gives me an opportunity to meet and connect with other people in the industry. It also gives me the chance to get involved with the film festival and experience it for myself. It was a lovely surprise to be put forward for it by Animation Nights New York, another festival which will be showing Making An Entrance this year.

 

How vital are platforms like Cannes SFC in championing and supporting the short film format?

 

It’s really vital for platforms like Cannes Short Film Corner to support the short film format as, outside of the festival circuit, it is practically impossible to monetise them as tv shows and films. Independent short films are therefore very much labours of love and supporting them is vital to inject new talent, creativity and enthusiasm into the entertainment industry. On top of that, I just think short film is a great medium and can do things that other artforms cannot.

 

How did Making An Entrance come about?

 

Initially the project began as an experiment for me to learn new software between client projects as I worked at Ping Creates. The company is always eager for us to find ways to develop our skills and support us in these projects. It would be a short looping video which would be put on our social media platforms to advertise our services. However, as development continued, the creative director at Ping Creates, Selina Wagner, began to see the potential of it and convinced me to turn it into a short film.

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How did you come up with the story of Making an Entrance?”

 

As the development of this film was a bit back-to-front, I had to come up with the story once I was about halfway through production. The imagery I had so far was of a magical door so my solution was to make the door the main character and give it a quest. It’s definitely a strange story! I’m not sure if I would have written it this way if I had started out knowing I was making a short film, but I am proud of it.

 

As this is your debut animation short film what would you say has been the biggest challenge you faced bringing Making An Entrance to life?

 

I would say that the biggest challenge was working on my own on the project. I was doing all the preproduction, production and post-production by myself and it can be very gruelling to work this way, especially as I am so used to working in teams. But I worked closely with other members of the creative team, discussing ideas, exploring ways to make the film stronger and learning directorial skills along the way and that helped a great deal.

 

Have you always had a passion for animation and where did it come from?

 

I’ve loved animation almost all my life but it took me a while to realise that it is what I wanted to do. I grew up with a lot of animated films and they always completely mesmerised me and I would watch them over and over. When I was young, I would experiment with making flipbooks and stop-motion animation using household objects. But I never really considered pursuing it as a career until I tried traditional animation when I was in the Foundation Art course at Duncan of Jordanstone. And that was it, I pivoted from going into illustration to going into animation and never looked back.

 

How much has your background as an illustrator and storyboard artist helped you create Making An Entrance?

 

It definitely helped a lot with the pre-production stage, storyboarding and concept art is an important phase of the animation pipeline, but the real surprise was how much my experience with digital illustration helped with post-production. It helped me know what kind of lighting I wanted and how to achieve certain effects.

 

Is it hard not to be discouraged when something doesn’t plan out the way you hoped?

 

I think it’s important not to dwell on what might have been. If something isn’t within your control and you gave it your all, then you just have to take stock of what you’ve learned in the process and put it into the next project.

"I didn’t think I’d have the opportunity to direct for a long time, if at all, so it was very daunting to have this fall into my lap."

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What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve taken from making Making An Entrance?

 

I’d say the most valuable lesson was that I am perhaps a bit more capable of certain creative endeavours than I thought I was. I didn’t think I’d have the opportunity to direct for a long time, if at all, so it was very daunting to have this fall into my lap. But now I’ve made my strange little short film, that I can look at and see my fingerprints all over, and people can watch it in festivals. That is amazing to me, even now.

 

And finally, what would you like audiences to take away from Making An Entrance?

 

Ultimately the story of the film is about picking yourself back up after a disappointment and trying again and I hope that resonates with people.