This week’s Staff Pick Premiere from South Korean animator Seoro Oh brilliantly visualizes every painful sneeze, scratchy nose, and snot rocket that comes with having rhinitis. Even the film’s title, “(OO),” is a nod to the condition, with its clever visual representation of flared nostrils.
The film is a follow up to Oh’s acclaimed graduation film, “Afternoon Class,” which also focused on a single involuntary subject (sleepiness). This time around, Oh uses madcap sound design to bring each absurd, nostril-dripping scene to life. But don’t worry: you’ll be able to breathe a sweet sigh of relief when the journey is over. Unless, of course, you have a stuffy nose.
Ahead of today’s release, we reached out to director Seoro Oh to learn more about his inspiration and process. Read on for excerpts from our interview.
On the film’s inspiration:
“I’ve suffered from rhinitis since I was a child. Many unpleasant things happen in my nose on a regular basis — especially during the change of seasons. I wanted to animate the feeling so people could empathize.”
On storyboarding and animating:
“I drew a rough thumbnail storyboard to organize ideas around the various phenomena that occur in a nose. I cared way more about the animatic reel and editing process than the storyboard. The animation was mainly made with Adobe Flash (Animate CC), and I used After Effects for special effects and editing.”
On sound design:
“I wanted to record the sounds myself, but I didn’t have much time or money, so I ended up using existing resources instead. I spent a lot of time searching for sounds that matched each scene exactly; I also experimented by mixing various sounds and speeding up or reducing them to fit the mood of the scene.”
On the challenges of making “(OO)”:
“Making this film was an experiment for me because it’s focused solely on one man suffering from his nose. I had so many worries about the sequence and timing of the cuts; I tried dozens of times to find the best editing flow. This was the most stressful and lengthy part of the entire production.”
On advice for aspiring filmmakers:
“Making a film is a conversation with the audience. When I create work, I always think about what I like, what I want to make first, and how I can make and deliver it to audiences in a persuasive way.”
On what’s next:
“Since I’ve already made two films about what happens in my body, I would like to make one with a worldview and a story.”