Planticus Jealosicus

"Two plants compete for their owner’s affection."

A brief and highly creative short by talented artist Masa Avramovic, produced at French school La Poudrière. Planticus Jealosicus was made in collaboration with musician Dougal Kemp and Lyon’s National Conservatory of Music and Dance.

Planticus Jealosicus features an unusual cast of characters (a woman and two singing plants), external conflicts and creative use of music.

Staging is non-realistic and minimalistic, a stylized aesthetic is employed with saturated colors. Static camera, one shot, no cuts are present. Visual rhythm, however, is quite fast and handled through motion within the frame. A medium shot is used to include the whole action and to transmit the great expressiveness of the characters.

Music and singing are used with great creativity, adding a lot of playfulness to the short and helping express the emotions of the plant characters.

What makes it work so well? Non-realistic and playful staging, combined with highly expressive characters that help transmit conflict, plus very creative use of music.

Masa Avramovic kindly shared with us her insights on the making of the film:

The school gave us the theme of Jealousy and five days to do a 20 second film.
We had a guest teacher Matthew Abbiss from the UK that came for the week. Our school has this partnership with the Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse de Lyon for many years and it’s the students from their first year that work on our films.

I started thinking about love triangles and competitions over someone’s love and attention and how the jealousy often gets very expressive in those situations.
I also found that plants can be really expressive in the way they look and feel. If they’re unhappy they get all dryed up and lose a lot of leaves clearly telling you that something’s not right.
From personal experience and many of my friends I know how much it can affect a person when they see their plant dying so I wanted to play with this manipulation and create a comedy which shows how far sometimes people are willing to go with competition and jealousy.

Working with Dougal [Kemp] was really a great experience. It was my third time having a musician for a film and it was Dougal’s idea to have a choir like singing that would come from the plants.
I think his vision really added a lot to the film. We discussed over emails about the words and the specific sounds and quickly came to the final result.

The film was done completely in ToonBoom Harmony, but in a very paper cut style as I lacked the time to really do it in paper cut, so I found a way that made it look as similar to it as possible. :)

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