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The making of Crossover

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At BIAFF 2014 Fabian Grodde won a Diamond award, The Daily Mail Trophy and Best Animation for Crossover
Still from 'Crossover'. Still from 'Crossover'. Still from 'Crossover'.
To begin with there was no story. Then one day I discovered that the pattern on the backs of upside-down firebugs looks very similar to warrior masks of various African Aborigines.
That discovery fascinated me. Now I was on the lookout for different patterns in nature to get an antagonist for my heroes. I remembered the cross on the back of garden spiders. It made sense to use these patterns to create a metapher for the growth of Christianity.

We created a 4m x 1.80m forest set in a film studio. With one ton of forest soil and a large amount of randomly collected branches, moss and stones, we started to bring it all together to form a place for a ritual ceremony in the forest.

The biggest challenge for the small team was to imagine the movements of all the bugs and the spider in the setting.
After we finished shooting and editing we started to integrate the prepared 3D generated insects. The main work in postproduction was split into two parts. The 3D animation was done by Alexander Schumann and the compositing (combining the images of the animated insects with the forest scenery) was done by me.

The entire sound design except for the Crossover theme at the end was created by Johann Niegl, a very talented sound designer from Cologne. He created all the separate sounds of tiny insect steps and the surrounding atmosphere.

Still from 'Crossover'. Still from 'Crossover'. Still from 'Crossover'.

Fabian Grodde
April 2014

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