LÉOPOLD DEWOLF : DO YOU EVER GO BY THE NAME WOLFMAN?
BRAIN WASH first heard about filmmaker Léopold Dewolf through grapevine whispers of a young animation genius, so back in February 2010 we tracked him down and screened his stop motion debut The Runaway at Brain Wash Three. Since then we’ve learnt the following about Léo: he’s enthusiastic about film, very hard working and French. We also like to believe that Dewolf is a werewolf.
Hi Léo! Can you tell us a bit about The Runaway?
It's a story about a woman, a modest employee of a button factory in Lisbon, who, while watching her husband sleeping in their suburban, crappy flat one morning, simply decides to get the hell out of there.
I was really unconscious of what I was getting myself into when I started making it. It's a stop motion film, and I began working on it in junior high school, at the age of 14. Because of the amount of models, my studies, and also simply because animation is a long process, it took me nearly four years to achieve.
This short, like most of the others I made, talks about a theme I am really attached to; the desire to change your life. This is also one of the main themes of my favourite film, “The Beat That My Heart Skipped” by Jacques Audiard. This film had and still has the greatest influence on me. I guess I can relate to this theme now, since I left my home in Paris to go to uni in London last October. It was quite a change, to say the least, but a really good one!
And The Runaway went on to win one of the audience prizes at its Brain Wash showcase...
I am very pleased and surprised by the enthusiasm some people showed for this short film, and especially at Brain Wash. I really found the night a fantastic way to show your work as much as to discover other people’s films.
We promise we didn't pay you to say that. One of the impressive things about The Runaway is that you did everything, from modelling to lighting and camerawork, yourself. What's next?
I am working on two new projects: one is a live action film I shot this year and I am working on the post at the moment. It’s my first film in London and in English and I am very happy with it. I look forward to finishing it! The other is just starting and is a hand drawn animation film. I have never experienced hand drawn animation before so it’s quite a challenge. See you in another four years for the screening!
So, erm… do you ever go by the name The Wolfman?
Shh! Don’t reveal my secret identity! No one must know it. In the day, I am this casual film student totally above suspicion. But in the night, when the moon is full, I grab my movie camera and makes film under the frightening name of The Wolfman.
That’s more than we could ever hope for. Favourite wolf-orientated film?
An American Werewolf in London or An American Werewolf in Paris, hard to decide really. Both are pretty epic though.
Léo Dewolf in London, or Léo Dewolf in Paris?
Same dilemma! I used to be a lot into Paris but London has started converting me. I guess I am turning more and more into a Londonian...
And finally, are you a Leo?
Definitely. We are doing a very close and elitist club of Leos with Dicaprio, Leos Carax, and Leonard Cohen. It’s good fun. Sergio Leone wants to join in but we don’t accept surnames.