What went into the research for where the glove came from?
ALH: The visual style came a lot from the photos from my father’s childhood that Bernardo and I dug through when making the videos for the funeral. They were photos of an Irish-Slovak family in Queens and Long Island that iconized an Americana lifestyle of the ’60s.
BB: It was all so long ago now but I do remember doing a lot of research about where the spacesuits were manufactured and what kinds of materials were used. It’s always interesting whenever you look into any of those things because of course everything comes from somewhere, and that somewhere is usually a pretty normal place. Like a factory in Delaware. I don’t know if that’s precisely where that specific glove came from but I do know that there was a factory in Delaware that used to make bras that then started making astronaut suits and again, that mismatch between earthly mundanity and deep space fantasia was always appealing to me. So any time I read about something like that I’m going to want to feature it.
What were some of the other ideas you had for this, if any? Were you ever tempted to throw in anything otherworldly?
BB: There was a little alien in there once upon a time and Alexa was very smart about saying “no that’s bad.” I’m not sure if she remembers that or not. But that’s one of those things where I’m just referencing other media and Alexa is able to come up with something wholly original, like the crazy weird scanner stuff that she developed for this to show these unimaginable depths of space, rather than seeing a little alien guy. She also came up with more specific images for sequences like the lucky cat and the mountains of plastic and the decomposing astronaut. If I were making this movie on my own I would’ve for sure put a little alien guy in there and it for sure would’ve been a worse movie overall. I’m trying to remember if there were other things we cut or considered once upon a time.
ALH: Ah yes, the alien story. I am a teacher at Carnegie Mellon for story development and storyboarding and I always tell this story. As I mentioned, Bernardo has a very disciplined craft and likes to have every frame accounted for before animation, whereas I like to leave a little room for improvisation. The line is, “And all the while it floated on … past civilizations we’ve never dreamed of, and galaxies we could have never imagined…” In the animatic, it is a storyboard of a sort of humanoid alien and we battled about it for a while but had no alternatives at the time so we left it in there as a placeholder for the timing, with my secret unending desire to change it. ‘Something we could have never imagined’ was key to me, so I scheduled a day of experimental animation to address this scene. I did some experimental scanner techniques, and even scanned some beautiful small potatoes (meteors) and other things I could find around the house. In the end what blossomed from the play was a scene where the glove goes through colorful origami paper universes where time functions unpredictably. I always teach this to exemplify the need for discipline with the freedom to play.
What’s next for you?
ALH: Here is a music video Bernardo and I just directed together this past summer, with the beautiful help and imagination of our 3D animator Magda Gourinchas.
BB: Next for me is finishing up this movie I’m doing right now and then just trying to enjoy life and relax for a bit.
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