July 25th, 2016
We speak to Kevork Aslanyan, a young director from Bulgaria, about his short film Getting Fat In A Healthy Way
Hi Kevork! Can you tell us something about yourself? What made you want to make films?
I was born in Sofia, Bulgaria in the family of an engineer and an architect. Best parents in the world! Never been good in school and never will. Started a career as a musician (rhythm guitarist) of a metal band, but soon realised that music is not my thing. Or at least that was what the drummer of the band said… Then went to film school, fascinated by computers and what they do and became one not that bad feature film editor. Then again fascinated by lazy and bad directors, got a decision to become a director, and ta-da here I am!
Getting Fat is set in an alternate world which takes the idea of a calamity that strikes earth and stretches it to it's most normal-mundane details decades later . It feels like a fully realized world. How did you go about building this world: from idea to execution?
The idea was to tell a love story between a skinny man and a plump woman. To illustrate true love at its best. Gravity, came up afterwards - when I read Slapstick, or Lonesome No More! by American author Kurt Vonnegut, in which people have considerable problems with gravity. When it was too high, everyone was forced to lie on the ground and all the men had erections. After I shared this with the co-writer Georgi Merdzhanov, we developed the of course true story “Getting Fat in a Healthy Way”. Which was absolutely made up of course.
When making new "what ifs" worlds, you generally draw from details and stories around you? Were there any real world calamities you had in mind while creating Getting Fat?
I would love to say “YES”, but that would be a lie obviously. We had the gravity added to the story, but we have missed how it has happened. So we had to create and think of some sort of accident that could destroy gravity on Earth. That is how the destruction of the moon appeared as such element. It was logical at the beginning, but if you start to dig up the physics you will realise that this couldn’t happen at all. Then we said to ourselves, this is fiction so…it is made up.
The production design of the film is awesome- retro and lovely colors - what was your brief to your team.
I had asked the art department to create a word that can obey the rules of gravity problem. That is why all the dishes in the film are metal, because of the causal non-working gravity normaliser. The table, and all the furniture is nailed to the ground as well. The other restriction that I have asked them was regarding the time period. I wanted to tell the story before the era of internet and cell phones. The colour scheme was divided like that: all the exteriors are cold and the interiors are warm.
The DOP, the art director and the costume designer worked as a team and together they have build the worked that is created in the film.
You mixed a lot of CGI and practical effects for the film.
The flying of people is one really hard thing to do, both shooting and in CGI. It may look pretty easy thing to do, but it takes a lot of time. For example, the scene with the table at the beginning - half a day of shooting. The flying if the family - half a day of shooting.
What are your working on next?
I have just finished a short film script for a stop-motion animation with dolls which is called “PASSENGERS”. It is a film about the power of forgiveness. I am in the search for the right producer to develop the story with me.
GETTING FAT IN A HEALTHY WAY is our film of the week. You can watch it here.