French animator Rosalie Benevello’s sweet short film, Symbiose was created as part of a “one minute-film exercise” at film school La Poudrière, in Valence, France. “The theme was bad weather, and the image that came immediately into my mind was a memory about a monsoon I saw while travelling a few months before,” says Rosalie. The animator was with a friend on an island called Koh Ta Kiev in Cambodia and it was the first time she’d seen a monsoon. The film is largely inspired by the trip, and sees two girls walk through a jungle, observing the wilderness through a camera lens instead of paying attention to the real world.
“Then the rain comes and confuses the girls and the insects. For a moment the girls feel a symbiosis with the environment and find a way out of the jungle,” explains Rosalie. “On the beach, nature offers them a beautiful moment and the girls don’t need their camera any more.”
Rosalie used stop motion animation to create the film and it’s a technique she adopts in all her work. “I like the process of creating in this style,” she says. “What I really enjoy about stop motion is creating a real scene that I can see directly on the computer as well as live in front of me.”
To animate the puppets Rosalie moved them frame by frame at a rate of 12 frames per second. “It’s really interesting to animate like this because I can’t come back. If I shoot a wrong frame, I have to animate it again,” she explains.
The charming short took around six weeks to complete and is full of wonderful, nuanced details like the rustling sound effects and the bright colours of the characters’ rain macs. “For the film I used a diverse range of materials to construct the sets; paper for the jungle, plastic for the sea, balsa wood and aluminium wire for the puppets,” she says. “The texture of the rain was made by photographing oil on a glass pane and then compositing the drops on after.”