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The Clearing

The holiday of a lifetime! Or a final attempt to save a failing marriage. Bill and Deb struggle to see eye to eye, as their last ditch camping trip takes a sinister turn. The Clearing is a surreal, poetic, animated short about ego, jealousy and the stories we tell ourselves.

Finding a musical language for The Clearing was a real exploration with Director Dan Hope, beginning with references from 70s prog rock, the kind of music Bill might listen to in the van, through to sounds one might associate with the campfire and life in the forest, and into a completely strange musical world that matched Bill's delusions. I was also keen to pursue a theme which represented Bill throwing off his denial and facing the truth as it was, and keen ears can hear the Dies Irae on recorder in these moments in the film. Fundamentally the music had to guide the audience through the various layers of reality that the film traversed, as well as helping shape the arc of Bill and Deb's relationship over the short, from ominousness, to last chances and eventually something totally unexpected.

A Bear, a Fish, a Camper, and His Wife | The Clearing | The New Yorker Screening Room
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BFI London Film Festival 2022 - Selection

Ottowa International Animation Festival 2022 - Student Short, Nomination

Crystal Palace International Film Festival 2022 - Best Animation, Nomination

Brooklyn Film Festival 2022 - Official Selection

Poitiers Film Festival 2022 - Official Selection

Montréal Stop Motion Film Festival 2022 - Official Selection

Writer & Director: Dan Hope

Producer: Johannes Schubert

Cinematographer: Joseph Guy

Production Designer: Adrian Makarewicz

Editor: Tomasz Kowalski

Composer: Alastair McNamara

Sound Designer & Re-recording Mixer: Markus Andreas

Colourist & Online Editor: Francis Qureshi

Production Managers: Elena Storozheva-Golovushkina

Kristín Ósk Sævarsdóttir

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