A heartwarming film about an otter who adopts themselves into a family of pebbles, I Am A Pebble is a wonderfully beautiful animated film. Produced by a team of students for their graduation film, I Am A Pebble has been so beloved by those who have seen it that it was voted best animated short at the HollyShorts Film Festival, allowing it to not only be seen by those who love short film, but also making it Oscar Eligible on a much grander stage. We were lucky enough to speak with one of the creators of the film, Yasmine Bresson. And be ready for a special treat at the end of the interview! I want to thank Yasmine for taking the time out to speak about the film, as well as the rest of the creators; Melanie Berteraut-Platon, Leo Coulombier, Nicolas Grondin, Maxime Le Chapelain and Louise Masse! Wonderful work by everyone involved in the film!
Q: Tell us more about your film. How did it come to be?
It all started with a simple note on an otter playing with a pebble that she considers her equal, and also the rivers in Maxime’s countryside. Then while discussing with me, this pebble became a family of pebbles and thus, we turned around questions of identity, how familiarity and compassion can appear anywhere, even with a simple pebble.
Q: What was your budget?
I am a Pebble is our graduation short film, so there was no budget, we were a team of 6 and the film had to be done by the end of the year. We had the school’s farm and softwares, computers, and of course our teachers!
Q: What was the biggest takeaway from making the film ?
I am very proud of our team cohesion. We were a group of various tempers and skills, we trusted each other, which allowed us to experiment with new practices through our project. Due to the graphic style challenge, we embarked on a project without having the certainty that we would achieve the expected result and sometimes it was quite stressful, so we really had to trust each other, be reactive and adapt when needed. Eventually, we were able to make the film we wanted while spending a great year together.
Q: What was the biggest challenge in making this film?
The “painterly” look of our film was a big unknown. At first when we chose this graphic style, it really was a bet, because we had never done it before and we didn’t even know if we could get this render in 3D, but we really wanted to try.
Beyond this technical aspect, we struggled with how to tell this story, because to build a dramatic scene with one of the main characters being unable to do anything and the other one being unable to speak is quite difficult. It was necessary to make the way Bubble perceived the Pebbles understandable for the audience. As we thought of the story like a children’s book, we could have used a narrator, but as the story is only about Bubble and the Pebbles, we decided that only them would tell the story.
Q: What is next for you?
I have been working at Nobody Studio since I graduated last year. It’s a new studio in Montpellier, we are working on various productions, such as cinematic trailers and short films. I plan to stay here!
Thanks to Yasmine and everyone that worked on I Am A Pebble for creating such a wonderful film. And you don’t have to take our word for it, either. The team posted the film in its entirety on YouTube, which we have lovingly featured below. Enjoy!