The sixth film in our Student Animation Festival, The Fisherman, comes to us from Ferg Brennan who produced it at the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art Design and Technology in Dublin, Ireland.

The film is an incredible piece of theater, a dark psychological drama with an exquisite monologue performed by Irish actor Diarmuid De Faoite. Brennan’s CG animation fits the narrative perfectly, and his stylized design of the lead character captures the manic despair of the lonely, lower class fisherman. It’s the acting, by both voice actor and animator, that pulls the film together–and (pardon the pun) reels the viewer totally in. The film’s sophistication stands apart with its powerful portrayal of a man facing his own madness.

Brennan (above) provided us with some background on making The Fisherman:

The thing I was most apprehensive about was working with an actor for the first time. The idea of having somebody else reading lines that I had written was intimidating, however Diarmuid made it easy for me by being so gracious and professional. The bulk of the narration is a contiguous section of the first take- he basically nailed it first time which was a huge relief. The recording happened in a makeshift sound booth constructed by some friends of mine, whose band had some audio equipment. I was nervous about the sound quality but they did a great job and we were able to create a professional atmosphere despite the fact that it all took place in a booth covered with duvets in the corner of a living room.

The story is inspired by the Irish myth of “The Salmon of Knowledge”, in which a character gains “all of the world’s knowledge” by eating a special salmon. I liked the idea of taking an idea from an old story with a uniquely Irish identity, but then completely imposing my own artistic sensibilities onto it. It was also important to me that a viewer wouldn’t have to get all the references to find the film engaging, so I tried to emphasize the character and the emotional content.

I’d be interested to hear what people think of the film, and happy to answer any questions.

Filmmaker Websites:
Check out Ferg Brennan’s personal website, his Fisherman’s blog and this link to his other films.

Cartoon Brew’s second annual Student Animation Festival is made possible through the generous support of Titmouse and JibJab.


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