Animation: Oscar nominee <I>Yes-People</I>
Marc Loftus
Issue: March/April 2021

Animation: Oscar nominee Yes-People

Gísli Darri Halldórsson’s animated short film Yes-People shares the story of an eclectic mix of people, all living in the same building, and each individually trying to find a way to cope with life’s daily struggles. The eight-minute short premiered at the Minimalen Short Film Festival in Norway and has gone on to win numerous awards. Most recently, it was nominated for an Oscar in the Animated Short Film category for the 93rd Academy Awards.
Icelandic animator and storyteller Gísli Darri Halldórsson graduated with a BA from the Irish School of Animation (Dublin) and has been a professional animator since 2007. He has worked on the Oscar-nominated shorts Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty and The Room on the Broom, and the BAFTA award-winning TV-series The Amazing World of Gumball.

Halldórsson has also worked in live-action, doing storyboards for Nordic noir series Trapped (Series 1) and Icelandic feature films such as Vultures and I Remember You. He has also contributed to several music videos. His work on Yes-People includes both writing and directing.

“The seed of the idea came in 2012, and a year later I began writing and designing it,” Halldórsson explains. “It was a painful process because I had to use tiny pockets of time in between freelance jobs, so [there was] a lot of stop and start until the film received a grant from the Icelandic Film Centre in 2018, [which] helped me finish it without interruption.”

The film received approximately one-third of the actual budget, and was produced by a crew of 13 people, which included six voice actors. The CG animation was generated on 2s, with every other frame used for the movement of the characters.

“The final animation was comp’ed with photographs from my father's archive, and lighting in 3D software was used to match the lighting within the photos,” he explains. “Editing wise, I was going for a silent-film feeling, so I minimized editing within scenes as much as I could.”

International sales of the short are being handled by Magnetfilm.