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Negative Space: A Short Film That Explores a Father-Son Relationship Through the Art of Packing

January 24, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Presented above is the trailer for the stop-motion film Negative Space, co-directed by Baltimore-based animators Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata. The short film is an adaptation of the eponymous poem by Ron Koertge, which tells the story of a relationship between a father and son through the organized art of packing. Although both directors immediately connected with the message of the poem, the piece struck a personal chord with Kuwahata whose father had worked as an airline pilot.

“I remember my dad adjusting his watch precisely before leaving the house and I remember the packing list that he pinned to the wall of his study,” Kuwahata told Variety. “My most vivid childhood memories are connected with objects, textures, and ordinary routines.”

The directors wanted to highlight these specific textures and feelings associated with everyday objects and clothing, bringing a sense of believability to each ritualized scene. Over the course of three months Porter and Kuwahata’s team fabricated each tiny sock, shirt, and belt from the original material, ensuring an idealized portrayal of the main characters’ connection and bond over perfected packing.

The film was just nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. You can view a behind-the-scenes peek at the making of the animated short in a video by IKKI Films below, and watch trailers for the rest of the nominees on Short of the Week.

 

 

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