Spanning a distance of more than 3,000 miles, German-based director A. Soozandeh collaborated with his sister, animator Marz Soozandeh, and pop singer Hooman Nozar, both working in Iran. A. Soozandeh produced his first animation, “The Wool” in 2001, which received second place at the NextFrame festival in Philadelphia. He has since completed three other animated shorts and currently writes and animates children’s stories in German and Persian and cartoons which are aired globally.
The innocent perspective of his young audience serves as a pure canvas through which A. Soozandeh can convey his message: «I believe the children, because of their neutral perspective, can observe things differently than the adult… To observe the world like a child is an experience which I would like to have again and again.»
Marz Soozandeh studied design and art, and has worked with graphic design in advertising and television for 8 years. She designs and animates short films for children, and Nozar’s Divar is her first experience working on a music video. Nozar, a popular singer, employs singing and song writing as a tool to consider social problems currently affecting the world.
Also interested in art, Nozar studied graphic design. When considering their approach, the group chose to make a music video: «because we could reach with a short film substantially fewer public, we decided for a music video and broadcast it on TV.» After reading various Internet forums, the team elected Mirage as the means of realizing their concept.
Despite the distance that these creators faced, they found that the comprehensive but compact format of Mirage files allowed them to overcome limiting Internet capabilities, permitting them to send large amounts of data from Iran to Germany and back. The pixel-based files produced more life-like designs and meshed well with real-time video. Thus, these artists were able to share and realize their ideas quickly and inexpensively, without having to invest time and money in traditional animation tools and snail mail. Marz had never before dealt with the Mirage software, and informed his brother that she would need about a month in order to learn it — yet, three days later he received Marz’s first animation. One week later they began production. «We were very glad to be able to realize this project from storyboard to completion with only one program. Mirage projects were small enough, and we could draw in Mirage and combine them with the blue box pictures from the studio. Exactly what we looked for. The whole production took about one month, and the result surprised us all.»