Productions with visual effects and animation have special requirements, as Isabella Braun knows. As an animation & effects producer at Animationsinstitut, she currently oversees the projects Evening Walk, Hero Hotel and Sprout. In addition, she is producer of the VFX film Woody, with which she recently graduated.
Dear Isabella, in the past you also worked for live-action film productions. What is different about producing animated and effects films?
There are quite a few differences, already in terms of timing alone. If, for example, the light needs to be changed on a shot, that's relatively relaxed on a live-action film shoot: You just go and change the position of the lamp. In an animated or effects film, such a small change may involve several work processes on the computer, which takes much longer.
That's why it's important for producers to know all the technical steps of an animation and effects pipeline well, so that they can assess the organizational effort and processes involved.
The work on Woody was very extensive. That in itself is not unusual, but a certain difficulty was that we experimented a lot with newer technologies in the process. As a result, we sometimes didn't know exactly where the whole thing was going or how long it would take. And since there was quite a large team working together on the film, at least at some point the whole thing had to fit together in terms of content and timing to develop towards the final product. To do that, we always set certain milestones that we want to reach. That was sometimes a little difficult with Woody. On top of that, there was the Corona situation.
Yes, exactly, most of us set up in our home offices and worked from there. The togetherness was sorely lacking. The daily small talk alone was missing. But also in terms of work, things were more complicated. It was not possible to quickly discuss a matter with the others and simply look over one's shoulder. At times, it's not easy to maintain the team spirit when everyone is sitting alone in their cubbyholes in front of all the work.
We are still finishing the film, but as a next step, we will develop a festival strategy and prepare a submission list. Annecy and Locarno would be nice. The project could also make it to the VES Awards, which is the Visual Effects Society in Los Angeles. And then let's see, why not the Oscars (laughs). Aiming high, I'd say.