String Fighters

"Two Mexican wrestlers battle outside the ring."

String Fighters is a short film about two Mexican wrestlers who battle through the Lyon Bellecour subway station. It was created by five artists during their 4th year at Lyon-based Ecole Emile Cohl, as part of the Paris-Lyon-Singapore project, which screens student shorts at the Annecy festival.

Two main characters (Mexican wrestlers) with a number of indistinct supporting characters, unusual staging for a combat match (a subway station), external conflict, a comedic approach and a focus on physical action are the main elements of the short.

Staged in a subway station and inside a subway train, good effort has been dedicated to environment and character designs, as well as to depicting crowds and populating the environments.

String Fighters employs a stylized aesthetic that successfully mixes 2D and 3D elements. The color palette has been used to highlight the luchadores.

Visual rhythm is high, handled through editing, motion within the frame and camera moves (tilt, pan, dollies, a crash-zoom and camera shakes). The film clearly has been designed with dynamic visuals in mind.

Wider shots abound, including extreme long shots and long shots, in order to capture the environments and action. A few tighter shots abound, but the camera is focused on the fight rather than the luchadores’ emotions for most of the film. A great idea of the artists was to show the subway passengers oblivious to the fight, so the lack of emotions contrasts with the intensity and strangeness of the chosen staging. It becomes an outrageous spectacle without spectators.

What makes Sting Fighters work so well? Fun script, unusual staging that contrasts with characters and actions, dynamic directing, successful combination of 2D and 3D elements, and subdued humor.

Animatic and concept sketches on Benjamin Delabays' site

Character designs on Matis Inserra's site

Background art and color script on Melodie Charrier-Rangel's site


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