Fine Cut


About the Film
A musically driven silhouette animation that combines fertile beauty amidst an imminent crisis.

Director's Statement
Saccharine was visually inspired by Sumi-e painting and the silhouette films of Lotte Reiniger. 3D figures were animated on top of painted backgrounds. The composited footage was then projected onto various surfaces and rephotographed back to video, giving the images a purple tint and enhancing the illuminated look. Once the workflow was established, the entire process took about 9 months. The idea behind the film came from a mix of influences, such as botany, agricultural development, and military technology. However, the primary influence was war novels. Most authors describe moments of delicate beauty coexisting with atrocity. The disruption of this beauty usually leads to physical or spiritual consequences. Saccharine is an attempt to depict such states of conflict.

About the Filmmaker

John Paul Sawan

After completing a bachelor's degree at UC Irvine, John Paul entered the CalArts MFA program in Film/Video. He finished several projects, such as Intracorp (Part One), which screened at multiple events, including KCET's 2006 Fine Cut Series. His thesis film, Saccharine played at the Sacramento International Film and Music Festival and the Santa Clarita Valley Film Festival. Last summer, he was hired by the White Room Team and Universal Music to create animation for the popular Greek artist Nikos Portokaloglou. The video accompanied the first single from the album "Strofi" that aired in Europe. Currently, John Paul is pursuing independent projects and continuing his education.