It’s Nice That talk to Nicolas Ménard about his award-winning short

“Originally released through Channel 4’s Random Acts, and now the winner of Best Animated Short at the SXSW awards, Nicolas Ménard animated short Wednesday With Goddard is not only hilarious but a wonderful merging of aesthetic media.

Featuring a combination of Nicolas’ bright, blocky characters and forms, and the delicate pencil drawings of Manshen Lo, the animation has a unique feel. It tells the story of a man’s search for God, narrated by Denis Foley in soft Irish tones, which adds a subtle humour that perfectly suits the visuals. For a little more insight we spoke to Nicolas about the story and its ecclesiastical beginnings.

What was the brief and the concept for the film?

When Channel 4 showed interest in broadcasting a film of mine, I submitted this script, which I had been thinking about for a while. I initially wrote it for the Late Night Work Club’s second anthology of short films called Strangers. The idea was to make a story that starts like a children’s book, but ends in a sudden, dramatic way. It became a film about the search for God, or perhaps something else.

How did the collaboration with Manshen Lo come about?

Since I met Manshen at the Royal College of Art, we have wanted to collaborate. After graduating her student visa expired and she had to go back home to China, but we wanted to keep in touch in a more profound way than only by Skype. So we starting working on this film, developing this style that mixes fully rendered pencil drawings with simple, colourful characters. It took a lot of trial and error to figure out the style, but once we had one functional image, the rest followed rather smoothly.

Once she was finally back in London, we produced all the artworks together. I would work on a layout, she would patiently draw the required background on paper, scan it in, and send it back to me for compositing. It took 2 and a half weeks and a lot of coffee to draw the flower-opening animation, which is made of 21 individual pencil drawings and lasts less than three seconds.”

Read the full interview here

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