Saturday, November 10, 2007

Get to know an Asian Canadian Filmmaker: Khanhthuan Tran, GOOD LUCK COUNTING SHEEP

Installment #4!!! Khanhthuan Tran's GOOD LUCK COUNTING SHEEP is a rotoscoped nostalgic minimalist mashup showing in the POWER PLAY Programme on Nov. 15. Look for some very special "cameos" in this film.

Aram Collier- what was the inspiration for project?

Khanhthuan Tran- In 1998 I made a comic book about dolly the sheep out of copied images from media sources (mostly Macleans). This was the original story for "good luck counting sheep". The comic book was called 'the adventures of the luckiest guy in the world' and the story was slightly different.

In 1998, I was into making things on different mediums; that's all I can really remember.

AC- how long did it take to make?

KT- well...the story was written in 1998. I received a grant in 2001 from Saw Video, but could never get the asethic I desired for the animation and let the
project sit. I tried again in 2002 after learning how to use Flash, but still didn't like the asethetic. Then in 2006 I applied for funding from the OAC and TAC with a new asethetic to tackle the project with. 8 months later (about) I fiinished.

So...9 years or 8 months; however you want to see it.

AC -what was your everyday like, animation is very grueling, especially the way that you made this film.

KT- This 8 month production was a 'procrastinating' 8 months. I think in terms of man-hours, maybe it was 2-3 months. But you're right, animation is gruelling.
I would animate (on a good day) 8 hours and have two seconds worth of animation to show.

AC- I’m dumb, what is rotoscoping? and tell us how you did it.

KT- Rotoscoping is tracing over 'filmed' images. For 'good luck counting sheep' I traced over footage from popular movies.

AC- how was it working with "Tom Cruise" on your film? and did his 'spiritual' beliefs ever affect the mood on "the set"?

KT- ha!.... in all seriousness, I chose to animate Tom Cruise because he is a reconizable icon, however I chose Claire Forlani because I wanted to animate
someone I considered beautiful.

AC- You might think she’s beautiful but man, she cannot act. Just awful on CSI: New York and she totally dumped Mac…anyway, on the DVD special features, what would be a "deleted scene" from your film?

KT- I animated with a shooting ratio, so there are scenes that have not made the cut, but I'm not a fan of deleted scenes on DVDs... I did animate the classic
ice skating fall by tanya harding at the Olympics which I kind of miss.

AC- what is your next project/what are you working on now?

KT- nothing worth mentioning. Just writing and sorting ideas out. I was thinking it was about time to paint a painting though; a still life would be nice, eh?

AC- what's the story behind your headshot?

KT- I don't understand the question. I hate having my
photo taken.

AC- you look like you're hating every split second of taking that pic.