AN INTERVIEW WITH SYLVIA LE BRUN, DIRECTOR OF "STREET WANDERER"
Nominee: Best Trailer - February 2021 Edition
SYLVIA LE BRUN IS A FRENCH GRAPHIC DESIGNER,
WRITER, PRODUCER & DIRECTOR
She was raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from the age of two.
She worked as a Sports TV producer for seventeen years.
There she started doing the graphics for a boxing TV show and then got to do the motion graphics for the daily TV programming of the sports shows.
At the same time, she wrote and published three Graphic novels:
2005- Callejones rojos (Read alleys).
2009- Debora Vitt y el Cuervo Azul (Deborah Vitt and the Blue Crow).
2015- Baladas de la ciudad (City ballads).
The firsts two ones sold all the editions, City ballads, stills selling nowadays.
That encouraged her to follow her own path.
In 2018 she wrote a Street Wanderer script and with it made the animated movie trailer to start connecting with other producers and the cinema world. Street Wanderer trailer participated in festivals along the world with very good results:
-Silver award: Independent Shorts Awards, Los Angeles
-Award winner: New York Independent Cinema Awards
-Finalist: Roma Short Film Festival
-Nominee: Cannes World Film Festival
Silvia Le Brun, hello. Thank you for sharing this breathtaking trailer for "Street Wanderer". This is not your first film. Can you tell us about your call for the Graphic Arts and your training in the field, as well as of your experience in Animation prior to "Street Wanderer"?
At the age of sixteen, I received a photo camera as a gift. I just loved it. I used to take photos of everything around me. I liked black and white, so I also used to develop them.
I decided to study graphic design at university; I learned a lot about different formats and I loved animation and comics, so I started to follow that path. My first approach with animation was with Motion graphics, creating openings and promos for sports shows on TV. That has been an important step towards making the 2D animation trailer.
How did the collaboration between author Silvia Debor and yourself happen? Was "Street Wanderer" a joint project from the beginning, did Debor approach you with the story?
Well, it is a bit funny, Silvia Debor is my pen name for my graphic novels: I’ve always been quite shy, especially so when I started. Debor comes from my second name Debora. I put in the trailer as an allusion for my comics readers.
You have a co-Director, Omar Hechtenkopf. How did this collaboration come about? Was this your first experience in co-directing? How was it, can you describe the process?
Omar and I met in 2005 when I started making the comics. He is an illustrator and he participated in Deborah Vitt and the Blue Crow. Street Wanderer is our first time co-directing, but we knew each other's style so the process was very good and natural.
I didn’t know about 2D animation, so I learned a lot from him. Omar took care of the drawing and animation while I, apart from the script, did the digital inking and coloring, in this case black and white. We got together frequently, to co-direct and edit all the material.
You are also listed as a Graphic Novel author. Is Graphic Novel your format of predilection, or do you enjoy expressing yourself equally through animated and non-animated stories?
Graphic novels were my first step in creating my own stories, like the first love. I found it fascinating to watch the illustrator while they draw and to discover how the characters and story take form on the white paper. With animation, it is incredible watching how the character you created starts to move and talk, it´s something magical. However, I find both graphic novels and animation convey a lot and bring life to the story. I enjoy both a lot.
How long was the process of making the complete film? What technical or other experience did the project bring about, and how did you proceed? Was the film entirely produced in Argentina?
The trailer was two years in production. Omar and I basically created all the art and animation. It has been hard work and a great experience. Many things were new to me.
At first, the idea to make all the characters and ink them frame by frame was intimidating, but once I learned how to work faster, I was relieved and enjoyed it a lot. Also, working with the musician and the voice producer was enriching, I love everything they brought to the project. The production took place in Argentina and the United States, as Omar lives in New York and I, in Buenos Aires. We got together via video conferences. We organized well, in spite of the distance.
Anime is very big with Millennials worldwide: What's your target audience? What are your hopes for the film? Do you feel that it is currently a very universal form that can easily be exported to a lot of countries? What are your plans for distribution?
Exactly, millennials are the target audience. My hope is that the audience bond with the characters and the story, maybe like with cult movies, like Cowboy Bebop for example.
I think it can reach people of different countries, since the leading character has a superhero style. He also has a wound, a scar that plays against him in his life: I think we all have a scar in life that we want to overcome, that’s why I believe people will identify with him. What’s more, the story has a series-noire touch that brings mystery and intrigue to the plot. In terms of distribution, the next step is to promote the trailer with a pitch to find both producers and distributors.
The trailer really is a teaser! It's a proper cliffhanger, which leaves the Viewer wanting to know more! Can you reveal some of the story itself, without "spoiling" too much of it?
Thank you very much. Sure! This is the story of a young gypsy boy, controlled by a spell that turns him into a troublemaker and gives him the strength of wolves. Because of his constant street fights with thugs and thieves, he is cast out of his gypsy tribe and separated from his girlfriend. For this reason, he wants to find out the origins of the spell and overcome it. His quest leads him to the illegal boxing world, where people trade pills that improve their strength; he has to face powerful gangsters, all stronger than him. At heart, the story talks about overcoming: the path to overcoming leads you to confront yourself. Face to face.
Finally, what are your up and coming projects?
I adapted the Street Wanderer script for a comic book, currently in the drawing process.
I also have other ideas for new story. There’s one especially that I would like to make, about the importance of our personal roots, a sequel of Debora Vitt and the Blue Crow. Thanks so much. It was a pleasure to answer all the questions.
Post-covid cinema statement: I think the cinema will have great opportunities in post-covid times. I recently read that the period could be like the 20s, when people used to party, go out, gather with friends, etc. It seems to me that this can happen this way and movie theaters will be part of it, after people have been watching so many movies at home, sitting on the couch. I think cinema productions will be asked to come up with new ideas and different techniques.
Official "STREET WANDERER" Video