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7th June 2013
West of the Moon
Title of film: West of the Moon
Director: Brent Bonacorso
Production Company: Collaboration Factory
Brent Bonacorso talks about the making of his short film based on hundreds of children's dreams that has become a festival favourite

Bit of background please – Where are you based? Did you go to film school or did you learn on the job?

I studied graphic design and then did time in the advertising world way back when. I’m currently based in Venice, California.

Please tell us about writing the narrative – how did the idea come about, did you write or sketch out your ideas?

I was interested in children’s dreams, and how they may differ from those of adults (who have many more years of context and memories to draw from).

Through the magic of Google, I found Roger Omar, who’s been interviewing children about their dreams for years. Nothing subjective, no guidance or questions – just accounts of the dreams themselves. Some are one sentence, others are many pages. He’s had hundreds of artists illustrate them for his project Elmonstruodecoloresnotieneboca – you can see the illustrations on his Flickr page

He was kind enough to send me a huge manuscript of dreams, and as I read through them they started to meld together with some of my thoughts and experiences with the strange nature of dreams… and a story emerged.

Was it a personal project and did you spend every spare moment you had working on it?

Quite personal- I fit it in between other (paying) projects.

Where and how did you come to grips with vfx and animation?

It’s something that I’ve always been interested in. At some point I found that the tools I was using for graphic design could easily translate into moving pictures, and it’s something I began doing in my spare time. Eventually it became what I do full time.

What’s your favourite piece of software kit?

Adobe After Effects.

Did you storyboard the live action in detail?

I always storyboard everything. It forces you to edit the project shot by shot in your head before you go near the set, which ends up shaping the way you think about it and shoot it.

Was it a collaborative project?

People will throw in and do favors if they like your project and you keep a collaborative approach. Monkeys don’t budge on their rates.

Credits

Written, Directed, & Animated by Brent Bonacorso

Produced by Thom Fennessey

Cinematography by Tarin Anderson

Music by Devotchka

Production by Collaboration Factory