Films have and will always be filled with ideas and themes. From emotional, political, psychological and beyond. The number and variety of ideas that can be expressed within a film are endless. For this months Movies In Motion, we look at a short film that considers the possibility of creating life as well as the choices we make within our own.
The piece is directed by Christopher Kezelos who had previously directed short Zero. The Maker was first conceptualized in 2010 when composer Paul Halley, a friend of Kezelos, was struggling to get his music to audiences. Kezelos decided to put Halley’s music to a short animated piece. Kezelos and his writing partner, Ziad Jamal contacted artist Amanda Louise Spayed to see if they could use her bunny like creatures in the film. Once the pair had finalised the story the sets as well as its players had to be built. The studio with its many objects and pieces all had to be individually crafted. Spayed added some of her own drawings to the studio and the creatures book. A language and font were also created especially for the story which can be seen in the book as well as on the board that the creature uses to teach his lifeless mate. The short took four animators, including Kezelos, thirty days to complete. The result is a beautifully crafted piece of stop-motion animation.
The animation style of the piece is similaiar to that of Laika’s film Coraline. The opening section shows a doll of Coraline Jones being crafted by mechanical hands. In The Maker you see the creature precisely cut, stitch and stuff his creation. Despite the creatures lack of fingers you feel his every cut and stitch. His movement style is light but fluid. Despite his unusual face through Kezelos and his animators hard craft the creature is able to convey confusion, sadness, happiness and joy. This is mainly through his eyes and ears with a small amount attributed to his face and mouth movement.
The film is accompanied and really led by its beautiful score. Halley’s piece builds as the creature builds and climaxes as its power resserects his mate. Each chord helps communicate the ergency of the sand in the hourglass. The film and its score are an urgent race against time. The short can even be interpreted as a homarge to music. After all it is the score that awakens the creatures mate.
The piece can be read in so many different ways. No matter how you interpret the film its a treat that stays with you. You long to understand why the creature disappears and what his mate will do without him. You also wonder how our dear friend came to be alone in his studio.
This is truly an incredible piece of film. In its short running time, its brings to mind works such as Frankenstein and visually films like Coraline and Donnie Darko. The Maker is interested in two eternal ideas: one is the possibility of creating life and two how we chose to spend life. The creature, knowing he has limited time, choses to make life. His time is tirelessly spent making a friend so that for a brief moment he is not alone. That moment is worth his lifetime. Once the creature has gone his creation then has to make a choice about how her time will be spent. The cycle continues.