Animator and director Evan DeRushie‘s recent short film “Birdlime” is about an exotic breed that escapes capture just to find itself injured and caged anyway. Birdlime features handcrafted and stop-motion animated human hands, tropical trees, other birds, and gibberish sounds in place of dialogue. The colorful kid-friendly film shows the versatility of the medium for fun, engaging, and artful storytelling.
Inspired by a trip to Thailand and his introduction to the exotic pet industry, DeRushie had the idea to the tell the story from the bird’s point of view. The characters are made from dyed and painted cushion foam. Working alone, the animator designed everything so that it would last long shoots with limited camera angles and edits.
“Thinking about the way that animals are represented in animation, and the effects in the real world (like how clown fish populations were decimated directly after Finding Nemo), I started seeing animation as a powerful and scary tool,” DeRushie said in a statement. “With this in mind, I tried to portray a respectful relationship between human and animal, and to treat the bird without too much anthropomorphism. I also wanted the film to feel like you were in the cage with the main character, and to be a bit confused by the world.”
DeRushie is the co-owner of the Toronto-based animation studio Stop Motion Department Inc.. Prior to “Birdlime” he animated and set-supervised 2015’s The Little Prince and was a part of the team that animated the short film “The Fox and the Chickadee,” which played in numerous festivals around the world. To see more of his work, click through to his official website.