How did you come up with the idea of the exchange between the child and the old man?
The original idea was to create a cartoon centered on two characters who don’t move. They are seated at a table and remain frozen, the old man with his hand extended and the boy petrified in his chair. There has got to be a sort of humor and game involved to create a cartoon based on immobility. With Jean-Loup (Felicioli, ed.) we had already tackled this approach a few years back in another of our short films, Le couloir. The two characters became defined as the writing progressed. It allowed me to have the two extreme ages of life face to face with each other.
How did you create the shadow effects?
We have used the same animation and coloring techniques since we first started working together. This has allowed us to refine our style and also have a coherence between our different films. The shadows are created by the animators, on the back of the paper, then they are filled in by hand with pencil. This makes the colors vibrate.
What process did you use to animate the drawings?
It’s a very classical animation as it still involves using paper. We mix the computer-generated effects and this traditional way of drawing together.
Why did you include the cat and its story in addition to the two main stories that confront each other: the story of the child and that of the old man?
There are two reasons behind the cat’s story. Firstly, it allows us to escape from the closed-door environment for a moment. It injects a small surprise that changes up the rhythm of the film in the middle. It is also a story told by the old man to the child, a story whose moral is that we must be wary of our own desires because they can lead to our downfall.
Does the short film format allow you any particular freedoms?
I really like the short film format because it allows you to concentrate your energy on a short duration of work. This provides a lightness and quickness that promotes creativity.