Timeless Awards: Would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself?
Kinga Syrek: I was born in Kraków, then I lived for years in Tarnów where I graduated from an art high school. Later, I become a student at the Intermedia faculty at Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków.” Too Late” – the first animated film about Edie Sedgwick and my first film was actually my Master’s Degree project. Currently, I am a PhD candidate at the same academy working on the project entitled: "Immersion in an animated film”, in which I am transferring a classic film” The Roll-Call” by famous Polish animation master - Ryszard Czekała, to a VR environment.
TA: Your film has been awarded in the Best of Memory category. So first, I need to ask you about it. What is your reflection about Memory? How does the theme of Memory translate into your work?
KS: ” Too Late” is a tribute to Edie Sedgwick for the 50th anniversary of her death. I wanted her to be remembered. Her memory lives on… just like Robert Margouleff said. I was lucky enough to work with him. He produced the soundtrack for my film. I feel very honored because Robert was a coproducer of Ciao! Manhattan (the last Edie Sedgwick film). Edie lived with him after the Chelsea Hotel fire. Furthermore, he is a Grammy award winner for his work with Motown superstar Stevie Wonder!
TA: Why did you come up with an idea of making a film about Edie Sedgwick? What is so special about her?
KS: She is almost like a mythological figure. She is an enigma. Edie had that unique je ne se quoi quality and aura that surrounded her. She IS timeless. She was incredibly talented. All of these aspects make her very special, plus the glare in her eyes and her smile that almost literally did light up the room. Also, her life story is like a ready film script.
TA: I feel like I need to ask you about inspirations.
KS: I when it comes to characters, I was highly inspired by Lotte Reiniger, who was a pioneer in animated feature films. She is well-known from black silhouette characters, but in my film, they have different colors, which symbolize their role in the film. I made background the way I often draw - academic pencil drawings with the ink touch. The black ink gives lightness to the drawings. Actually, Edie Sedgwick liked to draw in a similar way - often very detailed, realistic pencil drawings. That’s what we have in common. She came from a wealthy family with deep roots in colonial America. They had class. They liked English design. I think that drawings that I have made accurately represent this. Some of the scenes were inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Alice: Through the Looking-Glass - I think the audience will easily recognize which ones I reference. I was also inspired by ballet classics. I used reference films from ballet performances to animate Edie’s butterfly movement.
TA: Not only artistically classy, but your film is also perfectly executed – from a production and postproduction point of view. Can you tell us a bit more about development process? So, would you like to share your creative process with us?
KS: The film’s scenes were animated in Cinema4D and Adobe After Effects. First, I prepared drawings in sketchbooks. I used pencils and black ink. I photographed them and edited in Procreate - an app for digital painting. I had to erase a white background around the drawings. When the. pngs were ready, I imported them to the software. That’s how made a scenography for the film. Some decoration is flat and some was projected on the 3D objects. Then, I animated the characters, which were drawn in the software. Sometimes I used pre-recorded reference videos for animation.
TA: What equipment did you use for filming? Or, better to say, for shooting?
KS: The scenes were shot in Cinema4D or Adobe After Effects by using a camera tool.
TA: And postproduction? What tools did you use?
KS: For postproduction I used Adobe After Effects and DaVinci Resolve, but honestly, I tried to make scenes look good even before postproduction. Some of them didn’t even need to be visually improved.
TA: Can we see your film somewhere? Is it available online?
KS: Currently it is not available due to the film festivals regulations, but as soon as it becomes available, I will post on the film’s Instagram page: @toolateshortfilm and on my website kingasyrek.com.