Marilyn Myller is the 2nd short Film from BAFTA winning director Mikey Please.
Marilyn maketh. Marilyn taketh awayth.
Composing the music for Marilyn Myller
Film Production Process
Mikey Please describes the production process below:
The film was developed during a three-month residency in Japan in 2012. I started by working with some pre-existing scripts, trying to wrestle them into something that I felt confident enough to dedicate a year of my life to. But, over that time, the process of being locked in this tiny room on the 34th floor of a Tokyo skyscraper, trying to devise something earth-shattering and profoundly beautiful, became more interesting than the scripts themselves.
It’s such a weird process. I think anyone who’s ever made anything—from baking a cake to flying to the moon—can relate to that feeling of expectation and the difference, good or bad, between aspirations and what we actually end up with. So the film slowly morphed into a meditation on what it means to make something. It’s a pretty personal piece of work, it feels odd to talk about it, but I guess that’s the point and hopefully what makes it interesting.
It’s a pretty rigorously planned out affair. A lot of wonderful animation is made just by feeling your way through it in the moment, like an improvised performance. It’s called “straight ahead” animation. But in my work, which is usually more heavy on narrative, I start with a piece of prose writing. Then it needs to be put into script format, boarded, animaticed (a moving storyboard) then sometimes we’ll even roughly animate the shot first before attempting the real thing. Stop-motion is pretty time consuming and there’s no apple-z, so yeah, if you want a specific outcome, you need to plan the heck out of it before leaping in.
Everything in the film was built from naturally white materials: polystyrene, paper, plastazote, plaster, ping-pong balls, styrene and styrofoam. The most difficult aspects to model are the soft-edged, smooth rounded surfaces like the characters’ faces—it’s not what the material naturally wants to do.
The largest technical challenge was the lighting effects—trying to strike the balance between organic and animate-able. We used lots of long exposures while moving the light source, but the results tended to be very loose, and when you’re doing that frame-by-frame, it quickly becomes complete chaos. So we developed a process of using stencils and running the light sources behind them, controlling the line edge, and found it struck just the right balance of chaos and control.
Marilyn Myller Credits
Executive Produced by
Peter Medlock / Hornet Inc / Blink Ink / Mikey Please
Music composed, arranged and produced by
Beth Porter (cello, chorus)
Jools Scott (piano, chorus)
Ben Please (chorus)
Catherine Hurley – flute
Sue Lord – violin
Ian Vorley – violin
Emma Hooper – viola
James Watts – oboe
Amadou Diagne – tenor
Maria Danishvar Brown – soprano