Official Selection 2015 Winner
7 mins, UK
Official website: http://www.thebiggerpicturefilm.com/
Director: Daisy Jacobs
Writer: Daisy Jacobs, Jennifer Majka
Producer: Chris Hees
Voice Cast: Alisdair Simpson, Anne Cunningham, Christopher Nightingale
Synopsis: ‘You want to put her in a home; you tell her; tell her now!’ hisses one brother to the other. But mother won’t go, and their own lives quickly unravel as she clings to life. Director Daisy Jacobs uses two-metre-high painted characters in full-size sets to tell the stark and darkly humorous tale of caring for an elderly relative.
About: Daisy Jacobs was born in Portsmouth on March 20th 1988. She is a British animation director, based in London. She studied at the National Film and Television School, and The Bigger Picture is her MA graduation film. Previous films include Don Justino de Neve (2011) and Tosh (2012) – both of which also screened at the Norwich Film Festival.
Director’s Statement: The Bigger Picture is a personal story, based on Daisy’s grandmother and the months leading up to her death.
The film is, fundamentally, a morality tale, that urges us to look beyond our own narrow, selfish lives, and see ‘the bigger picture’. Creative expression and medium complement this message: animation comes off the page, away from miniatures, into full-size film sets – where life-size painted characters explode twenty feet up a wall and burst out of the conventional ‘frame’, and where characters are created not with small movements of a pencil but by sweeping, physically-demanding movements of the animators’ whole body as they create something that is much larger than themselves.
I wanted to create a new animated technique that would make the painted characters appear as real as possible. Put in life-size sets and made the same size as us, the protagonists of this film become very real. Even motionless in the room, waiting to be animated, their presence was unnerving: they seemed oddly alive. I’ve learnt I have a real need for my characters to be alive.
Stylistically, I’ve created a giant version of my illustrated films, using the same flat, vibrantly beautiful colours, the same sparse, slightly sixties feel, but in this version the characters literally come out of the canvas and interact in a world we live in too. I have always painted large, so animating on a life-size scale felt natural; the physicality of it makes it more like a performance and you really become the character that you are animating. It certainly heightens the connection you feel between yourself and your creation when they are standing right next to you!
At every stage, I wanted to challenge the conventions of animation. The knock-on effect of this was that, to keep up with, and realize, my ideas, other crew members, most notably cinematography, had to break out of their comfort zone and innovate too. Through our collaboration and dedication to the project, I think we have achieved something new and exciting in the field of animation.
The Bigger Picture was nominated for the 2015 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, and won the award for British Short Animation at this year’s BAFTAs.