Mon, 22 Feb 2021 12:04:23 GMT
Gustaf Lindström is a Swedish-born filmmaker, animator and CG artist. His debut short film Plankton has won multiple awards, including Best Animation at InterFilm Berlin, which qualified it for the 2019 Academy Awards. The short was later developed into the comedy short series Drifters for FX Networks. Black Death, his second short series for FX and Hulu, is currently awaiting release.
By combining ambitious art direction with laid back, conversational comedy, Gustaf creates visually spectacular and strange worlds that somehow still feel relatable and down-to-earth. He finds his inspiration in anything from nature documentaries to medieval manuscripts, and is unafraid of spear-heading new and interesting animation techniques.
Name: Gustaf Lindstrom
Repped by/in: Somesense
Awards: Best Animation (Interfilm Berlin), Audience Award (Cinemare), Best Experimental Film (Paris Short Film Festival)
I like dialogue-driven comedy that allows for an opportunity to go nuts with the Visuals.
I like finding reference and inspiration in unusual places and using it in a comedy context—like recreating old styles using the latest technology and turning it into something modern and relatable.
Yes, I believe there’s inspiration to be found in any brand’s profile. It’s about communicating with your client and getting an idea of what excites them about their brand and what they think sets them apart.
To me, it would be the artists and talent. If the people in the production feel like they’re having fun and have a hand in shaping the advert, I believe that’s how you get the best outcome.
Yeah, I tend to lean towards comedy, especially of the dry and tragicomical kind.
People often think my recorded dialogue is completely improvised, but it’s following a script much closer than you’d think. I like to have my characters deliver their lines in a naturalistic way; it’s very disarming and easily becomes very funny.
The biggest catastrophe for an animator is losing data. And boy, have I lost data! Laptops stolen, hard disks giving up—you name it. Sometimes the only solution is to just take a deep breath and redo it. I’m now always making sure there’s a backup, but I’ve learned the hard way.
Communication is key. Talking is great, but sometimes sharing a drawing, mood board, or reference can make it really clear for everyone what the common goal is.
In recent projects, I have been making a greater effort to include characters from diverse backgrounds. That way, we can draw on the immense talents of female comedians and actors of colour. Because I encourage improvisation in my directing, I find it helpful to work with people who can tap into their lived experiences to make the storytelling as vivid and authentic as possible. The fact that everyone is working from home now has also presented new opportunities for diverse hiring practices. In my last project, for instance, I hired both local and international animators, and we achieved a brilliant result.
As an animation director, I’ve found working during the pandemic has been easier than I thought it would be. As long as there are good solutions for sharing files and communication, it’s really not that big of an obstacle. Health is what’s most important!
It’s important to keep all the different formats in mind early on in the development. You need to see how it looks in different formats as you go.
These things interest me. My first commercial directing gig was All Star Party, which was one of the first animated VR-shows ever made.
This was my first short film, and it’s very dear to my heart. My background is as a CG Artist, and I think it really showcases my love for the craft.
I was happy to work with Waffle on one of the first-ever VR animation shows. To see this in its full 360 degree glory, you should check out the Oculus website!
Drifters is basically a serialised version of Plankton that I did for FX Networks. Here I really pushed it to the next level with mixed media CG animation, and I love the naturalistic and dialogue-driven comedy style.
This is from another series I did for FX Networks. Just researching medieval marginalia when developing the art style was incredibly fun, and this showcases a more dark and satirical kind of humour.