Take a Master Class with animator Patrick Bouchard in Toronto on September 9
We’re thrilled to announce that as part of our activities surrounding the Toronto International Film Festival this year, filmmaker Patrick Bouchard will be hosting a free Animation Master Class at Rue Morgue Magazine on Sunday, September 9 at 7:00 pm.
During this Master Class, Patrick will present how he went about making his latest film, Bydlo, and offer participants the opportunity to experiment with some animation techniques.
In anticipation of this event, our community manager, Kate Ruscito, sat down with Patrick to ask him a few questions about the film and his process.
Q: When did you first realize you wanted to be an animator/filmmaker?
A: Animation has fascinated me since I was a kid. I remember Ray Harryhausen’s animation in the Sinbad movies. Later, as a student, I tried puppet animation and I loved it. But it was in 1998, when I completed my final school project, Jean Levieriste, that I realized this was what I wanted to do with my life.
A: I’ve loved Mussorgsky’s music for a long time. “Bydlo” is a section of his work Pictures at an Exhibition that I can visualize easily because of its qualities as a symphonic poem. So in 2008 I proposed making it into a film to NFB producer Julie Roy.
Q: How would you describe yourself as an artist?
A: I’m a loner, and I like to work on long-term projects. For this reason, animation is perfect for me.
Q: Of all the films you’ve made, which would you say is your favourite?
A: I like all my films, but for me Bydlo is particularly successful for its lighting and its dramatic dynamics.
Q: What are you trying to say with this film, and what do you hope people will take away from it?
A: Bydlo is a film charged with symbolism. The ox, the wheel and the men offer us an allegory for the human condition. However, the most important thing about the film for me is the feeling that emerges from it. This feeling is much more tied to the fears that we live with than to reality. The film takes a poetic, as opposed to a realist, look at human nature.
Q: What type of animation do you employ in your films?
A: It always depends on the film’s visual needs. For example, for Brainwashers I wanted realistic textures that also respected scale, so I had to research all the possible materials—even the most unlikely ones. For Bydlo, I essentially used plasteline, which is a modelling clay that can melt into a liquid state. The choice of materials is determined both by plastic and visual qualities.
Q: Do you use storyboards?
A: For me, storyboards are essential for planning a shooting schedule. During production, I prefer having the freedom to make changes… if those changes benefit production. I work mostly with drawings for each scene, not for each shot. It’s the sets that inspire my cuts.
Q: How would you describe your films?
A: My films are often qualified as “troubling.” My aesthetic feeds this notion, as does the idea of fate, which is present in all my films. I would add that for me, this sense of fatality translates more as an unresolved quest for hope.
Q: Finally, what does the word Bydlo mean ?
A: It’s a Polish word meaning cattle.
Rue Morgue Magazine is located at 2926 Dundas Street West in Toronto. The Master Class will be held on Sunday, September 9 at 7:00 pm. Admission is free and there’s no need to register – just come on by and grab a seat. See you there!