What is the Meaning of Life?
Ever wanted to know what the meaning of your existence is? Well join the queue. One man who’s desperate for the answer is the King at the heart of ‘Planemah‘ this trippy, charming little animation with a rocking soundtrack from Berlin based German film-maker Jakob Schmidt. It follows the King as he asks big questions about the Universe and struggles to find answers, triggering … actually maybe just check it out for yourselves. We caught up with the films creator Jakob Schmidt for a quick chat about it’s making and what kind of mind it takes to conceive something like this.
The MALESTROM: Tell us about yourself?
Jakob Schmidt: I’m a 26 year old motion designer currently working and living in Berlin, infected by music and animation.
TM: How did you get involved in animation?
JS: My former neighbour introduced me to that stuff. She studied Animation and showed me her first works. I was stoked by the idea of bringing illustrations to life.
TM: Tell us about the process of making a short?
JS: If its a one head production its quite a tough process because it lasts a long time from first sketches to the final piece. It depends a bit on the film’s length and the technique, but a lousy 5 minutes can mean a lot of work ha ha.
TM: Who are your heroes in the field?
JS: All time heroes for me are Galen Pehrson and Chad van Gaalen. I love the imaginative and dark worlds both artists create.
TM: What’s most challenging about making animation?
JS: Timing and a feeling for the speed I guess.
TM: Is it quite isolating work?
JS: I would call it a meditative work in a positive sense. I mean you are working the most time for yourself, but drawing while listening to music is one of the best things to calm down and to relax for me. Beside of that I met a lot of wonderful people because of doing animation. Its isolation in my own fascinating cosmos.
TM: Where did the idea for the film come from?
JS: The Idea came from a lot of fragments I had in my mind. I was intrigued by the idea of a protagonist who is seeking for ‘something‘ until he figures out that the answer to his question is inside of himself. I tried to put that common theme into an uncommon and strange new context. I hope I succeeded.
TM: Did you draw any inspirations from your environment in Germany?
JS: Not really. I am not even sure if the story is settled on planet earth. I tried to create a setting reminiscent of the trippy worlds of a nightmare.
TM: What were you trying to get your audience to think about when they watched your film?
JS: I guess there are different ways you can understand the film and different ways you can find yourself in the story. For me the story is a short statement about the human tendency for self-indulgence and failing.
TM: What do you think is the meaning of life?
JS: I am still searching for my definition
TM: What’s next for you creatively?
JS: I am planning a new short film at the moment and I am looking for a bigger team for a more elaborate project. I would love to collaborate with some artists and make a music video, a challenge that would be quite new for me.