Good Morning Lovelies, 

It is actually quite a sad post this one lovelies because it marks the end of our interviews with the behind the scenes team of the new short film, ‘Cumulus’, lovelies! But I have something here that will keep that smile on our faces, as it is the big one! Oh yes it is time for the interview with the director of the film. 

Ioan Holland has worked hard to bring this beautiful film to life and we talked about everything to do with it lovelies. I hope you enjoy hearing about it…

Firstly how did you come up with the idea behind Cumulus and how did you develop it? 
Cumulus really came from my fascination with meteorology - that is the study of the atmosphere and clouds. I find the majestic movement of air and water through the planet’s atmosphere, the silent movement of a cloud the size of a mountain, absolutely enthralling and wondrous. It’s the idea of there being another world up there that inspired the story of Cumulus. The concept was initially a feature idea that was adapted for a short film, altering the characters and plot to tell a universal and beautifully simple story in a short space of time. It was important for me that the story convey wonder that someone watching may leave with wider eyes than they began with.

To help my readers understand the film, please could you explain what the film is about? And what is the message behind the film?
The film is about an adventurous young girl, Penwyn, who feels constrained by her safety-first Dad. On a beach walk one day, she decides to run off and have her own adventure, stumbling across a grumpy old Blue Footed Booby, called Mister Booby, a bird with a short temper and sharp wit. She and Mister Booby venture off into the world of the clouds to find his chicks who are flying the nest, learning about each other’s family and how their loved ones really feel as they go.

Are there any characters within the film that really stand out to you and that we should look out for when watching the film?
Penwyn and Mister Booby are the film’s main characters. In many ways, the two characters are antitheses of each other - Penwyn is wide-eyed, positive, and adventurous, while Mister Booby is frustrated, short-tempered, and safe. What we learn through their relationship is how to understand another’s perspective, and our capacity for love. It’s through them being more understanding of their loved ones and each other that they find a new lease of contentedness about their worlds and lives.

What is it about this film that makes it so important to the times and the audiences it is intended for?
The inherent message of the story is about our capacity for love and understanding. In a time where inequality and war still abounds, these are traits that we desperately need to focus on more in our world. When we seek to express love and take the time and consideration to understand one another, we can live more equal and peaceful lives. We have the power to change our own worlds by what we look upon, and I hope this film helps in some small way to shift people’s focus to something more awe inspiring.

How did you find all of the team members who you worked with behind the scenes and what was it about them that attracted you to working with them? 
Bringing our team together was a combination of friends, and friends of friends and putting feelers out to find them, and trawling the infinite talent online. I was lucky enough to meet our producer, Gloria Daniels-Moss, through a live action web series I made earlier, while Rhian Marston-Jones — our voice for Penwyn - was found through an acting talent website. Finding the right people to work with is a combination of searching your personal networks and reaching out to find new people to work with, but most importantly to always express your message and the ‘why’ behind your film and story. Doing this will mean you should find the right people.

The animations within the film are stunning and look a lot like the work in which Studio Ghibli do, did you imagine your characters to look like this or did it change as you developed them more? 
Thank you! Myself and Gloria are both huge fans of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli and the works are a big influence. When we were working on the concept work with our character illustrator, Alison Moon, we wanted to take some of the qualities that make Ghibli’s characters stand-out so well, and that’s the elegant simplicity of the way the faces are designed - using the simplest possible forms to convey the strongest possible emotions. It’s this ethic that we put into the designs, along with putting in elements of the personality and essence of the characters, and of course Alison’s artistic flare!

Animations have become a lot more focused on their adult audience members then young members in recent years; did you think about this a lot when creating this film? 
It is not a conscious choice for me. What I wanted to convey with the film was a sense of wonder, something that inspired people and made them think ‘wow’ - not necessarily about the film itself, but about our world. When approaching from this angle, I think the style and the writing naturally becomes quite universal, much like a Pixar audience. The subject matter and raison d’être of Pixar films makes them accessible and enjoyable to anyone from children to adults to the elderly, and that’s what I wanted to achieve with Cumulus.

Is there any moments within the film that are truly special to you or that we should look out for because you are most proud of them?
The ending sequence is particularly special for me, as an exciting and beautiful little summation of the story. I won’t give too much away, but I think for me that’s where the message really begins to sink in, and I hope leaves the audience with bigger smiles and wider eyes.

The film is currently entering a number of short film competitions, what do you think makes it so different to the other short films that are out there?
I didn’t focus on being different to other films, but that the story and the style were a true expression of the vision I saw for them and, by extension, a true expression of myself. I think what stands out mostly about our film is the styling. I wanted to make sure the film felt tangible and real, and almost earthy - like you could touch it and feel the paper. Digital animation is wonderful, but all too often it feels distant and intangible, so I wanted to make something that felt very real and I hope we’ve achieved that.

Finally are you working on you next project yet? If so can you tell us anything about it?
We are still very much in the throws of this project at the moment, but we do have big plans for the future so do follow us on Twitter (@CumuluPictures) and sign up to the mailing list on CumuloPictures.com to hear of new developments and projects!

Make sure to support the hit new film lovelies! It is going to be huge! I can feel it in my bones! 

Blog Soon, 
Joey X

To keep up to date with all the latest news from the blog, follow it on Twitter @LetsStartNow18 :)

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