“Love, Death & Robots”, the much-awaited animation anthology, has finally landed on Netflix. Platige Image contributed to the series by creating one of the shorts – “Fish Night”.
Platige Image was one of a number of studios involved in this brand-new Netflix series, making the episode called “Fish Night”. This 8-minute animation was directed by Damian Nenow and is another big title in his portfolio which already includes the highly-acclaimed “Paths of Hate”, “The City Of Ruins” and “Another Day Of Life”, which won a European Film Award for Best European Animated Feature Film of 2018 and a Goya Award 2019 for Best Animated Film. He is also the man behind the impressive game cinematics for “Watch Dogs 2”, “Skull & Bones” and “Crossfire HD”.
The Netflix film created by the Platige Image team is based on a short story by Joe R. Lansdale. The author himself, with 45 novels and 30 collections of short stories to his name, claims that “Fish Night” is one of the most pivotal stories in his career. The script was adapted by screenwriter Philip Gelatt.
“Love, Death & Robots” is very rebellious project. I’m glad that I could be the part of it with the team of artists from all over the world. The team was numerous and harmonious as well. We recalled the moments when we were gathering at the huge conference rooms to show the following stages of our work. We didn’t compete at all, instead of it – we were truly interested in what our friends created. (Damian Nenow, the director of “Fish Night”)
“Fish Night” stands out from the rest of “Love, Death + Robots” with its intimacy. From this reason, the stylization was quite a challenge and we had to put in the magic of colour. Each scene has a harmonious, carefully-selected colour palette. There are warm tones at the beginning so the audience can feel the heat of the desert on their own skin. Then the temperature of the colours drops, but in a way that befits animation, which always has the power to surprise. The cold night is not limited to cold tones – and soon a frenzy of colour appears in the sky. (Rafał Wojtunik, art director)
Literature has always had a great impact on my life, since early childhood. I remember vividly scouring every corner of town in my search for books and comics. I treated them as little adventures as I went hunting for fantastic stories, beyond the knowledge of adults. The most worshiped thing for collectors back then was Relax – it always got me excited. It was our ‘Heavy Metal’. I remember most of the stories even till today. (Zicz, producer)
When I first heard about the series “Love, Death and Robots” I fell in love with the idea. I knew that many major companies worldwide would be involved and that it would bond people from the CG community. I knew that the series would contain bold, unique, beautiful stories aimed at adults but which also crossed genre boundaries. I fell in love with the story we were tasked with doing – “Fish Night” – which was the calmest, most spiritual and magical one that allowed us to spread our wings creatively on the visual side of the project. As the production manager, I had on board the most talented team of artists from Platige Image. And the cherry on top was the fact that our direct client – Blur – was always open to artistic discussions, and always prepared with all the answers in a very calm and professional way.
Right now, I can only say that the CG community is going crazy about this series. Everywhere I go, I meet people involved in animation who ask me: “Did you hear about that new series on Netflix? It’s awesome.” They all have their own favourite stories and for everybody it’s a different one. So I can only smile and say that I am incredibly proud to have been part of that project. Thank you, Netflix, for making it happen. (Urszula Łuczak, Line Producer)
Working for such wonderful international artists was a huge distinction, an enormous pleasure and a great honour. I had to carry the viewer emotionally through this beautiful and mysterious world. The final effect is spine-tingling. (Paweł Górniak, composer)
Fish Night is such a strange, mysterious and wondrous story. The first draft was, I recall, too short and mysterious, the second draft too wordy and explanatory. Probably the third or fourth was the one that moved forward. The pieces in LDR that focus on wonderment, deep strangeness, and awe are among my favorite but also the trickiest to script. Fish Night for sure is a piece that has stuck with me since I wrote it and will probably stick with me for a long time. (Philip Gelatt, the screenwriter)
Working on “Fish Night” was time-consuming and extremely laborious. The advanced animation didn’t allow us to omit any detail and we really had to focus as intensively as possible.
Hundreds of hours in the sound studio, coordination of the sound mixing and editing work, supporting the materials logistics, organising meetings with the producers, director and composer – those were just some of the tasks for the sound producer in this project. The most pleasant part was being able to listen to the sounds, check the progress and evaluate whether our SFX aroused the right emotions and feelings to make the final effect as spectacular as possible. (Sabina Pająk-Maciaś, sound producer)
Our main task was to bring to life every tiniest detail from the animation – from the subtle sounds of steps and clothes, even a whole desert, through the humming high voltage wires and an engine breaking down, to the awe and magic of the underwater world in the second part of the film. It was a pleasure to invent the sound of an incandescent light bulb and bottle being thrown away. The most time-consuming thing was finding the sound of dices rolling on the mask of a car. Eventually, we had to use a microwave for that. (Wojciech Chołaściński, Platige Sound)
I dealt with the shading, lighting, rendering and compositing in order to create the look designed by our art director.
The biggest challenge here was to take control over the chiaroscuro edges, especially in the night scene where all the fish were a moving source of light. The greatest pleasure, though, was searching for a harmonious, coherent though still simple, colour palette for each of the scenes. (Agata Wacławiak-Pączkowska, Lead Look Development)
We all have nothing but great memories from this project. My role was to create the ‘drawn’ aspects of the look (we call it ‘digital ink’ in reference to the techniques used in comic books). I took advantage of the tools we had developed for “Another Day Of Life” – but here, for “Fish Night”, we managed to put them on a higher level and adapt them better for our needs. Then we had the pretty laborious artistic job of determining the line thickness, getting the right drawing of the faces, hands and clothes, all obviously while still making sure the whole look was correct. The project was a mixture of artistic and technical challenges and that aspect made it even more attractive for us as artists. (Kamil Murzyn, Lead Digital Ink)
The render wrangler’s role is quite discreet – mostly it is about supervising and optimising the creation of the picture from the point of view of the equipment. Working on “Fish Night” was very personal for me, as I’m a geologist and paleontologist by education, so watching a prehistoric cemetery come to life frame by frame was incredible and extremely rewarding! (Piotr Szczepaniak, render wrangler)
“LOVE, DEATH & ROBOTS”
“Love, Death & Robots” consists of 18 short, animated adult-oriented stories. The whole anthology is a collection of films created using various animation techniques – from traditional 2D to photorealistic CG – and incorporating a variety of film genres such as science-fiction, fantasy, horror and comedy. Each episode in “Love, Death & Robots” was created by a different team of artists.
It’s not only the scale of the project that is impressive, but also the names of the men behind the concept. “Love, Death & Robots” was created by David Fincher (director of “Seven”, “Fight Club”, “The Social Network” and Netflix’s “House of Cards” series) and Tim Miller (director of “Deadpool” and “Terminator 6”).