During a storm, the animals in a small mountain village start having strange seizures.
Emilie, 8, and her best friend Manon decide to investigate. They discover that there is a link between the song of the storms that Emilie is the only one to hear and the installation of a radio antenna.
The Song of the Storms
Director: Caroline Attia
Scriptwriters: Caroline Attia and Claire Sichez
Graphic Author: Caroline Attia
Producer: Ron Dyens (Sacrebleu Productions, France)
Target audience: Children 6-9
Technique: 2D digital
The Song of the Storms is a fascinating animation project for children that has a good balance of various and ideal components of its story and visual, such as “the pureness and sensitivity of the main child characters”, “the detective elements of the story that make you wonder what will happen next”, “an impact on nature caused by humanity”, “charming animal characters that play an important role in the story”, and “a soft visual style that universally appeals to everyone”.
It is an about a half-hour traditional 2D animation project for a TV special that was pitched at Cartoon Forum 2022. We interviewed Caroline Attia, the creator and director, and Ron Dyens, the main producer, about the project.
Interview with Caroline Attia and Ron Dyens
Hideki Nagaishi (HN): Could you please let us know what part of this project you think will be the most appealing or attractive to the prospective audience?
Ron Dyens: According to me, the most appealing part of The Song of the Storms would be the human impact on nature and especially animals. Since a few years now, young people are aware of climate change and feel like they do have a role to play regarding this matter. Having this story told from the point of view of two young girls will allow them to better understand challenges that Emilie and Manon face. However, we do not want to condemn technology with this TV Special, but arouse the possibility to find the right balance between nature and progress.
HN: Could you please let us know the theme or topic of the TV Special, as well as the outline of the story in brief?
Caroline Attia: During a storm, the animals in a small mountain village start having strange seizures. Emilie, 8-year-old, has just moved into the village, and along with her neighbor Manon, the pair decide to investigate. They discover that there is a link between the song of the storms that Emily is the only one to hear, and the installation of a telecommunication tower. Song of the storm is a friendship detective story with a touch of fantasy. It talks about difference, and deals with being different, accepting it and making a strength out of it. This story also tackles with the fragile balance of nature surrounding us.
HN: Where did the initial idea of the story and characters come from?
Caroline Attia: This story was inspired by a childhood memory. When I was a kid, I was so frightened of storms that I would hide under my bed and count the seconds between lightning and thunder to see how far it was and if it was getting closer or going away. I was about 7-8 years old and I was reading all I could on the phenomenon to try to reassure myself. This fascination was the starting point of this story. I guess the characters were inspired by people around me, my daughters, my family, a little of my childhood and they evolved a lot when I started working with Claire Sichez. The story took on a whole other dimension when I started collaborating with her and Sacrebleu Productions.
HN: What do you take care in the most when you are developing the story?
Caroline Attia: Something I really want to take care in the most is trying to portray the best characters, make them believable, relatable and make their intention pretty clear. Something else would be to make the detective and fantastic part of the story blend in nicely and be thrilling for the viewer.
HN: What is the most important characteristic of the visual design of the characters and universe for the story, and why?
Caroline Attia: The inspirations for the graphics of this film are coming from children book illustrations and comics. The characters are treated without outside lines, but black accents inside to emphasize expressions. Colors and lines might take a big place in my work and especially in this film: skylight and variation depicting the thunderstorm are gonna be a big aesthetic challenge. Especially giving it a fantastic touch.
HN: What can you tell us about the music for the animation TV special at the moment?
Caroline Attia: As for the music, I love contemporary music, and Max Richter’s works on the four seasons canon (based on Vivaldi’s Four seasons) was a good starting point to talk with the composer, Damien Deshayes. I wanted the music to be able to blend with the sound of the storm and to be treated as a texture. We also needed a melody so that Emilie can sing the song of the storm to the others. Damien had the idea to go with flutes to mimic the storms and wind and it was a really good match with the thunder.