JUICE is a renowned CG and post production studio based in Poland with offices in Japan and plans to open soon in Shanghai, China.
n this series of articles, “JUICY WORKSHOP 5” – UNCONQUERED JUICE talks about an animated film project illustrating the long Polish fight for freedom, from 1939 until the fall of communism in 1989.
HOW TO TELL AN HISTORICAL STORY IN AN ENGAGING WAY
The job was awarded to JUICE by the Polish Institute of National Remembrance (IPN). They wanted an animated movie to commemorate events during the long years of struggle. The project was directed by Michał Misiński. He was also the one who lead the creative team in developing an original visual style, with a very unique atmosphere which turned out to be just what the client wished for.
该片由波兰国家记忆研究院IPN（Polish Institute of National Remembrance）委托JUICE制作，要求以动画的形式，纪念波兰多年的苦难与斗争及其标志性事件。这部影片由Michał Misiński执导，他同时还带领创意团队，为该片设计了原创视觉风格，客户观赏后表示这种独特的氛围与他们心中的期望不谋而合。
“With this film we wish to launch an international educational campaign, aimed at presenting the Polish historical perspective of the years 1939-1989. I feel that with ‘The Unconquered’ we have restored the perspective of General Anders’ soldiers of II Corps, i.e. the relentless struggle for Poland’s freedom,” says Adam Hlebowicz, Deputy Director of the Institute of National Remembrance
“我们希望通过这部影片开启一次国际性的教育浪潮，为大家呈现波兰视角的1939年至1989年历史。我认为《不屈》重现了战争期间，安德斯将军麾下波兰第二军战士们的视角，即他们眼中波兰漫长而坎坷的自由之路，” —— 波兰国家记忆研究院副院长Adam Hlebowicz.
CHALLENGE: PICKING A VISUAL STYLE
The client knew what they wanted but could not express it as well as a creative team. Their brief required a reinvention. Without a clear direction, client expectations could have become unrealistic.
The film took a year to produce, during which the IPN governmental unit was redeployed and the project was close to being stopped completely. This gave the JUICE team more time to work on even more clarity in their screen style.
SOLUTION: OPEN CREATIVITY
Such projects require intensive research, meticulous attention and an understanding of visual aesthetics in order to fit high standards. Having a creative team where everyone adds ideas, gave the broadest perspective to the story. This provided many interesting options, and new ways we could go ahead with the project, as possible. Combining different visions and fresh perspectives. Apart from constructing the narration, intensive search for the visual aesthetics was conducted.
Using the monochromatic style, which is Misiński’s trademark look, super-talented CG artist brothers Selim and Andrzej Sykut brought the concept to the next level, with gradients and separate colours to represent the two major foes. There is geometry in the characters, their faces, clothes, it’s all very stylized. There is one character, who migrates from one scene to the next. So, there is continuity and sense of a journey as if we were looking at a video game character going through different levels of the story. Each sequence has three shots, one of them is even designed as a postcard.
There is also stylized animation. Jumpy and blocky, giving the sense of fast-paced action but an uncertainty to each scenario. A rich editorial finish to each scene, together with a dramatic narration, leads the viewer in and holds them spellbound.
“In the 20th century, it took Poland 50 years to regain freedom. We tried to illustrate that struggle in our new, 4 minutes long animation. We were looking for an original artistic style for the film,” says Michał Misiński. “On the one hand, it was meant to carry powerful emotions, and on the other give space to construct a non-literal message and a poetic mood. The artistic convention allowed us to construct poignant symbols such as that from the first scene, when the hero is being crushed by two walls or the scene of Karski’s conversation with Roosevelt.”
“在20世纪，波兰花费了50年的时间重获自由。而我们则尝试在这部4分钟的动画新作中去呈现这段斗争的坎坷。我们想为这部影片找到和适合的原创艺术风格，” 导演Michał Misiński说到。另一方面，这部作品还得承载宏大的情绪，并在无声中进行诗意地表达。我们通过艺术惯例塑造了尖锐的符号，比如第一幕中，一位英雄被两面铁壁夹击的画面，再比如卡尔斯基与罗斯福的对话的片段。
The film is thus meant to show historical truth in a modern and at the same time symbolic manner. Its premiere took place before the 78th anniversary of the Soviet invasion and shows the key moments of Poles’ fifty-year-long fight for freedom.