“In contrast with other mediums, everything is possible in animation.”
Honey Wagon Confidential: Mythopolis and your animation have a really unique look and feel. Who are some of your biggest inspirations?
Alexandra Hetmerova: The inspiration is always changing. It depends on the film which I’m doing at that time. When I started developing the style for Mythopolis I was inspired by UPA Films. But I can say that I am big fan of Estonian animation – Olga and Priit Pärn, Kaspar Jancis, Kristjan Holm, Ülo Pikkov, and many other great Estonian directors. All of them always surprise me with new work and it’s always very smart and funny.
HWC: How did you develop your style? Did schooling assist in this or was it mostly independent?
AH: I think it’s more independent, I am trying to make every film bit differently. Michaela Pavlatová acted as a kind of mentor for Mythopolis. If I had a problem, she always helped me solve it. She is great.
HWC: How long did Mythopolis take to make? What was the moment you were most frustrated in making the short?
AH: I spend, I think half of year maybe more on script, and half a year on animation. I animated everything by myself in TV Paint, but my friends helped me with coloring. After that compositing, editing and sound, so all together one year and two months. It was a long time without any holiday, I worked most of the summer, so maybe that was the worst. But I enjoyed the work.
HWC: Did you write the script for Mythopolis as well? Where did the story line come from?
AH: When I was working on my previous film Swimming pool, [there were also two Greek mythological creatures (Centaur and Mermaid)], I found out that Medusa has potential to be a great hero for some other film. After that I started to write a story about her. But it wasn’t very good-not until I added more creatures. All of them have characteristics which fit perfectly into the final story.
HWC: Your characters all play distinctively different roles. How did you ensure each character was so different?
AH: All the characters in the film are from Greek mythology. I tried to mix together their known stories and transform their characteristics and how their lives would look like in the context of the world today.
HWC: Why did you choose animation as a medium?
AH: Since childhood I’ve loved reading fiction stories. I admire all who are able to write literature.Before FAMU I studied graphic design in high school. I enjoyed traditional print graphic technics, but then I started experimenting with animation. I fell in love with it. I’m not so good at writing but through animation I can tell stories without any words; just with pictures and movements. I adore creating stories for animation.
HWC: Do you think animation offers something other mediums do not?
AH: In contrast with other mediums, everything is possible in animation.
Check out more of Alexandra’s work here!