Cisma: Adobe “Le Sens Propre”

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Q&A with Cisma

What was the brief on this project? Was it wide open, in terms of script/concept?
Basically it was a 98% open brief and the only requirement was to do everything using Adobe products exclusively.

If you wrote the script, where did you get the idea?
Since Adobe products are more about filmmaking and didn’t really need me to communicate a specific message, I took that as an opportunity to make an experimental film focused on art direction and creativity. My goal was to hold the attention of the viewer by the way the story is told and not the desire of knowing how it’s going to end. I also tried to make the visual language the most important aspect of the film.

Like “The Fly and the Eye” and “Handmade,” “Le Sens Propre” is based in live action. You mix graphics, visual effects and in-camera tricks to create a surreal world that seems to be as much about the act of perception as it is about the film’s subject.
Exactly, I think differently from animation, films based in live action are way too close to reality, it’s an immersive experience, our eyes believe on what we are seeing as it is happening in front of us. But because of that I think that there’s too little space for personal interpretation, some films in live action are just hypnotic and don’t really make you think.

Tell me about how your approached making “Le Sens Propre”?
Given the creative freedom of this project, I first started to create strange scenes and weird connections between elements of the story in the universe of a little girl.

Do you have a favorite part or moment in the film? If yes, what is it and why?
My favorite part is the donut sock scene, I remember when I was a child taking out my socks like that.

What was the most challenging aspect of the project?
The most technical challenge was to not use any 3D software in a visual effects film. But at same time, because we have this limitation we have an even more organic and real result because many of the effects were made in-camera or using a lot of shooting plates.

Production Stills


Title: “Le Sens Propre” Short Film
Written & Directed by Cisma

Client: Adobe
Product: CS4 – Creative Suite 4

Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco
Creative director: Keith Anderson
Associate Creative Director: Tony Stern
Associate Creative Director: Frank Aldorf
Art director: Karishma Mehta, Jon Willard
Copywriter: Gregory Lane, Jesse Gazzuolo
Broadcast Producer: Brian Coate

Production Company: Blacklist, New York
Writer & Director: Cisma
Executive Producers: Aaron Kisner, Adina Sales
Producer: Cassie Hamilton

Live Action Production Services: Margarida Flores E Filmes, São Paulo
Executive Producers: Paulo Schmidt, Fabiano Beraldo
Production Coordinators: Ingrid Raszl, Thais Freire
Production Director: Adriano Gobbi
Director of Photography: Pierre de Kerchove
First AD: Janie Paula
Second AD: Livia Duclerc
Casting: Flavia Cocozza
Stylist: Daniel Ueda
Wardrobe Assistants: Rita Lazzarotti, Kali Leuzzi
Production Designer/On Set Art Director/Scenography: Olivia Helena Sanches
Art Assistants: Amanda de Freitas Coelho, Ana Elisa Arietti
Set Technicians: Santana Cenários, Lindolfo de Jesus Santana, Jose Fernandes Dos Santos
Props: Sergio Heineck, Juliana Matsuki
Props Assistant: Mariana Herman
Props (toys): Verônica de Oliveira Kehl
Storyboard Artist: Renato Blaschi
Location Scout: Alexandre Rocha
Stager: Helio Villela Nunes

Stop Motion Animation: Animatorio, São Paulo
Post Production: Illegal FX, São Paulo
Post Production Coordinator: Francisco Ruiz
Editor (Premiere): Marcio Soares
Colorist: Daniel Dias
AE Compositors: Daniel Dias, Pedro Gebara, Guilherme Correa, Luis Costa
AE Rotoscoping: Rogerio Merlino, Marcelo Martins, Marcio Martins, Diego Rock

Music & Sound Design: Paulo Beto
Mix: Joe Ramos, Big Joe Sound, Santa Monica

About the author

Justin Cone

Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.