Release of 2024 Trailer - Fredrikstad Animation Festival

Release of 2024 Trailer

This year marks 30 years since the Fredrikstad Animation Festival started. However, it looked different back in 1994, being held in Oslo and went by the name Animerte Dager. The festival’s spirit is the same, promoting and supporting the Nordic animation scene, showing the best of the Nordic-Baltic animation, and providing high-quality seminar programming.

This year’s edition starts with our lovely trailer created by Heta Jäälinoja. We enlisted this FAF fan-favorite to direct and animate this year’s trailer because her beautiful line-drawn style was a pleasant variety to our trailer styles. Her film Nun or Never won the coveted FAF 2023 Audience Award.

Sound design & music by Jani Lehto at Böhle Studios.

Interview with Heta Jäälinoja, this has been edited for clarity and brevity.

How did you come up with the concept for the trailer? Was there a specific theme or message you wanted to convey?

I came up with this idea because my first idea didn’t work. I was doodling and found the tennis player’s positions enjoyable, so I thought it’d be nice to do something with them. I went to see the movie Challengers and fell really in love with the sound of the tennis racket hitting the ball. But in the end, the shuttlecock’s physics fitted this scene better. For some reason, I thought it would be easy to make one long scene with no cuts, but I spent a small eternity changing the timing some milliseconds back and forth.

What software and tools did you use to create the trailer?

I went down my old path, the holy trinity of TVPaint, After Effects, and Premiere. I used the hand-drawn doodles as the keyframes of my digital animation. When drawing digitally, I don’t manage to grasp the same free, careless feeling as when drawing by hand.

What is your favorite element or scene in the trailer? Why does it stand out to you?

My favourite is not the image but the sound. I felt that only after the sound was added I started to believe in this trailer. It definitely mentally uplifted me. Animation-wise, it was fun to make an animated zoom first time in my life.

Are there any upcoming projects you’re excited about that you can share with us?

I gifted myself a long summer holiday and I’m super excited about it! Besides doing small chores in the studio, I just want to bike around Tallinn with friends and admire the small flowers and the trees as they turn almost black when the night comes. This year I’m almost drunk on summer. Nature is a precious thing and I hope we’ll be able to preserve its richness in the future.

How did you approach the integration of sound in the trailer? Did you work with a composer or sound designer?

Sound and music is made by Jani Lehto from Böhle studios. He was the producer and sound designer of my latest film Nun or Never, so I knew he’d design a nice sound. I wrote him some thoughts that I had but gave him free hands to make his interpretation. It’s great when a sound designer lifts the elements in the scene that I haven’t really thought about myself. It allows me to see the scene from a new perspective.

Heta Jäälinoja is an internationally acclaimed young animation director. Her films combine vivid drawings with rich imagination, identifiable everyday comic themes, and minimal yet powerful storytelling. Her previous animation Penelope (Estonian Arts Academy, 2016) has been shown at more than 100 festivals and has won more than 12 awards, for example, National Grand Prix 2017 at Tampere Film Festival and Best New Nordic Voice 2017 at Nordisk Panorama.