Lucky by EB Hu

Lucky is a film that was made for Twenty120 earlier in the year. Attentive readers may already have seen it, but it’s really too gorgeous and haunting to let it slip by and not give it its own full post. Its creator, EB Hu is a Director and Motion Designer based in London. We previously featured another non-commercial short of his in 2007: Josie’s Lalaland. High time then to catch up with EB and find out what he’s up to:

What was the inspiration behind Lucky? How did you come up with the concept for the film?

I wanted to create a short some time ago after I saw images of Japanese Whale hunting. There is a extremely haunting picture that features the corpses of a mother whale and her cub. Then comes the occasion that I was asked to think of something around the theme “Good Luck”. When I put the images of my cat against the whale hunting, I felt the irony behind. Our pets have luckily adapted to human world, while the wild animals are unluckily being hunted. On the other hand, our pets have unluckily lost their sense of freedom while begging us for food. The real lucky ones would be those wild animals that escaped our chase.

What was the process like in actually making this? The Twenty120 shorts aren’t funded, so you have to make the time to complete them on your own, right?
Before Twenty120 ‘s calI, I already had the initial idea and had done a rough animatic. Once I was commissioned, I felt the topic would match my short very well.
At the time I was still assigned to my full time job, so I had to work my own stuff after work, but who doesn’t? I teamed up with my workmate Simon Graham. We usually spent few hours after work on building senses. Though we were using our own time, I still managed to set a deadline on the project which we had to stick to. The process spread into a 2-and-a-half week period, which went down pretty well according to my original art works and animatic.

We posted your short Josie’s Lalaland a few years back, and Philip Sheppard worked on the score for that as well. Each of them are so evocative and melancholy, how did you collaborate with him? Did you have the track first or did he score it to your picture?
I was lucky at the end of the project that my producer Joe Marshall found our mutual friend- musician Philip Sheppard – was willing to lend his instrumental talent on my piece, once more. Based on my rough animatic cut, Phil captured the atmosphere and recorded his piano playing, and I finalised the edit based on his music.

Can you give us a little background into your work history? How did you get involved in Motion Design and what have you been working on recently?
I started my career in Shanghai as a 2D & 3D animator. In 2004, I decided I need to find time to do more of my own concepts, so I left for UK, to study my MA degree. Upon graduation, I first briefly joined BskyB’s sport team and then BBC broadcast, lately Redbee Media. From 2008, I was represented by Redbee as a director until I left earlier this year. Now I have set up my own studio called MIE with my partners. We started up with a series of viral ads for Spinvox and some pop promos for Zero7. We recently finished George Michael’s new Christmas single promo called December Song, which is due to be released on 13th Dec. The final piece can be seen here.
Here is some additional art from December Song:


Lucky Credits:
Production Company: MIE
Direction and Design: EB Hu
Music: Phillip Sheppard
3D modelling: Simon Graham
Animation: EB Hu and Simon Graham
Producer: Joe Marshall