The following is an interview with directors Yasmine Bresson and Maxime Le Chapelain regarding the recent release of their short film, I Am a Pebble. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Bresson and Le Chapelain about the creative process of bringing the story to life, how the film may impact and connect with viewers, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the recent release of I Am a Pebble! For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you tell us about its premise, and what inspired you to bring this incredible story to life?
Yasmine Bresson and Maxime Le Chapelain: Everything started with a simple note on an otter playing with a pebble that she considers her equal, and also the rivers in my countryside that I love for their calm and all those mossy stones. Then, while discussing with Yasmine this pebble became a family of pebbles and thus, we turned around questions of identity, how familiarity and compassion can appear anywhere, even with a simple pebble.
BD: What can you tell us about your shared creative process as co-directors of the film, and what – if any – challenges did you face in incorporating such an incredible technical rendering process?
YB/MLC: From the first day of pre-production, we talked about the needs of the film and our individual preferences, in order to distribute the roles and responsibilities and so the whole making of the film was based on constructive discussions, we were keen to keep a good atmosphere and to be attentive to each other, with the aim of building the best possible film for all of us. All this made it possible to have consistency throughout the project, at every level, as each shot was the result of the work of the whole team.
When we started, we didn’t even know if we could get this render in 3D, but we wanted to try. The main challenge here was to make it work in movement without brush strokes flickering everywhere and thanks to the long lasting work of Léo Coulombier and a few constraints like minimal camera movements and animation on two’s; we could handle this.
BD: I Am a Pebble has had incredible success on the film festival circuit. What has been your experience in sharing this story with viewers and seeing such a positive response to the narrative?
YB/MLC: We are really happy that our story connects with people! We put so much love in our characters and we are very attached to them. From Bubble and the Pebbles to each little insect, each of them has a unique story and a personal narrative arc. We tried to tell their story in the best possible way, and now they travel around the world and meet people, and we are deeply touched.
BD: What do you hope that viewers will take away from the film, and what makes film such an important medium through which to connect with other characters and their stories?
YB/MLC: We hope that they will be able to find a beautiful way of looking around them, to find warmth in sad stories and a desire to be careful to life, to nature, to themselves and others in their changing, complex and contradictory nature and all they can express.
Film allows you to be very expressive without a word, just through staging and editing, the relationships between each shot help to create relationships with anything, even pebbles in our case.
BD: Are there any other upcoming films or projects that you would care to share with our readers?
YB/MLC: It may be quite early to answer this one. Today, we are working in various studios or personal projects and we can’t show much for now.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about I Am a Pebble and your other projects?
YB/MLC: You can visit our website (imapebble.com) or Instagram (@caillou_movie) to see more pre-production work or making of content and also go outside and take a look at pebbles sometimes; they might be more than you think!