"The storyboard is where you write the film in cinematic language"
by Sergio Ríos Pérez
11/01/2012 - Wrinkles [trailer, film focus] is a low-key drama about old age and Alzheimer’s syndrome centred on two old men who develop a curious friendship in a geriatric hospital. It may not be the first film with this approach, but it surely is the first to do it through animation. Its director, newcomer Ignacio Ferreras, spoke with Cineuropa about the process of adapting Paco Roca’s original comic book for the big screen.
"The major condition to my agreeing to direct Wrinkles was being able to draw the whole storyboard personally, instead of dividing up this work between several people, as is more usual in western animation. This is where you make all the decisions about editing, framing, camera movements, and the action of the characters, etc. It is where you really write the film in cinematic language. Directing an animated film above all involves drawing the storyboard and putting together the animatic".
"I avoided doing a lot of research into the subject of old age. One of the big dangers of adaptations is straying too far from the original work and too much research material can contribute to that. What really was important was trying to put myself in the place of the protagonists. Obviously, I’m not an old man and neither do I suffer from Alzheimer’s, and my ability to imagine that situation is always going to be imperfect, but even so I believe it’s possible to come close because the emotions that we feel are the same irrespective of our age".
"You can’t make a film or a comic book about old age or Alzheimer’s, unless it is always the story of some actual characters. For me, the main thing was keeping the relationship between the two protagonists, Emilio and Miguel".
"I enjoyed more or less total freedom when it came to directing the adaptation of the original graphic novel. The only limitation was keeping the run-time to about 80 minutes. And, more than a limitation, it was a salutary discipline. This freedom enabled me to develop the story in an organic way as I was drawing the storyboard, a process that took more or less a year, without me being excessively tied down to a written script".
"The main advantage of the fact that the members of the artistic and technical team worked from different places around the world is that thanks to that, we were able to make the film. It would have been impossible to bring everyone together in the same studio in a reasonable time frame and with the budget we had. The disadvantages? There were many. In an ideal world, you would always choose to have all the team present in the same studio, but it isn’t possible in a production with a tight budget. Above all, European animation will have to adapt more and more to this form of remote working and it is important to develop good production models and technologies that facilitate it".
"From a purely creative point of view, I would say that 2D animation is in better health than 3D, which in my opinion is somewhat a victim of its own commercial success. I think that 2D is more appropriate than 3D for dealing with more serious stories. As viewers, we respond to a graphic image in 2D in a very different way than one in 3D. It is more open to interpretation, to participation. In a sense, it needs the viewer to complete it, to put in something on their part and for that reason I think it works much better for more dramatic stories. Paradoxically, I think that it is much more realistic than 3D, that is to say, it has a much wider expressive range".