LUCIA © 2004 Felix Gönnert & HFF ‘Konrad Wolf’

Synopsis

Wandering about the hospital by night, Lucia discovers several x-rays. The image of a skull sparks her imagination and before long, dream and reality begin to blur...

Animated short

Character

Character & Story

When I did my civilian service in a surgery department, the aesthetics of x-rays caught my attention. These images of our bones, usually associated with death, have a smoke-like elegance that seems to reveal shapes of characters or living beings. This inspired me to think up a story.
The protagonist Lucia came to me as a tiny clay figurine I made when I visited my French ex-girlfriend. She was a marionette artist and had very fine clay to create the models of her marionettes.
Lucia, a little girl who is ill in a hospital, is curious and wants to explore. She embarks on a nocturnal adventure that meshes her imagination with her surrounding, creating a 'healing dream'.

 
 

Technique

X-rays inspired the whole design for ‘LUCIA’. I had a lot of discussions about the hospital's interior with Sonja Winzenried, who developed the concept for the rooms and some of the props. This helped me find the right atmosphere and technical approach on how to work with lights and textures. As ‘LUCIA’ was my graduation film and I knew I would have to do most of the work on my own, I always tried to reduce the complexity of the design and storytelling.

My professors had warned me about the difficulty of animating a human, but after a short test with a simplified and proportional model of Lucia, which worked out fine, I had my character.

The modelling and rigging took quite a long time because this was new to me. Since Lucia had to express herself in pantomime, her eyes and facial expression were very crucial. Hence, I gave her large eyes but tried to avoid a too cartoony look. One of the most time-consuming parts was the modelling and shading of the backgrounds and props. All in all, I worked very hard for three years on ‘LUCIA’ and thought I would never do something like this again, but five years later, I began working on ‘APOLLO’ - and the whole thing started again.

Storyboard

Storyboard

I made this storyboard using charcoal, which served as a quick lighting reference.

Slide show

Slide show

 

Credits

Felix Gönnert
Max Knoth
Felix Gönnert
Gregor Wille
Felix Gönnert
Felix Gönnert
Josef Riesling
Torsten Krökel
Sonja Winzenried
Tobias Laarmann, Michael Labus
Friederike Gönnert, Prof.Dr.med. Gerhard
Spillner, Jürgen Uhlendorf
Max Knoth
Günter Röhn
Dr Bruno Moreigne
Matthias Schurz
Philine Wittur
Simonetta Ginelli
Max Knoth
Ingo Baier
Holger Lochau
Prof. Christina Schindler

Tech Specs

Length 8’19” min | 228 m (748.5 ft)
Format 1:1.85 | 35 mm | color | 24 fps | Dolby Digital SRD | THX | animation without dialogue

Awards & special attributes

  • Kurzfilm des Monats Januar 2004, Prädikat “Besonders Wertvoll” durch die Filmbewertungs­stelle Wiesbaden (FBW).
  • Freigegeben ohne Altersbeschränkung, durch die Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle der Filmwirt­schaft (FSK).
  • BERLINALE 2004: The international jury of the 27th Kinderfilmfest awards LUCIA with the Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk “Special Price for the Best Short Film” with a cash price of 2.500 €, Berlin, Germany.
  • Animago Award 2004: 2nd position in the category „Animation/Education/Shortfilm“, Stuttgart, Germany.
  • FFA „Short Tiger“ Short Film Prize 2004: nominated with 15.000 € in the category Animation.
  • „Babelsberger Medienpreis“ 2004: nominated for the best graduate-film, Babelberg, Germany.
  • „First Steps Award“: nominated for the best graduate-film, Berlin, Germany.
  • „KROK“- International Animated Film Festival, 18th-28th August 2004 in Russland: The international Jury of the 11th KROK awards LUCIA with the “Special Price for the creative search in the field of modern technologies”, Moscow, Russia.
  • „KROK“- International Animated Film Festival, 18th-28th August 2004 in Russland: The President of the selection committee Ivan Maximov, awards LUCIA with the “personal price for the best character”, Moscow, Russia.
  • BUSTER Kinderfilmfest in Kopenhagen (Denmark): The international jury presented the BUSTER short film for children award of DKK 15,000 to the German film “Lucia” by Felix Gönnert.
  • 5th Intern. Student Film Festival in Pisek (Czech) 2004: The main festival award of Václav Krška, Lucia, directed by Felix Gönnert.
  • 5th Intern. Student Film Festival in Pisek (Czech) 2004: The best work in the animated film category Lucia, directed by Felix Gönnert.
  • Brisbane International Animation Festival (Australia) 2004: Student/Debut Award for best first film as judged by a jury of Brisbane animation professionals and academics.
  • Nominated for the “Deutscher Kurzfilmpreis 2004”, Berlin, Germany.
  • 31st Int. Festival of independent Film in Brussels (Belgium) 2004: Award for Best Short Film.
  • Mention Speciale du Jury at the 15. Festival International du Court-Métrage Cergy-Pontoise (France), 15th-17th April 2005.
  • 2nd Price in the category 3D character animation award at the Animex Student Animation Awards 2005 in Teesside, Middlesbrough, Great Britain.
  • Audience award at the Festival Ciné Junior 2005 in Paris, France.
  • Special Price GOLDENER SPATZ for Innovation/besondere Einzelleistung auf dem Kinderfilmfest Gera/Erfurt (Germany) 2005, with 2.500 €.
  • Second prize in II. Festival of Young Art in Breslau, Poland.
  • XXI International Festival of Animation Cinema and Comics, Cartoon Club in Rimini (Italy): Singor Rossi Award, 1st prize among Universities and Professional Animation Schools: “Lucia”.

Film Funding

  • German Federal Film Board (FFA)

Production

Felix Gönnert
Schlegelstrasse 10
D-10115 Berlin
Germany

Tel/Fax: +49 (0)30.864 220 40
E-Mail: felix@animaflix.com

Co-Production

Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF
Abteilung I: Produktion
Marlene-Dietrich-Allee 11
D-14482 Potsdam-Babelsberg
Germany

Distribution & Festival Correspondence

Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF
Festivals / Distribution
Marlene-Dietrich-Allee 11
D-14482 Potsdam-Babelsberg
Germany

Tel: +49 (0)331.6202-564
Fax: +49 (0)331.6202-568
E-Mail: distribution@filmuniversitaet.de