“B is for Ben” is my third short film and second in the “The Mellifluous Peculiars” short film series I am working on.
It is a story about Ben who is having problems getting back to his spaceship on a stranded desert planet. The idea rose from a simple sketch I made in my sketchbook a few years ago. It was a very crude sketch of a spaceship with long legs and an astronaut. And I thought what if the astronaut miscalculated how tall the spaceship was and had trouble getting back in?
I never wanted him to be too mad at his situation, he simply wants to solve his problem. In time he became a naive astronaut with elements of overconfidence which leads to nothing but trouble when he tries getting back into his spaceship. I always start designing a character in terms of how it fits into a story. Ben has trouble getting into his tall spaceship. I thought that his design should reflect that by making it obvious. He would have short legs and an outfit that would rather limit than help him. This plays contrast to the tall spaceship and I love it when there’s some contrast in design as well.
In terms of the overall design, I wanted the film to be of simple shapes. The environment is basically just squares and triangles. Details are mostly simplified or suggested rather than shown. Mountains and rocks are basically just a few planes, so they are quite easy to read. While in my previous film “A is for Al….” sets are full of details, the set in “B is for Ben” is quite the opposite and it is more about the absence of details. The production started in early 2019 and most of 2019 were spent on design and building the set, props, and character. By the end of 2019, I started animating the film and for the next few months, I worked on animating and rendering the film. In May 2020 the film was finished.