The Sweet Life (Ireland) by Dublin based animator Maureen Walshe, tells the story of an unsuspecting young boy who enters a sweet shop and inadvertently changes the lives of everyone around him for the better.
Maureen tells us that it had been difficult at college year during the making of this animation piece:
“[It’s] so nice to finally hear nice things…such things were said as:
“Your film idea makes me cringe”
“There’s nothing workable about this story. two stories cant work. you’ve to pick one or the other. Best to just do another idea”
“You’re ramming too much emotion in 3 minutes. It doesnt work at all”.
Your lovely email and acceptance into your festival has more than helped me feel better! :)
I created my short story The Sweet Life while completing my final year in the Animation course in Ballyfermot College of Further Education, in Dublin, Ireland. My strengths in design aren’t great, so I decided to make things easier for myself, by choosing a style I’d find easiest to create, which is cute and colourful, my favourite. :) Unfortunately, I also love strong emotion driven narrative/stories that really affect people in a positive way. I didn’t just want to make a “pretty” or “funny” short,
I wanted to make people “feel”, and I hope I’ve achieved that.
Some people in the class made films that simply represented their strengths, in order to secure work, but I simply wanted to make a film I was proud of, and hopefully work opportunities would come from that.
Combining cute and colour with “emotional” was always going to be tricky, but what I did know was I wanted to involve a child like element (to accompany my style, and also because I’ve become an aunt several times in the past 7 years, and find kids have a unique ability to melt away your problems by entertaining you with their uniquely naive and wonderful insight on life). Kids have a wonderful way of helping us adults forget our problems and remember to focus on the simpler things in life. Though the child in my short technically has the most reason to be sad, as he has lost his dad, hasn’t a penny to his name, he is unable to get a gift for his mum, and then on top of that he loses his bear (which, though not told in the short, was the last gift he received from his dad). Yet he still remains hopeful, and through this contagious hope, he helps the shop keeper remember who he used to be, a happier man full of love… and his kindness to the child, is paid forward, by indirectly bringing friendship back into his life through the child’s mum.
The Sweet Life (Ireland)