Review Fix chats with animator Peter Peak, who discusses the film’s origin, creative process and what it’s like to be a part of this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival.
About ’Take Rabbit’:
Peter Peake’s delightful animated short Take Rabbit features the vocal talents of Matt Berry (Toast Of London, The Mighty Boosh), Amelia Bullmore (I’m Alan Partridge, Brass Eye), Stephen Graham (This Is England, Boardwalk Empire) and Steve Pemberton (The League Of Gentlemen, Inside No.9). Having only just started its festival run, this wonderful film has already been selected for seven high profile film festivals, including the upcoming Edinburgh International Film Festival.
Based on an age-old conundrum, a man attempts to transport some unlikely passengers across a river in his tiny boat but soon realises he’s taken on more than he bargained for.
Review Fix: What inspired the creation of this film?
Peter Peake: It’s based on a riddle where a man has to get a fox, a rabbit and a cabbage across a river. He can only take one at a time in his boat and he can’t leave the fox with the rabbit as the fox will eat the rabbit and he can’t leave the rabbit with the cabbage as the rabbit will eat the cabbage.
Review Fix: What makes this film special to you?
Peake: I took a year out of my day job to make this film without any funding so I’m secretly quite proud that it even got finished let alone being shown in festivals around the world and getting nice feedback. Also I’m a huge fan of all the actors we were able to work with (seriously – I’m not just being sycophantic!) so it’s really special to have made something with all of them.
Review Fix: What was it like to be a part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival?
Peake: It’s a proper honour to have my film selected. I haven’t been yet this year – it’s coming up in a week or so and I’m very excited. My first two short films did well at Edinburgh many years ago (so I’ve always admired their taste!). And I’ve always had a great time there. I have particularly fond memories of a Closing Night party I got a chance to go to!
Review Fix: What have you learned from your other films?
Peake: I try and do something a little bit different with each film, in terms of content, technique and style so hopefully I’ve built up some knowledge of how to tell a story, how best to make it and how it might look. Or you’d hope so.
Review Fix: How did this film affect you as a creator?
Peake: I would say my other films have all been pretty much played for laughs and with this one I wanted to do something with a bit more to it. More developed characters and something a bit more reflective. Believe it or not it’s probably the most personal thing I’ve done and as such it’s the most nervous I’ve been about showing it to the wide world. It’s a huge relief it seems to be going down well.
Review Fix: How do you want people to be affected by this film?
Peake: There is literally zero message behind this film! If there is it’s probably quite bleak – don’t try and help people and everything is ultimately futile?! You’re welcome! I’d just like people to engage with the characters and find it an entertaining and possibly amusing way to spend a quarter of an hour.
Review Fix: Bottom line, why must someone watch it?
Peake: Because it might make you laugh. Or smile slightly. Or it might just divert your attention away from that massive tax bill you have to pay for 15 minutes (you’ll still have to pay it though)
Review Fix: Any thoughts on a graphic novel adaptation?
Peake: I hadn’t until you just mentioned it. That could be nice, however I do think the vocal performances are such a big part of it. I’d definitely be up for giving it a try if someone were interested. Actually that could be very nice…
Review Fix: What’s next?
Peake: I’ve got an idea for a short animated film that I’m really fond of and has been buzzing around my head for years. In fact I have pretty much laid the whole thing out as a graphic novel coincidentally. Again it’s very different from any of my other short films most notably for the fact it’s quite sweet and in no way cynical! This film really does have a message and it’s extremely positive. It’s about time I did something like that.