Brazilian filmmaker Daniel Ferreira won the best animation short award this week at the Palm Springs International ShortFest for Los Rosales. The film has a steampunk aesthetic that the filmmaker created using cardboard and used computer parts. He taught himself how to make twisted aluminum wire sculptures by watching videos on the Internet.
The filmmaker began the project as a music video for musician and composer Jhon William Castaño Montoya, a fellow resident at Treviso, Italy–based creative research center Fabrica. But he reacted to the music on such an emotional level that he ended up using the soundtrack as a vehicle to tell a surprisingly poetic story of a solitary robot in a post-apocalyptic sweatshop who labors among wheels and cogs to produce a monthly rose—rendered from masking tape, paint, and wire. Each month he devours the flower of his labors as a means to survive, until the machinery of his life breaks down and he has to face his fears of the unknown.
The robot in question has a surprisingly humanistic feel for such a rudimentarily fabricated prop. In the following making-of video, Ferreira says that “the more I humanized him, the more of a robot I became myself,” due to the technical challenges of collaborating with musicians, video-makers, sound editors, and others to perfect the more than 21,000 frames in the nine-minute film.
“Animating is [paradoxical],” the filmmaker says. “You need to be fast enough to establish a rhythm—[especially] with multiple moves with different times—and, yet slow enough to get the right flow of movement, so that it looks and feels natural.”
Check out Los Rosales below: