Stephen Vuillemin on „A Kind of Testament“/ interview

The animation director, comic creator and illustrator was born in Besançon, France in 1986. His 2011 webcomic “Lycéennes” was recognised as a “novel use of animated gifs” by Cartoon Brew. From 2016 onwards, he made his first short animated film A Kind of Testament, working alone at first and then with the support of the production company, Remembers. He has also worked with companies like Chanel and the “New York Times”. After living in London and Taipei, he is currently based in Paris.

What was your starting point for “A Kind of Testament”?

My starting point was the idea of using a Voice Over, and exploring what this could bring in terms of narration. The images would tell one story, and the VO would give it another meaning, that wouldn’t be explicit when just looking at the pictures. 

Also, I wanted to make something very personal, and also very rich and opulent in terms of animation, colour palettes, narration, etc. , in contrast with most of the projects I was commissioned to work on, as an animator at the time, in London. So I started making the film by myself, in my spare time, for 4 years, between London and Taipei, before meeting Remembers Productions, in Paris, whose approach was more in line with this project than any animation studio in London, and I finished it with them for another 2 years. 

Do you have a favourite moment in the film? Which one and why this one?

It took so long making the film that every scene is related to memories of what I was doing at the time. So my favourite scene is the one with the five wolves ripping the corpse apart, because it’s linked with happy memories of the year 2018, just having left London, setting up in Taiwan, making new friends, learning a new language, and making my animation. 

What do you like about the short form?

I find that it’s a very streamlined approach to cinema, no fuss. But I’m interested in exploring longer forms too. 

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