We took some time out with the creative artists from this issue of Waylines. Through their own words, find out the story behind their stories.

Bjorn Aschim
CO-DIRECTOR OF "EVERYTHING
I CAN SEE FROM HERE"



What was your goal with Everything I Can See From Here?

I don't think there was ever a specific goal from the outset. I think the major drive was for us to finally just make something together. We'd been studying and working together for many years on various longer bigger productions and we'd always talk about doing something in our spare time. As I (Bjorn) got back from a sabbatical in Asia we both rented a desk together in a studio in London and started working on the storyboards. The story went through various incarnations. The spaceship was as big as a mountain at one point, the alien was chasing the kid through the town and the stick used to be a cricket bat.

We thought the imagery in Everything I Can See From Here was striking. What inspired some of these beautiful designs and backdrops?

Drab british suburban townscapes and old post-industrial mining towns with gigantic slag heaps littering the landscape. These sad places that once were thriving cities but now just sad places full of council estate type buildings and abandoned factories and
houses. Perhaps there is a slight absurd romanticism about these places as I think we both spent some time growing up in these types of environments. For me it was definitely an environment I was familiar with from my childhood. (Although I didn't grow up in the UK) Someone made the comment about how the film feels like it takes place in that nowhere land right before you get called in for supper when you're a kid. That's a pretty good description of what we were trying to go for.

What was involved in achieving such fluid animation? We'd love to hear some technical details. How long did all this take?

The animation was all done by hand by us and by our friends. We didn't rotoscope or use 3D except on the aliens head. We were very lucky to get some amazingly talented animators to help us out with certain scenes. It was all people we had met through different jobs and who we'd studied with throughout the years. They all did this in their own spare time. The animation took the best part of about a year I think. It was a challenging and long process that really nearly killed us at one point. There are long scenes that goes on for several minutes with all the three characters in full view for most of the duration. Choreographing and timing this is insanely hard. It is not something we're very keen on doing again.

What are your plans for the future?

We're just starting our new studio (The Line) and we're hoping to continue working on some of our ideas once we've recouped some of the costs of making the film. We're excited about where we might be going but we're keeping our minds open to anything at the moment.

WE HAVE LOADS MORE WE ASKED BJORN. FOR THE COMPLETE INTERVIEW, PLEASE CHECK OUT WAYLINES DIGITAL DOWNLOAD EDITION.

Kate Heartfield
AUTHOR OF "WORD FOR WORD"

How did you come up with “Word for Word?” What stages did you go through in the process of getting the idea down?

As often happens, I was thinking about several things at once and they synthesized into this story. Pandora’s box was one of those things. Typewriters were another. I also had an itch to write a story about an object with unexplained power. The emotional thread of the story only became clear in the later drafts.

You're a journalist on The Ottawa Citizen. How has that experience impacted on your fiction writing, or vice-versa?

I’m used to editing and being edited, and I’m used to writing quickly to deadline, and both of those habits help when I’m writing fiction late at night, after I put my kid to bed. My day job probably also explains why I tackle research with enthusiasm – too much enthusiasm, sometimes. I learned a fair bit about early typewriters when I was researching “Word for Word” and it boiled down to a phrase or two of description. I’m currently working on a fantasy novel set in 18th century London, which has required a lot of fun research.
  Kate Heartfield at Waylines
What are you working on at the moment? Where can our readers find more Kate Heartfield?

I blog about my writing life at heartfieldfiction.wordpress.com. My story “A Pair of Ragged Claws”, about giant sentient scorpions in a nightclub, appeared recently in Black Treacle. The Aurora-nominated anthology Blood and Water contains my near-future science fiction story “We Take Care of Our Own." Daily Science Fiction will publish my slipstream story “For Sale by Owner” soon, probably in May or June. I’ll be at Can-Con in Ottawa in October 2013, and Worldcon in London in August 2014. I’m on Twitter as @kateheartfield.

WE HAVE LOADS MORE WE ASKED KATE. FOR THE COMPLETE INTERVIEW, PLEASE CHECK OUT WAYLINES DIGITAL DOWNLOAD EDITION.

Leena Likitalo
AUTHOR OF "THE HORSES UNDER HER SKIN"
How did you come up with “The Horses Under Her Skin? What stages did you go through in the process of getting the idea down?

First, as always, there was a pile of completely unrelated ideas: transformations in a sauna, tattooed spirit animals, love that couldn’t and shouldn’t be. For a long time, the story was hanging just out of my reach, waiting for the right characters to step forth. Then, last summer, a friend of mine sent me a link about a grave find in Siberia. The pieces clicked together so forcefully, that I spent the next two days typing furiously to bring to life The Horses Under Her Skin. I loved the story blindly well before its current incarnation - I owe huge thanks for D and D for helping me to bring the story to its full potential.

Your first English language short story publication was in the last issue of Weird Tales that was edited by Ann Vandermeer. How exciting was the experience?

Exhilarating! I had been writing in English for only a few months when I heard that the Vandermeers was coming to Finland. I couldn’t
  Leena Likitalo at Waylines Magazine
believe my luck when I found out that I could actually participate in their workshop. What topped all my expectations was that the story I wrote in the workshop became my first ever sale. I’m very fortunate to have met such super encouraging people as Ann and Jeff.

What are you working on at the moment? Where can our readers find more Leena Likitalo?

I’m happy to tell that I’ve recently finished the first part of my YA fantasy trilogy. Silverwing tells the tale of an innocently self-centered lady who, after a scandalous engagement lasting only one night, is willing to do anything to regain her social standing. Lots of catfights and dark twists ensue.

While I’m knee-deep in the query process, I ease my nerves by writing short stories. After polishing, polishing, and polishing a full-length novel, short stories feel blessedly easy to work with. My short stories Watcher and Bird in a Cage can also be read online.

WE HAVE LOADS MORE WE ASKED LEENA. FOR THE COMPLETE INTERVIEW, PLEASE CHECK OUT WAYLINES DIGITAL DOWNLOAD EDITION.

Victoria Mather
DIRECTOR OF "STANLEY PICKLE"
What was the inspiration behind Stanley Pickle, the story behind the story?

The Inspiration behind the story came from things I was scribbling in my sketchbook, animation tests I had been doing at university. Moments when I was sitting at the dinner table looking at my folks slowly getting older, starting to ‘malfunction.’ I found myself asking the questions: Is this really what life has to offer? Is this my future’s impending doom? Does love really exist? Is this real? Am I alive? You know, the typical melodrama of spending too much time indoors on a Friday night.

We heard you are also an illustrator/photographer. How does that affect you film making? Vice versa, does your film making affect those processes as well?

They all feed in to each other, the more I do, the more I learn. Illustrating runs in my family and I absolutely love drawing, designing and storyboarding. I greatly admire other illustrators too and love collecting prints and original artworks.
 
How big of a crew did it take to achieve Stanley Pickle? Are there any juicy production tales you'd like to talk about?

I think we had roughly 60 people involved for the whole thing. I spent a week doing washing up on Fantastic Mr. Fox with the intention of crewing up for my grad film since I knew they were finishing production just as I was starting. I was lucky enough to get First AD Ben Barrowman and Animator Andy Biddle involved -- such great people!

What are you currently working on?

I just finished a short film entitled ‘Humbug’ – it’s my first go at non animated live action, directing children and working with animals. We shot the whole thing in just one day and the full turnaround from initial idea (not even script) to final delivery was 2 weeks. There was a teeny tiny budget for art dept but the rest was a labour of love. The film was made in response to the brief ‘Stripes’ and was screening in an art exhibition in the East End of London. I launched the film online a few days ago- check it out here.

WE HAVE LOADS MORE WE ASKED VICTORIA. FOR THE COMPLETE INTERVIEW, PLEASE CHECK OUT WAYLINES DIGITAL DOWNLOAD EDITION.

Sam Taylor
CO-DIRECTOR OF "EVERYTHING
I CAN SEE FROM HERE"
What was the inspiration behind Everything I Can See From Here, the story behind the story?

The story was a brought together from a bunch of different drawings, ideas and sketches that we had collected over the years. We wanted to do something that felt quite realistic and kitchen-sink, something with the depressing-grimy quality of say Kes, but with a silly and anarchic edge to it. We wanted it to feel distinctively British. We've always had these two young characters popping up in various incarnations in different stories but they seemed to finally work as we brought the alien character element into it.

The aspect ratio is quite unusual for this film, but it frames the imagery in a powerful way. What made you decide to do this?

It was an idea that came to us right at the end of boarding
the film which meant we had to re-board the entire film from scratch to take advantage of the tall format. Most of the action happens in the vertical axis and I think it compliments the story well. We also had in mind how these type of films are being watched these days. Most people find these films online and sometimes they are watching them on different devices like iphones and tablets. Featuring this film on TV or in the cinema was never really something we intended so it free'd us up to use whatever format we wanted. Watching it on an ipad is quite an interesting experience, it feels "closer" somehow, something I think we had never really seen before. Like a cross between a comic and a film.

What are you currently working on?

We've got several different projects in the pipeline but at the moment we're more concerned about the funding needed for them to go ahead. Making animation is a long and drawn out (no pun) process and we've got to be able to keep our heads above water if we're to focus on it 100%.

WE HAVE LOADS MORE WE ASKED MATT. FOR THE COMPLETE INTERVIEW, PLEASE CHECK OUT WAYLINES DIGITAL DOWNLOAD EDITION.

Evan Viera
WRITER/DIRECTOR OF "CALDERA"
What was the inspiration behind CALDERA, the story behind the story?

CALDERA is inspired by my father's struggle with schizoaffective disorder. In states of delusion, my father has danced on the rings of Saturn, spoken with angels, and fled from his demons. He has lived both a fantastical and haunting life, but one that's invisible to the most of us. In our differing understanding of reality, we blindly mandate his medication, assimilate him to our marginalizing culture, and entirely misinterpret him for all he is worth. CALDERA aims to not only venerate my father, but all brilliant minds forged in the haunted depths of psychosis.

What was involved in achieving such striking animation? We'd love to hear some technical details. How long did all this take?

Oh nothing but time and energy. There are no secrets to how we made CALDERA. We used standard tools in relatively simple ways, there was nothing special about the process. CALDERA was made in just over 2.5 years.
Why do you want to tell visual stories? Why did you become a filmmaker?

Well, I was never a strong reader and always gravitated towards movie, tv, and comic books. As a kid I spent hours in the bookstore scanning the covers of scifi and fantasy books. I distinctly remember wishing I could live on those worlds. I also loved to stay up very late watching the terrible but awesome movies on the Scifi channel. That was my genesis, shitawesome Scifi.

What are you currently working on?

In the next month I’ll be starting a project about the cosmos. Unfortunately that’s all I can say about it!

WE HAVE LOADS MORE WE ASKED EVAN. FOR THE COMPLETE INTERVIEW, PLEASE CHECK OUT WAYLINES DIGITAL DOWNLOAD EDITION.