Behind the Scenes on “Mamoon” with Director Ben Steer

The in-house animated short films program at London’s Blue Zoo studio continues to push staff in new directions. The latest example is “Mamoon,” an experiment in storytelling with physically projected CG animation.

Animation director Ben Steer pitched “Mamoon,” (an Arabic name meaning ‘without fear’) which won the company-wide vote. He then directed, filmed, and collaborated with other staff over the course of a year.
Blue Zoo Mamoon animated short film | STASH MAGAZINE
Ben Steer: “I found the brief really intriguing and felt strongly that light should represent life, just as lack of light should represent death.

“If a character is dependent on the light then shadows, objects, and glass could hinder and distort them. Projectors also only project from one angle, what if multiple projectors were used for multiple characters?

Producer Tom Box: “The idea was to benefit from the beautiful optical properties created in the process, elements we usually spend a lot of time and money trying to recreate – refractions, reflections, light bounce and depth of field.

“The only thing done in post-production was grading, everything else was captured in camera.”
Watch the finished film:

Production: Blue Zoo
Director: Ben Steer
Original Music: Matthew Wilcock for Zelig Sound
Animation: Phil Brooks, Ben Steer
Additional Animation: Ricky Honmong, Sarah Caisley, Simon Taylor, Steve Kimbrey
Compositing: Negar Bagheri, Elaine Thomas
Character Design: Marylou Mao
Rigging: Leo Blackmur
Modeling: Leo Blackmur, Lee Bowditch
Production Manager: Lizzie Hicks
Producer: Tom Box
Thanks to Max Halstead & Clapham Road Studios