'Papermeal', a project developed by the Melbourne animation studio YellDesign and developed over a brief three-month period, has debuted with a first series of five animations. The project – which commenced around lunchtime discussions about the potential of food – comprises reconsitutions of food in paper, with the aim of creating quirky animations to elevate everyday recipes into surreal and colourful works of art.
W*: How did the idea of food come into play? The recipes provide wonderful narratives for the animations but how did you select them?
YellDesign: We started with the concept and production technique first (100 per cent paper), then built the stories around that. For example, we’d discuss the idea of setting an unlikely scenario (like making pasta from scratch on your desktop), then think about what elements in that environment could contribute to the making of that meal. We ended up with more ideas than we could use!
Tell us more about the stop-motion animation. Each short film requires different sets and momentums – how did the team work in that respect?
We had a list of props needed for each shoot/scene. We kept the final sets very flexible, so we could make creative decisions on the fly. We don’t have this luxury with our brand work, so keeping it loose made the process very enjoyable and spontaneous.
Your use of paper is very creative and adds a layer of abstraction to the topic. Would you describe this media as instrumental to the process or more part of the concept and inspiration?
We set out with one goal – make complete recipes out of paper. As our studio style is more quirky and colourful, we naturally started to elevate the concepts using absurd forms and objects. The Jaffle video has loads of high-contrast colours and patterns, just because we thought it would look great – it works well.
In terms of the project’s identity, YellDesign introduces itself as a fully-dedicated production Vine studio. How does 'Papermeal' fit within this agenda?
Last year alone we made over 200 branded Vines – the bulk of our workload – but we also made 100 pieces of longer content. I think as short-form content has evolved, we are seeing more videos in the 15–30 second range, and even a few up to 60 seconds! We made our mark with Vine, but we are also constantly evolving as a creative group.
Finally, where do you think this project might go? Do you have any further plans for it?
Yes, we will be doing another series in future, but have to keep the concept under wraps. We will also be doing a number of larger projects like this each year to give our group the chance to go crazy on the creative – with no restrictions. We think it's important, keeps us fresh!