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Friday, 14 March 2014

The Phil Chronicles: Daniel Christensen

"Last Christmas I worked for a short period on a great script called The Ledge End of Phil (from accounting). When first presented to me, it reminded me of Terry Gilliams Brazil and Tim Robbins character in The Hudsucker Proxy. It still does but it is also has its own sweet universe.

I worked with Paul before at Cartoon Saloon and when he asked me if I wanted to storyboard his idea, I think I said yes straight away (did you buy me a pint of Guinness first Paul?) It was the dark days of winter, I had just moved from Ireland back to Denmark and with no apartment of my own yet I sat in my parents kitchen, on a chair no back doctor would recommend, working away on a small laptop with my trusty square Wacom drawing pad feeling a bit like Phil! Luckily I had Skype and Paul was my seagull!

As I remember it now writing this from my parents kitchen, this time only as a visitor though, I think we were on the same page for the project. Paul had many ideas, some already boarded and timed, so it was a matter of getting all the pieces to fit together. A great luxury problem compared to a director with few notions of what he wants. On top of Paul's ideas there was also plenty of room for me to invent gags, especially for the Seagull. We experimented quite a bit with the level of zaniness and just how quirky the seagull could and should be. The play between square guy Phil and the loony Seagull was fun and one of those bits you could keep working on, like a comedian perfecting his act. We skyped, drew pictures and send them back and forth, trying to get to the essence of what Phil and his universe was about.

Seeing the film a whole year later I can honestly and proudly say that Paul took what I handed in, the first draft of the storyboard, tweaked it, cut, it, used it and re imagined some ideas to get his vision through. A first draft is meant to be re-cut and played with and I hope I delivered some good toys for Paul to play with, just in time for Christmas!"

Daniel Dion Christensen

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