Director Eddie Alcazar on creating the Cannes-approved animated short The Vandal

After its debut at the esteemed Cannes Film Festival, director Eddie Alcazar’s animated short The Vandal is quickly proving itself as one to watch over the coming months. Part stop motion animation with infused live action scenes, the Darren Aronofsky-produced flick has now been acquired by Steven Soderbergh for feature length adaptation. So what exactly makes the short so creatively alluring? Apart from being a visually stunning and highly innovative black and white escapade of love and turmoil, it’s the visible hours of hard work which keeps critics and film industry insiders alike coming back for more. At the helm is a director, writer, producer, and former game developer. “My journey into directing started at a young age when I focused on VFX and 3D, and got a full scholarship to the Academy of Art in San Francisco,” Eddie tells It’s Nice That. “I then graduated and did video games for seven or eight years, which helped me make money doing something creative”. It was these seven or eight years that pushed Eddie to take the risk of directing, backed by an impressive skill set in a digital world where anything was possible. “I’ve always been a very visual person and think there is so much meaning and emotion you can communicate through a visual story, even with video games and VFX, the cinematic fundamentals tend to be similar,” he says. “Staying curious and open to new ideas is a big part of my process”.
Staying curious is exactly what led Eddie down the path to The Vandal, which took over a year and a half to complete. “The film is about a man’s tormented search for peace after a traumatic loss and the destructive awakening of his creativity that results,” Eddie tells us, leaving the rest up to the viewer’s interpretation. From a craft standpoint, Eddie and the team behind the film have used the term “meta-scope” to describe “the intensively layered process” used to combine stop motion animation and live action sequences, “which was needed to achieve the film’s final effect,” he says. For Eddie, “meta-scope” is not necessarily confined to stop motion or live action. “The main way to define it is the closer you get to an object the more real it becomes,” he explains. “The wider view is far less detailed, and this is how most people view the world: the macro and the micro”.