Next up in our series spotlighting the animators of the Sundance Film Festival, we have Joder von Rotz, director of the trippy throwback short Little Miss Fate.
How did you become an animator?
I’ve always loved drawing, making music, and inventing stories. Animation combines these elements. I found a good education for this in the Bachelor Animation at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.
Is it something you dreamed of doing as a child?
At that time, I did not know that this was a possible profession.
What animation films or television most influenced you and your style?
My first animated movie was Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs. I was afraid of the witch and hid behind a cinema seat. I was always more interested in 2D hand-drawn animated movies. The Jungle Book is important to me but also movies like Waltz with Bashir. The Simpsons as well as Rick and Morty have certainly also contributed their part.
What was your path to getting accepted into Sundance?
With YK Animation Studio, we have been making short films together for almost 8 years now. We have gained a lot of experience and motivate each other to bring out the best in each new project. With Little Miss Fate, I could realize my first own short film – with a wonderful team behind me. And I think that’s the key to this success. 🙂
Tell us a little bit about Little Miss Fate. What was your inspiration for the short?
The idea is already old. I took it with me from my student days. Over the years, it has changed and developed further. Whereby fate was always the main topic. Can I influence my future through my current actions and or is everything “divinely” predetermined? Little Miss Fate sets out to find an answer for me. She fails in her attempt – as do I in my attempt to explain fate.
How did you come up with the visual style of the animation?
The style is based on the Riso print. This is a printing process in which the colors are mixed (overprinted). We have digitally recreated this system. It fits beautifully into the 80’s/90’s aesthetic. We came across it through comics and other print stuff. In the end, it was a graphic studio friend of ours that made it possible.
The giant tower in the short was that a nod to the Tower of Babel in the Bible?
I was looking for a connection between the “lower” and the “upper” world. So that Little Miss Fate can move between the worlds. Personally, I did not orientate myself on the Tower of Babel, but such interpretations are welcome. I always find it exciting what other people discover.
Love and sex is a big part of fate for the story instead of other aspects of life like career or family. What are you trying to say there?
I’m in my early 30s, and I’m finishing my youth with this movie. 🙂 In this time, love and sex is much more exciting than career and family. These topics I can save for later when I have gained more experience. But I also wanted to make a stimulating film – a little bit provocative. The recipe seems to work. Moreover, the animation allows for exactly this absurdity without being too much. And also very important: We had a lot of fun during the production!
Any advice for animators hoping to get to Sundance someday?
Believe in your destiny. 🙂
Thank you to Joder for taking the time to talk with us. Best of luck at the festival!
Rachel is a rottentomatoes approved film critic that has loved animation since she was a little girl belting out songs from 'The Little Mermaid'. She reviews as many films as she can each year and loves interviewing actors, directors, and anyone with an interesting story to tell. Rachel is the founder of the popular Hallmarkies Podcast, and the Rachel's Reviews podcast/youtube channel, which covers all things animated including a monthly Talking Disney and Obscure Animation show.