Dateless is a 3 minute short featuring 20something year olds as they describe what would be their ideal partner. Dateless is a fantastic piece that hits home for the single millennial as they are still navigating through the seas of the dating world.
With a good share of laughs and a palette of characters that will stun you with frankness; Dateless is a down to earth and authentic 2D animation that will make you feel settled about your forever alone status!
For our first ever showcase I caught up with the talented animation duo Remus and Kiki on their award winning short Dateless.
Please introduce yourselves
Kiki: My full name is Kyriaki Kyriakou. Nobody can say it because I am Cyprian . So I tell everybody to call me Kiki. I’m 23 and I was born in Cyprus and I’m an animator. When I first came here, I had no idea about animation and I didn’t know how to animate. Yeah, it was a last minute decision, for me to do animation.
Remus: Remus Buznea, I’m 21 and I’m from Romania and I kind of did animation back home for a bit. I went to art school where I learned drawing and graphic design. I did a bit of animation in my own time, then I actually wanted to do that for a living so I decided to come over here and study it.
Tell me a bit about dateless, how did it come about and what really sparked the idea?
Remus: So Dateless was our second year film in university. At first we wanted to do an animation about online dating. So we started doing the research, and started going on all kinds of websites. Like Clown dating, people who were into all kinds of stuff .
Kiki: There was all kinds of weird dating websites that we were looking at.
Remus: We were looking at profiles and in the end we wanted to interview people like that and use their profiles to write something and interview them but then we found that they always tried to fake an identity when they were making an online profile. It was really hard to get through and find out who they really were. So we just decided to interview our friends which happened that they mostly were all single.
Not everyone made it on Dateless. We interviewed around 14 people, something like that.
Kiki: Yeah, I think we interviewed a little bit more than 14 people.
Remus: Yeah like 15 and we selected the ones that had the best stuff.
Kiki: Everyone had amazing stuff but we had to cut it down to 2 minutes.
Remus: ..And pretty much after everyone was interviewed, we ended up having 3 hours of audio footage.
Kiki: Almost 4 Hours
Remus: Then we decided that we should get the bits we liked the most and the ones that made the characters the most rounded I guess, because we always decided to have 3 parts to each character.
An introduction, a bit where they go more into what they are about and a third thing that would be surprising. Towards the end all the characters reveal something about themselves.
teo: I really loved that especially the little short guy, who was saying what he wanted in a partner and the two smokers, how they kind of have a very bromance moment; I actually really liked that and I loved how you guys went with the whole idea of interviewing your friends, because you knew them it made the characters become so alive, so real and relatable.
I loved how everything complimented the characters. The visual design really adds to bringing them to life. I wanted to ask what was your thought process behind the characters?
Remus: After we interviewed our friends, we did some character designs, we did multiple versions but before we interviewed them we had some early designs we decided to go with anyway even though they did’t look anything like the actual people; but when we interviewed them, Kiki was in the room with them; interviewing.
Kiki: I was there to make them feel more relaxed, because they were talking to someone that they knew.
Remus: And I was in the control room, telling Kiki the questions through her headphones.
In the control room we had a monitor, where I could see how they acted and Kiki could see it as well being in front of them. So we remembered how they acted and how they talked. We would take that and write it down, we used what we remembered from how they act.
Kiki: And it was pretty much for the characters how they look like and act.
Remus: For our friends we live with them, so we could just go up to them and say “Hey! Say this real quick?” and if we wanted to see how they act angry, we could just go up to them and make them angry.
What did you enjoy the most about making dateless?
Kiki: I guess what we enjoyed the most was coming up with the questions and then sitting in the room and asking them those and then in the interview it was pretty funny just sitting there alone.
It was really fun seeing how they would react and when they just get into the question and just go on about other things and going off topic but it was cool. And I guess coming up with the designs as well.
Remus: Yeah, we were really lucky with something like that. The recording because we had them all waiting and when I was in the control room
Kiki: It was a full studio
Remus: So, we had an audience and everyone was laughing. It was fun editing the sound because we heard it all again. We played it for ourselves just to make ourselves laugh.
Animating it was really fun, one thing we realised was things would turn out well if we really enjoyed doing it.
Remus: So we tried to incorporate the things that we like. Mostly because we were animators we added dirty jokes and we would put that in.
Kiki: Yeah, we were like put that in, put that in haha.
We added in little things that I don’t think a lot of people realised.
Remus: Yeah, we added things in the background for some of the shots. There are in-jokes in there for some of the stuff they would have in their rooms. I guess it helps bring the characters to life a bit more by showing the environment they live in, in real life, so that was fun. Pretty much all of it was fun.
The most annoying, the one thing that wasn’t fun was rendering it out. That was the one thing that wasn’t fun about it.
Kiki: We kept on pacing up and down, pacing up and down waiting for it to render. Saying ” Oh my God! Is it going to render? Is it going to freeze? Is it going to not stop?!” It was pretty much an all-nighter. Come on Mac, come on!
How did it feel to win the RTS south award for best animated student film and to have it screened at major film festivals?
Kiki: It was nice. haha
Remus: The thing is for us the main festival we were really happy with was the Cartoon Brew festival.
With Cartoon Brew, we not only got the vimeo staff pick they had Jonathan Dilworth; the creator of Courage the Cowardly Dog.
Kiki: He was one of the Judges!
Remus: Just the thought of him watching made us really really happy.
With RTS we were really happy, there was free food when we got there but we didn’t really know anyone there, it was [mostly] local TV people. We just got to meet other students from Bournemouth University.
Kiki: We met the animation students from there.
What were the different software you used to make Dateless?
Kiki: We used Photoshop and After Effects.
Remus: At first we wanted to do stop motion with paper cut-outs. Then we realised this is going to take ages if we draw it digitally then print it out and cut that out and then put it under the camera.
So we just decided to use Photoshop and then give it a texture in after effects to make it look as if it is paper.What are you currently up to after graduating?
Remus: There was this competition run by Studio Beakus in London
Kiki: There was a 10 second animation, We had a colour palette and the theme was being bold. We decided each of us would make a 10 second animation.
Remus: and we both entered it and Kiki won an internship, but because we both work together I can show up as well. haha
But Kiki technically has the internship now.
Kiki: The internship is cut in half, it is kind of given to both of us.
Remus: Yeah, the main thing is we have that and if things go OK, we might get hired for full time.
What would be your one liner or one sentence to sum up your relationship with animation?
If you can’t entertain yourself with your animation, you won’t be able to entertain anybody else
Kiki – @kyriaki248
If you don’t find something in it that you love , then you might as well not be doing it
Remus and Kiki are a must watch as up and coming animators~!
So get bookmarking and follow these talented two!