Danish Short Fiction Film

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film (ADSL)

The old caliph is a wealthy man. As befitting, he has a large harem and a
beautiful palace. But what use is it all when love has turned into a nightmare?
What happens when a bunch of desert bandits see the caliph's palace in the
distance and decide to rob it? The caliph is surely a tormented man. So what
happens when two evils unite? A little miracle, perhaps?

Length: 8 minutes

The film can be enjoyed by all age-groups.
The film is available from libraries in Denmark.

Behind the film
In 1999 I made my debut as animation director on 'Last Night', an
autobiographical story in a humorous style.

The film was financed by Danish Short Fiction Film.

As a child I always dreamt of making animated films, so now I can tell how it
happened that - as an 'unknown' animator - I became so successful with my
very first film production with which I was involved from start to finish.

I was burning to get the ideas out of my head and up on the big wide screen,
so I could share all these special stories with others. I started meeting with a
couple of friends during the evenings to animate from my storyboard and
sketches. Later I sent an application to the Danish Film Institute and luckily
they were most interested in my crazy story.

A few months later I found myself in a professional situation. I was animation
director, with a film studio, a load of money for the film and a great team of
animators, a background artist, cell painters and all the other specialists
needed. Until this time I had only participated in a film production team:

- The idea
- An 8-line synopsis of the story
- The manuscript
- Inspiring drawings
- The presentation material
- The finance and producer/film company

So now I just had to continue with the rest of the film production:

- The storyboard
- The animation
- The model sheets so everybody could draw the same characters.
- The backgrounds black/white layout, then the colouring with watercolours.
- When animating you flip the paper between the fingers to make the
  movement that happens between two or more drawings. Then you draw key
  drawings that are very extreme, then it is easier to go to the next step - the
  so-called 'in-betweens'. Those are all the drawings that are needed in between
  the keydrawings to make the movement of the characters smooth.
- Later, using a special computer, the line-drawings are tested in a phase called
  'line-testing' to check if the movements aresatisfactory.
- An x-sheet is a paper form used to note the number code of the drawing and
  how many pictures you want of each drawing after the line-test.
- With x-sheets you keep control of the timing, so the photographer knows how
  many pictures he needs to take of each drawing.
- With ink and 'old-fashioned' pen the drawings are traced onto cells with the
  artist wearing cotton gloves to protect for fingerprints and dirt – the pencil
  drawings can be seen through the cell.
- After that the cell is put in a cabinet to dry.
- When the cells are dry they are coloured on the back, again wearing protective
  cotton gloves.
- Into the cabinets again for drying. When dry, I check that everything is
  correct in each file folder (each scene in the film has its own file – in this film
  there are about 76 scenes).
- Then the files are sent to the photographer.
  He photographs the scenes, one photo of each drawing. (Remember, there
  are 24 pictures a second on film.)
- The photographer for this film was Jan Erik Sandberg.
- The laboratory - Ankerstjerne - takes care of features such as colour, contrast
  and light adjustments.
- The scenes are then approved.
- The film is now cut and pieced together by the film editor.
- I was interviewed for the youth programme, PULS, which was later broadcast
  on Danish TV.
- The film composer composes the music that binds the whole film together.
- In the sound studio we record and adjust the voices and sound effects, which
  together add the last delightful details to the film.
- In the laboratory final colour adjustments are made.
- The film has its first premiere for the film crew and friends at the film institute's
- At the public premiere my film is shown as a surprise short film before the
  main film the public has bought tickets for. In that summer it could have been
  films like 'Starwars I' or 'Matrix'. My film is shown in well-known cinemas in
  Copenhagen ('Palads' and 'Grand') in July 1999.
- The film was broadcast on DR (the best-known TV station in Denmark) later
  the same year.

Next year I was in Fredrikstad, Norway, where my film was shown together
with other international animated films. It was great fun. I had a fine talk with
my favourite animator idol, Poul Driessen from Holland.

Later, by chance, I heard that my film had been sold to the large, prestigious
broadcaster, French Chanal+The whole time was lot of fun, a time of learning
and an intense period together with a great and crazy animation team – truly,
'you howl with the wolves you are around'!

Many thanks for the fine experience I had with you all on this film project in

The format:
The film was shot on 35mm film, and is also available in BetaCAM format.

Voices in gibberish: by Wikke and Rasmussen; Anne Stensgård with the help
of 3 members of the Royal Opera Male Choir, and more.
Music composer: Martin Frabricius
Sound editor: Chrisian Lørup
Animators: Claus Thomsen, Ásta Sigurtdottir, Søren Lumholtz and team
Background artist: Per Carstensen
Photographer: Jan Erik Sandberg

(All are already credited on the film, so to shorten this long prologue, once and
for all: my sincere thanks to colleagues and friends who supported me through
the whole phase of making this animated film.)


Traditional 2D animation:
- Last Night (Sidste Nat)
- The Butcher's Daughter
- Saxo Grammaticus animation
- X-Flies
- Saxo Grammaticus animation
  and The Butcher's Daughter