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Introduction to Butterfly

Corin Hardy introduces his short film, Butterfly. Watch the video from FutureLearn with the BFI and NFTS.
So Butterfly was a film that I made, a stop motion animated short film, that I made when I finished my degree at Wimbledon School of Art. And it was an attempt to make something that was a short film that would demonstrate my kind of look and feel of a film made by me that I really wanted, originally, to be a live action film and be kind of epic and exciting. And I quickly realised it would probably costs too much to do that with the way I wanted to make it feel very stylised.
So I embarked on planning, writing, designing, and building everything needed for this stop motion film, which was shot in this room that we’re doing this talk in which was a very sort of dusty old workshop and isn’t a very big space. But it took five years from the start to the finish of making this stop motion film, which is 30 minutes long and was shot on 16 millimetre film. And I suppose probably out of fear that I wouldn’t get to the end, I sort of tried to do everything myself, because I didn’t want to rely too much on some other people taking too long. But in doing that, I took too long myself.
But the story for Butterfly came from a series of personal feelings of seeing people close to me cope with death, and I wanted to try and figure out a story that was to do with someone who is coping with an immense amount of grief. And I wanted it to feel fantastical but also emotional, and I wanted it to tell a story that made sense whilst being kind of abstract as well. And I’d seen a lot of animations that were absolutely beautiful, and but so kind of fine-arty, for want of a better word, that they caused a beautiful impact, but it didn’t cause an impact in terms of story.
And I wanted to write a sort of solid and relatively simple story. So I wrote the description, and I actually went to a book group and got a group of middle-aged men and women to read my script and give me some critiques to try and make the story as strong as I could. And then planned all of the sets and the models, and you can see some of the models in here, probably get some cutaways .

Corin introduces his epic first film.

Butterfly (2003) is our case study short film this week and our first animation.

The film took Corin five years to make and was all shot in a workshop in his garden, drawing upon the help of a number of friends, colleagues and family.

It is worth considering what animation has to offer to the filmmaker in terms of going beyond reality.

Please note that Butterfly deals with some dark themes, notably bereavement.

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