Meet Indie Filmmaker: TURNSTUNDE

TURNSTUNDE, from director Hannes Rall, a recent submission to the ECU 2010 Animation category, is about the adventures of a young boy and his unusual nightmare: the gym lesson! Anna Takayama finds out what inspired the director, and more.

Q: What is your film about?

A chubby little boy is faced with the the recurring traumatic experience of attending a gym lesson. He is confronted by his evil and slightly sadistic sports teacher. A deeply melancholic and sad autobiographical re-telling of some of the darkest moments in my life. Did I mention that it is a funny cartoon?

Q: What was the source of inspiration for your story?

Well, my own experiences as the bespectacled overweight nerd in class might have played into that.

Q: How did you come up with your characters?

Drawing some inspiration from real life characters, throwing a good measure of cartoon exaggeration into the mix et voila! The best friend of the little hero is modeled on a real person as well especially his prominent front teeth. The character design was also influenced by my admiration for the wonderfully artistic films of the famous UPA animation studio from the 50s.

Q: Can you name a few favorite comics and cartoons that you grew up with?

The list is so long that it is actually hard to pick some favorites, but here they are: Tintin by Herge, Prince Valiant by Hal Foster (the fulfillment of my dreams to become a knight in shining armor), crazy Warner Brother cartoons with Coyote and Roadrunner, Tom and Jerry, all things Tex Avery, the Disney Jungle Book, Spirou et Fantasio (preferably by Franquin) the list could go on forever!

Q: Tell me about your next project?

I am currently directing a 25 minute adaptation of the famous German fairy tale The Cold Heart as an animated short film. It is a wonderful story set in the mythical black forest in the 19th century: A young coal miner trades his warm heart for a cold stone to an evil spirit to become rich. We have already completed 60% of the animation and are hoping to have this new movie ready for release in January 2011.

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