"When an eccentric inventor realizes he's not a perfect father, he tries to make one."

Two main characters, a father-daughter relationship and a portrait of the encounter between two different POVs of reality compose this short by Natalie Labarre, produced during her studies at NY-based School of Visual Arts.

Staged in an urban location, the short presents two main characters and focuses on their interaction. The expressiveness of the characters is key to this, so plenty of close-ups are used to convey their feelings and how they react to each other. There is also an interesting use of objects, and the way the characters interact with them reveal their interpretation of the world (a trademark of Chaplin), and help create misunderstandings and humorous situations.

The film has a soul, and what helps make the film work is the authenticity of the description of the relationship, the affection between the characters, their feelings and situations portrayed (one senses some of these may be autobiographical).

Incorporating the subject of having a temporary replacement to keep the child busy is something that will appeal to parents. The fact that this replacement is a technological one and has its unexpected side effects is an interesting idea that will likely be familiar to many, too. The encounter between the ‘adult’ and ‘child’ perspectives is well portrayed, and the frequent elements of play, humor and surprise also contribute to a very enjoyable film.

Visual development work for Papa

Background designs


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