Earlier in the year ‘Dead Bod’ premiered as a film at the Berlin British Shorts film festival and Co-Director Shaun Clark spoke to The New Current about the film
Congratulations on having Dead Bod selected to British Shorts, what does it mean to you to be part of such a great showcase for British Films?
The team (Kim Noce – Co director, Chris Hees – Producer and David Pringle – Sound Designer) are very excited to be premiering the film in Berlin with British Shorts. The festival is an excellent collection of current British films and we are very proud to be part of this showcase.
Dead Bod will also be making its Premiere at British Shorts in Berlin, are there any nerves ahead of the screening?
There are always nerves about every film I screen to the public. How will the audience react? Will they enjoy the film? Animators spend such a long time in the studio when creating short films that it’s always interesting to resurface and see what the world thinks about our creations.
What was it about Dead Bod that interested you?
Dead Bod (Dead Bird if you are not from Hull) is piece graffiti that was painted onto the side of a shed on Alexander Docks, Hull. The story behind the graffiti was engraved in the local folklore and we thought it captured the spirit of Hull and how its people have risen time and time again to overcome adversity.
Why do you think Dead Bod became so famous?
The graffiti became a famous landmark to sailors and trawler men who would use it as a point of navigation – on the route in and out of the River Humber.
After the demolition of the shed on the docks where Dead Bod was painted the graffiti was saved and has now been placed into the Humber Street gallery.
Did you expect to get the type of response you’ve gotten for the film?
The film was originally made for the Hull City of Culture opening celebration and was projected onto numerous landmarks around the city. Over 300,000 people saw the event in one week. The reaction from the people of the city was very overwhelming!
Can you talk about Dead Bod, how did you this film come about?
We were developing ideas for the city of culture events with producer Chris Hees when the possibility of animating ‘Dead Bod’ arose. A script was developed with the help of Rupert Creed based on the original telling by George Norris. Once we had the story, we started to develop the style of the film based on the original artwork.
What would you say have been some of the biggest lessons you’ve taken from making this film?
I believe that if you make films that touch you, it will touch others.
What was the most challenging part of making Dead Bod?
One of the most challenging parts of this project was getting the story right. The original tale is quite harsh so we worked on softening the story a little to appeal to a wider audience. The new ending of the piece also added a sense of the phoenix rising from the ashes, which we believe is a good representation of the city. So like any good folk tale, the story has been shaped and passed on to the next generation.
And finally, what message do you want your audiences to take away from this film?
Hull is a city with unshakable spirit and resilience and will always resurrect and fly to new heights.