DGC Ontario Production Designer Thea Hollatz is up for two DGC Awards, Best Short Film for her directorial debut Hot Flash which recently premiered at #TIFF19 and for her design work on Firecrackers. We caught up with a very busy Thea (who also designed this year’s The Rest Of Us) ahead of the awards to discuss moving from Production Design to Directing and writing her first short! Read all about it below.
What sparked the idea of writing and directing your first short?
I was thinking a lot about the ineffectiveness oscillating fans, and how they don’t really cut it in desperate times. This sparked the idea for a protagonist in the throes of menopause, trapped indoors during a snowstorm, and how she might navigate cooling off.
Kristy and I met in university, and first worked together on the micro budget feature Cardinals. Since then we’ve worked together on a number of projects, Hot Flash most recently. I’m so grateful that she and her producing partner Matt Code at Wildling agreed to produce the short. Not only are we friends with an understanding for one another, but the thought and dedication they put into each project, (big and small), is really remarkable.
What did you take from your experience working on films like Firecrackers and music videos (The Wooden Sky, Ralph) to Hot Flash?
I think having read the scripts and treatments of other writers and directors resulted in a better script for my own film. Having watched other directors work, I’ve seen how critical a clear vision is to successful storytelling. I know the questions I often have about the script and tone as a designer, so having those answers ready for the actors and animation team at Tinman Creative Studios was very helpful.
Biggest challenge of directing animation?
I’ve never made an animated film before so it really was one big learning curve! It’s an interesting process — it’s almost like you edit the film before you shoot it. Fortunately the entire team was so talented, it made the whole process a lot less scary.