Written by on Jul 22, 2014. Posted in Production News

Directing duo Norman Bates produce Birth short for Young Director Award

Belgian directing duo Norman Bates produced a short entitled Birth, which was used as the ident for this year’s Young Director Award (YDA) ceremony in Cannes. The short film takes the point of view of a baby as it’s born, with the doctors revealing it’s filming its own journey.

“Our main challenge was to give the film and the whole [birthing] process a certain amount of realism, although we kind of pushed the limits to dramatise the birth and the dimensions of the womb a little bit,” explained the directing duo.

“But we felt that this film really asked for an organic approach. We wanted to be able to experiment while shooting because this leaves room for ‘happy accidents’. So we decided to avoid a complex CGI process and to recreate the whole organic world for real in a water basin.

“We had the honour to team up with Jean-Christophe Spadaccini, a special effects make-up artist and model maker who worked on films like The Bourne Identity, The City of Lost Children, Amélie and Delicatessen. Not only is he an amazing artist - he is probably one of the sweetest guys in the world.”

The spot was designed to look like a single shot, although there were a few cuts that were smoothed over in post-production.

“It felt like this subjective experience of the baby would work best when it became a real time experience in one single camera move,” added the directors: “We all agreed upon that, but from an idea on paper to actually doing it was quite a challenge.”

Client: Young Director Award
Agency: BETC Paris
Production Company: Standard Films
Producer: Julien Pasquier
Director of Photography: Arnaud Potier
Directors: Norman Bates

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