Freeze-Frame: Anxiety in FAVO Studio’s short film, Quaranteen

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The COVID-19 pandemic provided inspiration for a broad range of artistic expression. Some are great while others are less so. All, however, are honest. One of our favorites is this short film, Quaranteen: A Tale of Confinement, from FAVO Studio out of Portugal. They set aside time to discuss it with us.

SCINQ: What is Quaranteen: A Tale of Confinement about?

GUSTAVO CARREIRO: It’s a reflection on anxiety, the insecurities and fears of being a teenager, and how the overconsumption of news can create a pessimistic portrait of our world, making us more defensive, closed in ourselves, and ultimately prone to make rushed assumptions and decisions.

SCINQ: What was the inspiration for this animated short?

GC: When the pandemic hit, we were all invaded by a claustrophobic sentiment of living in a monothematic world. The COVID-19 virus was the only allowed theme in the media and in our daily conversations. This created a lot of anxiety and a hypochondriac state of mind. You almost feel yourself getting sick and everybody looks like a potential threat. This was the main driver for the Quaranteen character personality.

SCINQ: The main character is obviously wary about going outside and breaking quarantine. He’s ultimately drawn out of his apartment by a call from a friend. Does this mean that people will ultimately break confinement for human contact?

GC: The initial draft of the narrative was much more restricted to our character’s room. But we were all too restricted ourselves in our personal confinement without much alternative, so we felt our Quaranteen needed to be proactive and explore this new unpredictable world outside. stricter

Yes, in some way, we can’t be 100% confined, modern day living in cities is already a confined and lonely experience for a percentage of the population. But we still have some primal need to have contact with others and a sense of  belonging. So, after the character’s girl called him over, he chose emotion over

It could be interpreted as a happy ending for the virus, in a twisted way.

SCINQ: The main character does what he can to ensure a safe trip. Ultimately, he fails. Why?

GC: Initially we wanted to develop a classic happy ending: the character slays the dragon and arrives safely at the princess castle.

But the message we could be giving was that it is plausible for each of us to create our own suits and disrespect state sanitary orders. Although his initial plan fails, he enters in a romantic voyage with the virus, so it could be interpreted as an happy ending for the virus, in a twisted way.

SCINQ: Aesthetically, why is the film’s palette restricted to black, white, and red?

GC: We felt the red color would be perfect to give a tone of infection and emergency. Also, in an emergency state you are submitted to a lot of rules and restrictions that in some way could be associated with totalitarian regimes. Not sure why, but the guys that branded these types of regimes loved the black, white and red palette.

SCINQ: Finally, what is next for Favo Productions?

GC: Until now we worked mostly with commercial work for companies and brands. But with this new found love for the narrative format, we want to get a better understanding of short-films or maybe even a small animation series that could be a sustainable line of work for our craft.

We were are also finishing another film, but it was postponed for a few months because of this new world we live in. Hopefully, we will have news soon! Thank you.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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