Book trailers are becoming almost as common as film trailers these days and a talented director out of the Netherlands, Rogier Wieland, has produced one that has caught our attention this week. This paper cut-out piece that takes place within the pages of the thriller, Evil Blood, was produced for a free novel from the Dutch Thrombosis Foundation. The book is about a woman who was kidnapped in the trunk of a car, another who was killed while she was jogging in the dunes, and a female investigator who is trying to solve both cases.
“Reoccurring themes are blood and breathlessness,” Wieland told us, “I tried to play with the possibilities of printed, cut and folded paper pages and a limit of black and white gradients and only one added color: blood red. I was aiming at creating a tense and scary atmosphere with simple visual elements like heavy backlight, dark shadows, and silhouettes.”
The Evil Blood trailer accomplishes more than one notable feat, but the opening scene is particularly well-done. In it, a line of blood seems to drip down the screen, morphing into the form of a red book. The scene wasn’t easy to orchestrate, according to Wieland. “I animated that in reversed order. I started with a red dummy book and for each frame (at 25fps) I sawed off a piece of the book with an electric jigsaw.
“The first frames were easy. They took about 1 to 3 minutes. But the shapes became more and more complex and to the end it took about 45 minutes for each frame to have the blood shapes sawed for the next frame to shoot. I worked 3 very long days on those first 3 seconds of the film. I could not make a single mistake, because not only was it impossible to undo an error when sawing the animation of the blood (after all, once a piece was cut off wrong it was not possible to glue it back to the book), also the camera was repositioning every frame, sliding upwards. But I was satisfied with the end result.”
The opener leads into another cool moment: fast-paced rifling of the book’s pages in which the word “help” pops out whenever it appears, as the camera zooms in tighter and tighter on the pages. It is just one of many techniques used to heighten the sense of a thrilling tension here. From there, paper cut-outs emerge from the book’s pages and enact scenes of panic proving that all you need to create nightmares, truly can be found on the pages of a book.
Next up for this animator? “I’m currently working on a commercial project that has to remain a secret. Besides that I’m working (for a while) on an animated short called, The Cure. It is a self-initiated project in which I already put a lot of blood, sweat, tears and love. You can follow the progress on instagram.