Two Hashtags, #Animation #Thriller, and I came across a Twitter post on @Noctambulfilms stating: “8 people in a room, just 4 of them are alive” with a link to watch a YouTube video called The Chamber. Now, if you are a fan of my blog, you already know that I had to click on the link to watch. Call it my sixth sense for all things shocking and creepy!
Noctàmbul Films is a production company based in Cardiff, Wales, which is created by Fermi Vidal. Yup! I discovered this wonderfully gifted creator from across the pond! Fermi Vidal is a filmmaker and screenwriter, who specializes in storytelling, animation, video editing and machinimas.
*Machinimas: a method of making animated film using software similar to that designed for making video and computer games.
Many of his videos have generated close to 1M views. His work consists of movie and television inspired animations, such as Doctor Who: Mission Dalek and Godzilla vs. Wolverine, to name a few. His work also includes dark, thriller animations, such as Damage Inside, Molish and my personal favorite, The Chamber.
Now before you google his name and check out his social pages, let me tell you more about the creator or what I would like to call the mastermind behind Noctàmbul Films. Sit back, relax and enjoy reading my interview with the talented Fermi Vidal.
What is your name and tell me where you are from?
My name is Fermi Vidal and I’m from Barcelona, Catalonia. I moved to UK one year ago and I’m living in Cardiff right now.
You are a filmmaker and screenwriter from Cardiff, Wales. Who specializes in storytelling, animation, video editing and Machinimas. How did you get into filmmaking and storytelling through animation?
I’ve been writing and drawing my own stories since I was 12 years old. My biggest passion is cinema, but I also like any kind of stories such as books, video games, songs, comic books, etc. When I studied Media and Communication I discovered that the easiest way to capture my ideas was with animation. I always liked animation and since I watched Princess Mononoke I knew that you could tell any story with animation.
*Princess Mononoke is a 1997 Japanese epic historical fantasy anime film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
How did you come up with the name of your production company, Noctàmbul Films and what does Noctàmbul stand for?
Noctàmbul is a Catalan word and it means nighthawk or night owl. I’m one of those that prefer nighttime. For me daytime is the "real world" and at night everything is more mysterious and magic. Besides, I love owls.
I am here in the States just tweeting away and came across your engaging, thought provoking and creepy video The Chamber. Tell me how you came up with the concept and storyline for this animated film?
It all began with software called Source Filmmaker. You can download it for free on the Steam platform and with this software you can make your own movies with video games models and maps. One day I saw that someone had created a contest in the workshop website of this software. The contest was simple, you should create a story with a setting created by the organizer. In this case a bunch of different rooms. I focused in one specific room with eight empty chairs. Suddenly an idea came into my head. What if there are eight people on that room and four of them are dead?
Another cool video is Damage Inside, which you describe on your YouTube channel as a “Machine Head Fan Made video,” which seems as though someone else made this video? Is that correct? If so, what caught your eye about this film? If you created it, describe it to me.
I created that video and basically the idea came to me while I was listening the song. I love Machine Head and I remember listening the song Damage Inside from their last album and loving the way it makes you feel quiet and sad at the same time. And then I realized what the chorus actually says, " I can’t look you in the eye, I don’t want you to see the damage inside". I felt it had such power and it explains a lot in a few words. Sometimes we don’t realize what is going on inside each person.
What inspires you to create these animations?
A bunch of different things. Could be an experience that I had and then changing the ending or adding some supernatural element. Sometimes I like to take a typical story and change some factors to make it more original and shocking. Most of the times a surreal scene came in to my head and then I start asking, who are these people? How they end up in this situation? How they’ll get out of this situation? This process is maybe what I like the most.
Who inspired you growing up?
As a child I have to say Steven Spielberg was one of my favorite directors. Then I remember watching Dracula by Francis Ford Coppola when I was young (maybe too young) and I was shocked for several days. After that I always like a dark or sad touch in my stories.
Since my blog showcases all things creepy and cool, what is the most creepiest and coolest storyline/animation you created?
I don’t know if it’s the creepiest, but I am very proud of Damage Inside video. Also on my YouTube channel there is an animation called Molish that has a shocking and dark ending. I created it with the video game Minecraft but it’s not a kid’s story at all.
Every artist does certain things to keep the creative juices going? Whether it is listening to their favorite music, making sure their pet is by them when they write or they wear their favorite shirt/pants. What do you do?
It’s going to sound weird, but I realize that one of the most creative moments for me is when I’m doing my dishes. I don’t know why but I’ve tons of ideas at the kitchen sink. I hope I'll never receive a dishwasher as a gift.
I watched some of your other animated videos, such as Godzilla vs. Wolverine, Godzilla 2 to name a few. Can you tell me what inspired you to create those types of videos?
I wanted to start a series of videos, which consisted in taking to movies that were in theatres at the same time and make their characters have and actual fight. In that time Godzilla and X-men: Days of Future Past were on cinemas so that is the reason why. Then I realize how many Godzilla fans are in the world and I decided to make another video. And I also like kaiju films so it was exciting for me to.
How much does it cost to create these animated videos?
Time only. Source Filmmaker is completely free and I only use free music so it costs me nothing.
If there is one piece of advice you can tell an inspiring filmmaker, what would it be?
Nowadays it’s so easy. Today anyone can make a short or a movie with a laptop in his or her bedroom. So there is no excuse if you really want to tell stories. Choose the best method for you and start to create your world.
Creepy Cool Commentary:
I would like to thank Fermi Vidal for answering my questions and also creating cool, creative and of course creepy videos, like The Chamber for my enjoyment. Please make sure to follow Noctàmbul films on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.