Out of the Box
Marcel Saleta is a student animator from Santiago, Dominican Republic based in Rochester, NY. Out of the Box won an honorable mention in the Frame-by-Frame/Traditional category at the 2017 Florida Animation Festival.
I wanted the mimes to come across as more serious, elegant, monotone, rigid and all very similar not to say the same, which hopefully was achieve in combination with their hard lines and angles. While the clowns are supposed to be different, fun, unique, made to stand out as individuals and as a group, and their shapes were round, soft and curved, so they came across as friendly, approachable and flexible.
FAF: You created this film as a senior thesis. How long was the idea brewing for you? What is the general timeline for creating a senior thesis film?
MS: The whole process took around 9 months (Sept. 2016- May 2017). The idea itself came to me around June after finishing my Junior year, but the production officially started in September after the thesis committee approved my pitch. The first animatic was ready by mid-October, rough animation was ready by mid-February, and then clean up (inking and colouring) and backgrounds took around the last 2 months. The music, which was a key element to this film, was an original piece that my composer Garret Reynolds and I worked side by side starting in January, and all the strings were recorded live in May.
FAF: What does mime life represent to you? What about clown life?
MS: We can say mime life represents the life society expects you live, where you're supposed to follow certain patterns and rules, while the clowns represent everything different, the misfits, the people who dare to follow their happiness by doing what they love, an alternative lifestyle, even if it is not approved by their families and society. In short the mimes are the square people, and the clowns are the round pegs in the square holes.
FAF: Miles has a different hair color than most of his fellow mimes, and the mime colors are obviously more muted than the clown colors. What informed your color choices?
MS: Miles hair isn't necessarily as important, I just wanted him to be a little different than the other mimes so he could stand out. Overall, color does play an important part in the characters (also so do shapes). I needed to establish a clear difference between the designs of mimes and the clowns for story purposes.