Monsters Don’t Exist by Nicola Bernardi, Luca Barberis Organista, and Ilaria Angelini

It has been said that if necessity is the mother of invention, boredom is its father. In “Monster’s Don’t Exist,” boredom not only bears some pretty awesome monsters, but an unlikely partnership as well.

This highly acclaimed student film is the creative child of Italy’s Nicola Bernardi, Luca Barberis Organista, and Ilaria Angelini. It was produced at Civica Scuola di Cinema in Milan, Italy. In the piece, two longtime rivals are driven by the boredom of school detention to engage in an epic battle for monster supremacy. The combination 3-d printed, hand sketched monster battle is quite remarkable for a student production.

According to co-creator Ilaria Angelini, the piece was the product of a significant amount of the students’ lives. “(During production) from September 2016 to June 2017 we basically lived at school,” she told us. But the hard work seems to have paid off. The graduation film has literally gone on world tour since completion, having been included in film festivals all over the globe (see the Monsters Journal blog for a full map) and winning top honors in many of them.

When we asked Angelini about the idea for the film she told us, “We originally came up with the idea during screenplay class! We had a tough time because none of us are really good at writing…We then each developed our own version of characters, scenography and style. This is not the most effective way of getting things done, but as this was a school project it had to be done. In the end it turned out to be a great way to communicate to each other the personal vision we had of the film.”

Once production started, Angelini said, “The greatest obstacle we had to overcome was not compromising the quality of the work with the little time we had. For example we were very concerned with the way we wanted to make the facial expression and it took a long time to research how to make a 3D printed model that would work perfectly with the kind of acting that we needed.

“The characters had to be very expressive with their faces since the film was all based on looks and reactions. Our decision to switch the facial expression also had repercussions on the post-production, having to digitally remove the lines on the side of the faces…I think we still have a lot to learn in order to build more expressive characters.”

If that’s the case, we can only imagine where you’ll be once you do. Good work, crew. We look forward to seeing where you go from here!

See below for some behind-the-scenes pics of the students’ process: