(It was...)Nothing At All is based on an original song written by Candy Kugel and Lanny Meyers, which asks why is it easier to mourn the loss of an object than the loss of a loved one. Traditionally animated, we made full use of AfterEffects' layering capabilities to create a richly textured, touching, and evocative film. (It was...) Nothing At All premiered internationally at Annecy 2000 thanks to a finishing grant provided by Women in Film Foundation/ Dockers® Khakis for Women Independent Vision Grant.
Lanny had asked me to write lyrics for a new album he was doing about biblical heroines. I tried. And failed many times. Then in 1999 I was in Cardiff, Wales for a film festival. And this festival was weird for me. Festivals are usually my “happy place” but I was inexplicably sad. It was June and rainy and chilly. I was going through some hard times. And on the train back from Cardiff to Heathrow to catch my flight back, while trying to write yet another song for Lanny, “Nothing at All” came out of my pen.
And it was strange-- both Vinny and Lanny were going through their own struggles so “Nothing at All” seemed eerily relevant. This is the only film that Vinny and I made where there was no storyboard. I just started to lay it out. And we were using a new software-- AfterEffects where I could design textures to be used as mats for portions of the character in Photoshop. We had a couple of interns who were interested in learning this software as well, so we devised an easier way to scan Vinny’s paper drawings and separate the areas for texture.
It’s the only project where everyone was sighing all the time. Everyone was sad. And we got close to the end of the film and it came as a surprise to all of us that our heroine found happiness with a fellow who had a very “interesting” look-- not one’s vision of a hero. But maybe that’s the point!
Directed by: Candy Kugel and Vincent Cafarelli
Producer: Marilyn Kraemer
Written by: Candy Kugel
Production company: Buzzco Associates, inc.
Layout & storyboard: Candy Kugel
Animator: Vincent Cafarelli
Animation helpers: Sheng Huang, Nouri Gabardi Zander
Music: Lanny Meyers
Vocalist: Nora York
Lyrics: Candy Kugel
Music: Lanny Meyers
Sound mix: Arf Productions
Computer output to video: Princzco Productions
Technical advisor: Richard Lainhart