The Facts In The Case of Mr. Valdemar was made by Bahij Jaroudi for the MA program at Kingston University. The story is based on an 1845 Edgar Allen Poe story “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar”. Traditional animated interpretations of Poe have been rooted in an illustrative tradition, a la the UPA classic The Tell-Tale Heart (1953). Jaroudi’s approach runs counter to convention, and he creates a bright and exaggerated interpretation of Poe’s story with nods to the cartooniest of animators and cartoonists like Rod Scribner and Basil Wolverton. Poe’s gory details, which at point includes a description of Valdemar’s eyes leaking a “profuse outflowing of a yellowish ichor,” are played for comic effect in Jaroudi’s short.
Bahij shared some details with us about the filmmaking process and will answer additional questions in the comments:
I think it’s important to note that I’ve always been afraid of watching horror movies, and still am, and I always close my eyes during the scary, gory parts but what I’ve discovered after making this film is that I really enjoy seeing people reacting to it. My parents said to me: we don’t understand why you would do such a film…you’re such a nice boy.
I did this film during my MA in animation at Kingston University. We were required to do a two-minute film. I was really interested in doing my own interpretation of an Edgar Allan Poe short story, and I kept coming back to “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” ( amazing title, don’t you think?)
So, for me, the difficulty was the time restriction, and trying to condense the story, while keeping the beauty of Edgar Allan Poe’s prose and adding my own touch to it; hence the idea of adding an evil black cat.
The background music is an excerpt of Astor Piazzolla’s “Soledad” and the narration is by Mr. William Tombs. (The “KAAA KAAAA” sound in the beginning was beautifully executed by myself.)
An interesting fact about “The Facts in the case of M. Valdemar”: when Edgar Allan Poe wrote it, people thought it was a true story due to the writing style of it, which resembled a scientific report!
Filmmaker Website: Bahijj.blogspot.com