Paperworld for Nature
A few years ago, two senior animation students approached WWF Hungary with the idea of creating an image video for their final film thesis with the WWF brand. Three years have passed since its release (2013) and the short film, entitled “Paper World”, has gone around the world. Dávid Ringeisen and László Ruska’s video has conquered both the online and offline world, and has even collected international awards along the way.
When the pair graduated from the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design (MOME), they held all the right cards in hand to kick off their debuts in the professional world. In 2014, they won the Gold World Medal for the Student Film category at the international New York Festivals Television & Film. That same year, the film was given the Jury Award by SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival in Vancouver; only to be followed by the Best Commissioned Film award at the Anima Mundi Animation Festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
"We were thrilled when the two artists contacted WWF Hungary and informed us about their plans for a video project entirely dedicated to our work. Back then, we couldn’t have possibly imagined what the outcome and success of this project would be! We did know however that it was an opportunity not to miss as an innovative and original concept always creates new possibilities to represent and spread awareness of nature conservation work" - said Alexa Antal, Communications Director of WWF Hungary. We hope the film will further encourage our supporters to spread WWF’s message: We are all connected ... "
Watch the film here.
WWF Hungary had brief interview with the authors about the creation of the movie and what nature meant for them.
Why did you choose WWF as the subject of your film?
R.L - R.D : At quite an early stage of our graduation film planning, we have decided that we want to make a video that can demonstrate our skills and what we are capable of doing in this media. We wanted to prove that we have what it takes. In order to differentiate ourselves we knew that we had to make more than just a movie. We were determined to have it premiered at our school and sent to festivals. This was when we decided to turn to the animation genre. We also were set on working with a non-profit organization, it was important that its mission and values met our own. So when we arrived at the WWF office in Hungary we were delighted by the enthusiastic response to our request.
How does nature conservation impact your daily life? What does it mean for you?
R.L : I use separate garbage bags and selectively sort my trash. I also try to travel by bike whenever I can :) I will admit though that I do not consider myself a dedicated nature-saving warrior. However, I strongly believe that small steps make the difference and that with a little collaboration and care, impacts can be made and common issues can be solved.
R.D : Everyone knows that nature conservation is one of the main issues in the 21st century, that it’s important and that it concerns all of us. The problem is that people believe their input is not sufficient enough to make a difference, that they are too small to be able to change anything. It is my hope that if everybody contributes, even if just a tiny bit, it might change the course of things. On my part, I hope that with our film we contribute a little bit to the global effort and teamwork.
In your opinion: how and why do you thinkthe cause of nature conservation benefits from the creative support?
R.L : In the case of Paper World, it works as an interrelated and thus expresses a mutually beneficial value chain. The film starts off as a short film in an everyday office with everyday objects we use. Then throws in a series of metaphors and visual associations, gradually transporting the viewer into a macro world where nature is struggling to survive. The "We are all connected" slogan and logo in the end is a kind of confirmation of this link between the two. That’s what creative content does, it allows new meanings.
R.D : We tried to use a conceptual setting which entirely fits the content, but still manages to cross the threshold of the audience. We felt that this was a good choice because it addresses the viewer a little differently. Since it is an animation video it can have a more lyrical tone and still manages to condense plenty of things while communicating through series of simple and straightforward pictures.
Why did you choose this form of narrative? Why did you choose to portray nature through an origami world? The very human space of the desk, becoming a platform to show the complex beauries of nature?
R.L : The world of paper, folded paper animals and origami came to us at a very early stage of. Ultimately it the final plot there is an important role dedicated to the fact that we are able to show and express such different and distant dimensions united in one space, by using the freedom of animation. Thus, metaphorically we have managed to represent issues such as pollution, deforestation, overfishing and climate change through the visual layers of the video, while allowing the viewer to formulate their own interpretation and have their own personal narrative of the story.
R.D : We wanted to place our story to a space that is familiar to all of us but still, allows us to create a micro-world through which we can reflect on the world outside. By using the desk as our setting we tried to position our story in a more human context, in order to allow a deeper and more intimate connection to the more distant-seeming world and its troubles.
You have created the origami world with digital effects. About the digital origami effects in the film. Was this “mere curiosity” from Your side or did you dedicate a deeper significance to the paper as a medium, or the use of origami as a human gesture?
R. L - R.D : This is a pretty complex thing, the paper symbolism is key to the whole movie, it’s actually the most fundamental organizing principle. Paper is the ideal raw material to represent vulnerability (wrinkling, breakage, contamination). It expresses the fragility of wildlife with simple but meaningful metaphors pointing to the impact of man on the environment. On the other had paper can be referenced as a blank canvas, a space for artistic actions, from where we have directly linked our interests to the studying of origami art. In origami you have to face some serious boundaries and work within obvious limitations coming from the material itself, so you have to think in a very structured manner. Still, the simplified shapes of origami animals manage to contain and reflect the main characteristics of the living world.