The Cloud

"Rainy weather ahead."

Two characters, an external conflict and non-realistic staging are the ingredients of this comedy by Iulia Voitova, produced at French school La Poudrière.

A man’s clouded thoughts are transposed into an element of staging, which serves as a trigger for the characters to interact and enter into conflict. Though the staging is sparse, it is presumably an urban situation.

The aesthetic is highly stylized, cutout paper technique was employed by the artist to animate the short, as well as some painted frames to create camera moves, using natural media for the project. The work dedicated to character design and their personalities is worth noting. Saturated colors are used for the characters, with the most vibrant ones helping define the personality of the woman, and the darker ones those of the man (along with his props).

Visual rhythm is high, created through camera moves, editing, changing shot sizes and moving background. The pace increases during the chase sequence. Wider shots are used to describe the situation while a few close-ups are used to transmit characters’ expressions as well as to emphasize actions. A POV shot is effectively employed to create ellipsis. Music and sound help add rhythm to the piece. Sound design is especially worth noting, as it’s used expressively to transmit and replace the dialogues of the characters, as well as to dictate mood and rhythm.

What makes it work so well? Creativity, humor, a non-realistic playful staging, the wonderful cutout animation, the interaction between the woman and the man, and the subject of the short, which is a situation that resonates with the audience.

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