#SHORTVIEW: “Ships of Years Past”, by Georgiy Boguslavskiy

Synopsis:

This is the last day on the ship for the captain, before two lanky and nasty bureaucrats send him off. And now the old man is left on a tiny island, with only enough space for the lighthouse.


ALL THE DEAD PHILOSOPHERS


> Where did you get the inspiration to make this short film?

I made another film before this one dealing with the same topics of death and journey, about a pilot that tries to survive – but I wasn’t very satisfied with it, being my first short film, and maybe also being too big of a project for a student, which I was at the time.

So I decided to develop another short film on those themes, being a professional effort this time, but I didn’t know what techniques to use, since I wanted to work on a different way than the one I used for the first film. I wanted to choose the materials depending on the idea, which is something that I’ve always strongly believe on, and for this story, I ended up deciding to use puppets.

I’ve drawn all my life, but I had never used 3D or any kind of materials like this before, but I felt that it was the right choice, and at the end, it all came out right.

> There’s this kind of stop-motion craze nowadays – why do you think that is the case?

I think everyone is bored of 3D and CGI by now, because it often looks and feels the same, so nowadays everyone is trying to develop their own style. Regarding stop-motion, when you have your set, you’re kind of living there, really close to the characters, breathing life into them – so it produces a really different feel.

would also add that there are technical reasons for this: nowadays, it’s much easier to make films in stop-motion than it was before. Probably you could do it in your own house. You don’t need really strong computers and studios anymore.

> Tell me a little bit about your intentions regarding the story.

I wanted to explore this kind of tiny border between death and dreams, or the difference between living and feeling alive, which is maybe something difficult to explain. You know, when I was little, I had a lot of situations where, for example, a car would race past me, very close, and then I’d go on thinking: am I still alive, or am I dreaming that I’m alive, or something like that?

There’s also this thing about my father, who’s been a base on a lot of my films: he’s not very old, but he’s kind of broken already – he’s this person who’s spent all of his life doing something, and once he’s retired, he’s seen that nobody needs him or cares for him anymore. I think that that’s something that could happen to anyone, and it’s something that it’s even common nowadays.

> There’s also death in your movie – why was this important to you?

I think that death is a very important part of life – without death, we wouldn’t give life any meaning. Life is short, because death is always something that is kind of looming, something mystical and sad, and threatening, and that’s what makes you think about your own choices.

Nowadays, people prefer not to talk about death, and I think it’s worse off this way, haha. Because, you see, in the modern world, we send the old people to old houses, and hospitals, so we never “see” death, or the process of it coming closer – so people forget about it altogether, and have this sensation that they’ll kind of live forever, and I think that causes a lot of problems.

> Could you tell me a little bit about the final scene, where all the captains sing together?

In Greek mythology, there’s this place, this mountain, where all the dead philosophers go to meet and be together, and this could be some kind of translation of that – they’re living in this lighthouse, and they’re serving as a kind of a light for people, providing light to all of their past ships, who are still around, somehow, thanks to them.


At the point of the interview, Georgiy was immersed in the creation of his own studio, spending time in teaching and “giving back” some of the energy that he received towards new students, and working on some commercial projects.