Director: CHRIS LAVIS AND MACIEK SZCZERBOWSKI
Madame Tutli-Putli boards the night train with all her worldly possessions. As she drifts into sleep, strange sights start to appear, and Madame Tutli-Putli’s trip takes a nightmarish turn for the worse.
Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski spent the best part of a month on a train in order to prepare themselves for making Madame Tutli-Putli,. They wanted to discover ‘the distinct rhythm of travel that would authenticate [her] journey and spent time studying how the changing light moved across traveller’s faces.
They then spent four years making the film and, with special affects artist Jason Walker, pioneered a whole new production process:
‘One of the most important creative issues [of the film] was how to bring human emotion and expressiveness to stop-motion puppets. In the end, the solution arose when Jason tested the tracking and re-timing of live action human eyes onto a stop-motion scene.’
Different human actors were used for almost all of the puppets and making the film was a painstaking process that involved shooting a human actor's corresponding "eye performance" to match each puppet move.
The resulting film is in equal measure as remarkable, surreal and moving. It won 36 awards and was nominated for an Oscar.
Commentary by Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski
Film courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada