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HN: Next question is about two characters: the caretaker and the dove. We felt they are the only characters in the film who don’t seem to be self-centered and obsessed with love. What are your intentions with that and how do these characters support the film?

Michaela Mihályi and David Štumpf: Yes, we agree to that. The dove and Noah are in this together — carrying the same project of the Ark’s survival. We wanted one animal to represent a nice side of human character, and we think a dove with a mission makes a perfect match to Noah. In earlier drafts of the script their relationship had more space, but we needed to make it shorter because of the length of the film. On the other side, even Noah loses it in one point, but the dove stays pure in the whole film. You can say that she is the only one who stays rational.


Old Designs


HN: We would like to ask you two questions about the ending of the story. What is the meaning for you of having that fate of the Ark at the end of the film?

Michaela Mihályi and David Štumpf: Well, biblical stories in general are very universal, and we felt that we can adapt the story of Noah’s Ark into a contemporary adaptation, which is dealing with today’s world and problems. So, we took this story and asked ourselves a series of “what if…?” questions. What if one of the animals on the ark loses a partner? What if Noah’s wife is sexually frustrated? What if this widowed animal and Noah’s wife had sex? What would Noah do?

… And we ended up with flooding the ark and killing almost everyone.

HN: Could you please let us know what you wanted to tell the most from the last scene with the three characters on a small boat?

Michaela Mihályi and David Štumpf: Actually, this final scene was the last thing we wrote. From the beginning of development we had many alternatives that we could use for the ending. We wanted to create an absurd triangle, which can lead basically anywhere. Viewers could create multiple combinations of what could happen next. Obviously, the dove is there to show Noah that the flood is over and she found dry land. Unfortunately for Noah (and everyone else), it is too late. The only animal left besides the dove is the deer, who Noah hates the most. The question is, will Noah accept his fate?

HN: We felt that the visuals of the film with the simple shape design and bright colouring fits well with the whole story, including its use in some high-impact scenes. We would like to hear about the story behind the visual design of the film. Why have you decided to adopt that visual design and colouring for the film?

Michaela Mihályi: We like to use colours in general. But we were aiming for a very colourful and cheerful design. We wanted to build a contrast between the depressing and sad themes of the story and a very bright colour palette, to visualize the bitter-sweetness of the storyline.

David Štumpf: We have decided to use a risograph technique which has limited and very specific colours, so the colour palette came hand in hand with the risography.

HN: What is your approach on the design and what did you take care in the most for designing the visuals of characters and background art?

Michaela Mihályi and David Štumpf: We did like five versions of design approaches until we have found the one we ended up using. As we mentioned, we wanted cheerful visuals for the film, so we went for stylized, almost childlike, character designs. We also wanted a hand-made feel for the film, that is why we decided to print the backgrounds and textures on a risograph and scan them back to the computer. It complicated our process by a lot, but in the end, we feel that it added so much texture to the film.

HN: We would like to hear about the music in the film. How was your experience collaborating with Olivier de Palma, the music composer, and what things did you take care in the most for the music?

Michaela Mihályi and David Štumpf: Well, getting the music part right was very important for us. We wanted music that is not a score, but rather a soundtrack with different tracks that would fit a particular mood of the scenes. And working with Olivier was great! He is such a talented musician and producer, and we think that he perfectly created what we were aiming for.