Rabbit and Deer Short Film Interview With Péter Vácz

Occasionally we get an opportunity to enjoy a film that changes the way we ought to look at life.  Péter Vácz’s Rabbit and Deer definitely is one such film.  Rabbit and Deer has won over 100 different awards and has been highly acclaimed the world over.  I even jumped off script and asked Péter a question from my youngest daughter and he basically gushed and gushed.  It was a really eye-opening view into this little movie all because of a simple question from a child.  Well done Péter!  You’ve made a new fan of our entire family as a result!  Anyway, so let us away with the questions shall we?

Your making of blog post was a dream – read through it several times.  Rabbit and Deer utilized a number of different animation techniques – flat 2d, watercolor 2d, 3d drawn 2d, 3d claymation, I think there may have been a hint of CG in there, etc etc.  When you look back at Rabbit and Deer is there anything you wish you could have done differently, or added?

No, not really. I had a strong and simple ‘core’ idea and fortunately I had enough time (being a student) to finish every part of the film the way I wanted.

Are you now still working with Picasso Pictures in London since leaving school?  How is animation different in the corporate world verses doing it on your own?  Is it as fulfilling as working on your own work?  

I’m not too busy making corporate work. So far I’ve only had one project with Picasso Pictures – the All I’m Saying music video for James which was a pleasure because I had a lot of freedom to create a poetic film. Although I only had 3 weeks to make it. In the meantime I can work on my own projects, illustrate, make music and animations. I was part of a filmmakers collective for a year in the South of France and now I live and explore my new life in Berlin.

You’re obviously capable of doing any sort of animation imaginable – Rabbit and Deer shows that.  But what is your favorite method of animating and what would you default to if given the opportunity?

I like to build, sculpt, tinker and use all sorts of materials so stop motion is definitely something I feel very comfortable with. Other than that I enjoy the diversity of other animation techniques too. In the end it all comes down to telling a story or expressing a feeling which usually determines the style itself.

Are there independent animators out there we should be keeping our eyes on?  Animators that you admire?

I don’t have a huge directory of names. I love Jeremy Clapin’s shorts. My good friend Joseph Wallace has a genuine and beautiful poetic style working in stop motion. I’ve recently met Caleb Wood who’s 2d experimental work I find very inspiring. David O’Reilly’s films are brilliant with enough craziness, experiment and good storytelling. I should mention much more…

Thanks so much for the wonderful answers to my questions. Might I bother you with just one more question from my three children?  I just showed them the movie and they adored it.  But they were confused as to why the Rabbit didn’t “Do Science” and break free from the flat world.  I asked them why they thought the Rabbit hadn’t “done science” to break free and they were flummoxed.  I said, maybe its more about how people can be different and yet we can still enjoy one another?  “Do you think that is why?” and they said, “definitely not.”  And then I said, well, maybe I could ask the very nice gentleman who created the movie and he could give a better answer.  

This was a very nice e-mail to read. Thank you for sending it to me. I really enjoy these ‘conversations’ especially that children usually ask the simplest yet hardest questions from time to time.

I think your answer is great. The two characters were partly based on my previous love relationship/on us, and she had a quite different personality from mine but that’s what inspired me to be with her. To learn something from another person who I can respect, who can show me the world, little things the way I haven’t seen them before and bring the best out of me. And it’s one of the best things in life if this need for sharing is mutual from both sides. (Well she did textile design and I make films…which is quite different, but at least both are art in a way)According to your children’s question I think they wanted to know why R&D didn’t ‘do the fun stuff’ anymore together since it’s hard to accept or see when something good ends (changes).

It happened with my ex-girlfriend and me too. From time to time we grew apart, lost the stronger connection. Caused by a long travel (physical separation), or just becoming obsessed with a big project, a new job, a big change that takes over all of our time, focus and caring for the other person – all the things that feed a good relationship.
Well, basically that happens with Deer too – he becomes so obsessed with his new ‘science’ passion, that he forgets to care about Rabbit. The ‘accident’ with the electric shock and only Deer turning 3d is a visual symbol of him growing apart, or becoming different… but in the end he realizes that it’s more important to have someone who you can share your life with then being all alone –  even if it seems he is in a more tempting dimension..

Long answer, I don’t know if it’ll leave them satisfied, but as you said I believe it’s more important that it gives us a chance to talk about these things (I learned myself a lot after I made the film, just by talking with people like you) so thank you and have a nice day to you and your family : )

Peter

And like I said… an extraordinary question and an even better answer.  Maybe I’ll have my kids do the questions from now on!

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