𝗛𝗜𝗧𝗖𝗛𝗛𝗜𝗞𝗘𝗥𝗦 | 𝟹' 𝟸𝟶" 𝟸𝟶𝟷𝟽
Hitchhikers is the directorial debut of Katarzyna Klas and Rafał Blecharz. It tells the story of siblings traveling with a mysterious palm tree belonging to their grandfather. Where do they go? Where is a grandpa now? And why did they bring the palm tree with them? Some things are better left unsaid.
At first, we wanted to do a trailer for a non-existent movie. Then the project grew into the upbeat short road movie about two kids ready for the adventure. We were keen to create a nostalgic holiday atmosphere, with a little mystery in the background and all this from the perspective of children, for whom the world seems to be borderless.
We've decided to keep the designs simple and clear. To underline the mystery behind the story, we decided to make characters emotionless, without the eyebrows or mouths. In the great traditions of Hello Kitty and other characters which smiles when you smile and becomes sad when you're sad. Thanks to that, video doesn't make point and the ending is open to interpretation.
To achieve the sense of wonder during the travel we made the big differences between the scale of the characters and the backgrounds.
Due to different lighting in each scene, we had to adjust colours of every character manually to the background's tones
𝗦𝗧𝗢𝗥𝗬𝗕𝗢𝗔𝗥𝗗 & 𝗔𝗡𝗜𝗠𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗖
The most challenging part was to create the full story that will make sense out of fake trailer idea and a few disconnected scenes that we already prepared. We had to rework the storyboard and animatic almost from the scratch but we kept the idea of fragmentary narration and the feeling of the music video. That's why it was crucial to compose the good track after the movie was completed. We've made sure that it's ethereal and fits the idea of the story.
During the production process, we have tested different ways and approaches to workflow. That wouldn't be possible to do, during our daily commercial work. Most of the scenes were cel animation developed in Photoshop, Animate or Toon Boom. Clean up and color stages was mostly made in Adobe Animate.
Whole animation was upgraded during the postproduction in After Effects. We tweaked the colors, added shadows underneath the characters, lights, noise, particles and fxs. Despite this operation being the one we had planned from the beginning, we were greatly surprised by the huge effect it has made.
In Hitchhikers I wanted to bring the feeling I remember from my childhood: living in small town in 90s, summer times, being out all day with friends, (going to the every-day adventures). This ongoing feeling of adventure - whether it was exploring the neighborhood or looking for some ropes or wooden boards to build things. The flashbacks of pure happiness. That’s why I wanted to compose a track that would be able to bring those feelings: a guitar arpeggio and choirs that give you this warm hug coming from the past, and a vivid sound design that can bring you a fresh breeze passing through your face.
~ Aimar Molero, composer
Hitchhikers was screened on over 30 international film festivals. We are glad that the festival audience from all over the world felt that they could find their own interpretations in this simple story.
direction: Rafał Blecharz, Katarzyna Klas
story: Rafał Blecharz
design & storyboard: Katarzyna Klas
music & sound: Aimar Molero
lead animators: Rafał Blecharz, Katarzyna Klas
Aurelia Panek, Dominik Bartosik, Adrian Fijałek
montage: Rafał Blecharz
postproduction: Sławek Wydra
executive producer: Martyna Orlik, Mikołaj Błoński
head of production: Mateusz Kowalczyk
• T H A N K S F O R W A T C H I N G •
There is more good to come this year.