Marleen Valien picked up a Gold Screen in the Film School (up to 6 mins) and Animation category for her short films, Made for Hoomans at this year’s YDA. Here, she discusses the inspiration behind the film, the complexity of stop-motion animation and an advertising future perhaps?
How did you get into directing?
When I was young I didn’t really get what a director was doing. So I never really thought of being one myself. But I was always interested in filmmaking. And one day I decided to apply to a film university and I got in. I’m super happy about that because I didn’t even know if I was good or talented enough.
What was the inspiration behind Made For Hoomans?
Sadly it was the climate crisis. We wrote a short film about this topic in the first place but it didn’t work out. It got too big for a stop motion film and the timing just wasn’t right. So we decided to shoot a short advertising instead but our characters Frank, Jean and Werner based on the characters who we have already written for our narrative short.
We liked the thought of them doing an advertisement for a sustainable product that doesn’t harm animals. And hopefully someday we will have the possibility to shoot the stop motion short we originally planned.
How long was the shoot and what was the most challenging aspect of the project?
The shoot took us two to three months and the most challenging aspect about that was to stick to the project with the passion it deserved for every single day.
What have you learned during the process of making the film?
That stop motion is complex but amazing. And that an amazing team is an amazing team <3.
What does it mean to you to win a YDA and what can we expect to see from you in future?
It’s super cool to win the YDA and I hope I’ll get the opportunity to make more movies and advertisements.
Right now I’m writing my first feature and preparing an advertisement.
Do you plan to work in the advertising industry and if so, what most excites you about that prospect?
Yes. I think there is always new stuff coming around. So it’s interesting where the future of advertisements will be heading. I think the advertisement industry has a lot of power to change things, to address topics of all matters. And we sure need more women to do that, because there aren’t many of them… Yet.