Well, the day is finally here! What began with the dream of two young Canadian filmmakers led to the gathering of a handful of incredibly-talented individuals and has resulted in a special little film premiering today at the Cannes Film Festival.
Four years ago, my good friend Laurie Maher was walking down a street in Toronto, Canada, when she saw an odd poster stapled onto a wall. It was a sketch of woman with the words, "Do you look like this woman? If so, call this telephone number...." Well, she did look like the sketch on the poster (I know, I saw it with my very own eyes) and she did call the telephone number.
As it turns out, two young Canadian directors, Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski, had received a grant from the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and were about to create a short stop-motion film (3-D figures that are recorded moving, one frame at a time, on film). They needed a real woman that looked like their character to help them with expressions and movement. Well, out of all the applicants, some of whom had actually cut and styled their hair and dressed the part of Lavis and Szczerbowski's character for the role, Laurie walked through the doors as herself and got the part.
For the next four years, Laurie worked for the young directors as they, along with special effects artist, Jason Walker, created the amazing world of their heroine, Madame Tutli-Putli. Everything in the film was created by hand and filmed pain-stakingly one frame at a time. Laurie became the character of Madame Tutli-Putli. She moved like Madame Tutli-Putli, expressed her face as Madame Tutli-Putli. And then something surprising happened. Somewhere along the way, the directors realized that their little doll had become something else. Like Pinocchio, Madame Tutli-Putli had been given Life. It could be seen in her eyes. They were real.
After years of hard work, the film Madame Tutli-Putli, was completed. And it's premiering today at the Cannes Film Festival! How cool is that?! Just goes to show you that with a dream and hard work, anything is possible. To see the trailer for Madame Tutli-Putli and to see and hear how the film was made, look here. To see more still images from the movie and learn more on the process of filming Madame Tutli-Putli, look here.
Images courtesy of the Madame Tutli-Putli website, copyright belongs to the directors Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski and the National Film Board of Canada.