Friday, 6 February 2009

Axel Brotje, Fische und Schiffe

Dear Axel Brotje

Hi! Im on my final year of an Illustration degree at Stockport College in England. I'm currently researching into Cut Out design, in particular animation. Your short film is stunning, especially the the image of the inside of the boat. Could you please tell me what inspired you to create this short film? And what problems, if any, you may have encountered with the 'cut out' process?

any help you could give me would be brilliant.


Sarah Frost

Dear Sarah,

thank you for your email and the feedback on my short film. For this project i did a lot of image-based web research. Which means that i actually google and look at different websites and save images which are visually interesting to me. One of these sites is a group of artists who make plays with cut-out shadow puppets. Just without the computer. It is a german site unfortunately, but they have lots of images:

There was one special play they made which inspired me to do a seaside story, which is this link:

One thing you should know by the way is that my film only has a cut-out look. I wasn't cutting any paper at all. This film was completely done with computer software and the cut-outs are vectorgraphics from illustrator.

However, another inspiration for me was "Lotte Reiniger". She made the first silhouette film feature waaay back in 1926. But she had a great style and it was all handmade. Here's her wikipedia link:

You mentioned the inside of the boat. The idea was to really connect the fisherman to his boat. To create a whole world in which he's living. Thats why i put all the details in there: The wanted poster, the table and accessoires on the wall. It should look like he's developing masterplans from down there.
I collected images of reallife fisherboats and adapted objects which could be recognised as Silhouettes.

As i said, there wasn't really a cut out process. Sure i encountered some problems in the process of making this short film, but these were more or less technical issues. For example the smoke was a bit tough or the flowing puppet animation. I used a 3D-program which is called maya to do that.

I hope this is helpful for you. Do you have some illustration work online? I'd love to see something.

Kind regards,

Axel Brötje

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