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A Town Called Panic leaves Brussels for Luxemburg

1 april 2008
On March 21st, the crew of A Town Called Panic finished shooting at Beast Animation in Brussels. The rest of this stop motion feature directed by Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar will be shot in Luxemburg.
'We are perfectly on schedule', says Ben Tesseur of Beast Animation on one of the last shooting days of A Town Called Panic in Brussels. 'We managed to shoot about 40 minutes up to now. We have been working here with 25 people, 18 of them will move to Luxemburg to finish the shooting. Almost all of the preparation has been done. We have recorded about 20 minutes of sound already, so we are working on that while the movie is not entirely shot.' The release of the film is expected in the spring of 2009.Ben Tesseur The 5 minute animation series of A Town Called Panic is a big hit in France but rather unknown in Flanders. The three main characters are Horse, Cowboy and Indian, the first being the sensible one of a rather awkward ‘ménage à trois’, the other two are more childlike and unresponsable characters. Using plastic figurines, A Town Called Panic appeals instantly to kids, while the absurdity and originality of the stories attracts also a more mature audience. The popularity of the series will give the film a head start in France, but there will be a Flemish version as well. Jean-Claude Van Ryckeghem is translating the movie into Flemish. Beast Animation (Steven De Beul who is one of the head animators and Ben Tesseur - first direction assistant , who coordinates the shooting process) would like to play a very active role in the Flemish adaptation. 'Being part of the production team for years, they know these characters very well', explains Pilar Torres from Beast Animation Productions, co-producer of A Town Called Panic, together with La Parti Production (F), Made In (F) and Melusine (Lux). 'The sound and the voices contribute a great deal to the success in France', says Ben. 'They choose really special or extraordinary voices or actors with a particular way of speaking. We would like to do the same thing here.'Pilar Torres Villodre The adaptation from the series to a movie and from the TV to the big screen has proven quite a challenge. 'We obviously pay a lot more attention to detail now. Shooting in wide screen also has its consequences in terms of settings, animation, composition…' The typically fast pace of the short animations could not be maintained in the feature length version, so the writers have inserted a number of sequences to give the audience a break. ‘While making the series, we tend to improvise a lot and to add little extra jokes, but with this film we have tried to restrain ourselves from this’, says Ben. ‘For the most difficult shots, like Horse taking a shower, we did some tests before the start of the shooting so we wouldn’t waste any time’.Steven De Beul For Beast Animation, co-producing A Town Called Panic is a logical step in its evolution. ‘We hope to raise a lot of attention from the Flemish media with this movie and want to show what the possibilities are in making stop motion animation features. We have been taking gradual steps towards putting up our own production, and we have gained a lot of trust with people we have come across in recent years. We really want to show that we are very serious about producing our own projects’, says Ben. ‘That is why we invest our earnings in them. We have to move forward, there is no other way.’-> A Town Called Panic is a Belgian co-production (La Parti Productions & Beast Animation) with Luxemburg (Melusine) and France (Made In Productions).