Lecture:Retrospect of Kim Keukeleire’s Films
In this year's KDIAF we were honoured to have Kim Keukeleire, the chief animator of the animated feature film “Isle of dogs” as one of our lecturers. In one of her lectures this week, she led us on an exploration of the wonders and challenges in stop-motion animation. She shared her experience studying in Belgium, the process of creating a puppet animation and how she cooperates with the directors. Kim Keukeleire first became interested in animation in 1989 when she tried to make 2D animation. Then, she was inspired to step onto her path towards puppet animation after watching many fascinating works in animated film festivals. One of the films that left an impression was the puppet animation, 'The Secret of Tom Thumb.' She recommend us to travel, to meet new people and get to know the different cultures. She assured us that it'll broaden our perspectives and definitely benefit in our creativity. She also mentioned that she thinks it is best to start out as an editor when you first join a team. Probably because it could help us better understand performance timings. And finally to make a habit of watching a variety of animated films to expand our creative library. Kim told us a fun little story of her first experience shooting with a 16mm film. Because cameras and technologies weren’t digital at the time, she hadn’t noticed that her hair was in shot until the film was finally developed. As she shared this story, her face was lit with a smile, as if she was her young self with her new-found passion again. When she was working on 'Isle of Dogs' as the chief animator, it was her duty to recreate the director's vision as best as she could. She and her team would spend months on research to make sure the visuals match the director's requests. For example, since Wes Anderson wanted to use as little CGI as possible, they came up with the idea to use glue as a replacement for CGI tears. Apart from the above, she was also involved in the early stages of development and was responsible for organising the shooting schedule. Kim told us with the means of helping them understand his vision, Wes Anderson recorded some Live Action Videos (LAV) for them. In the video, Wes Anderson showed such vivid performance and dynamic expression, they thought he could have made such a great actor. Hearing this we can understand that his ability to communicate his imagination to the team was what made him such a good director. When we watch a puppet animation, we often don’t realise the difficulty of making one. You have to pay a lot of attention to detail, sometimes it’s possible to end up only shooting four frames in a day. While watching Kim animate her puppet with care, we could sense her passion for the art and her willingness to invest time and energy in perfecting it. It seems as though nothing can come between her and her love for animation. Her many years of experience and her knowledge in the inner workings of production was incredibly delightful to listen to. The fact that she was willing to show us how she animates was also such a privilege. It was an honour to have her with us, and we were so grateful to have gotten such a marvellous and enlightening lecture from her. We wish her all the best and can not wait to see what fabulous work she'll produce in the future.