Director Interview: Animated Short THE CLEARING

A marriage on the rocks about to implode.

The Clearing is an animated short that recently achieved Oscar nomination eligibility. It is the brainchild of Daniel Robert Hope who wrote, directed, and animated this devilishly good character study. If you are a fan of Wallace & Gromit, then you’ll enjoy this dark and spooky character study. It was my pleasure to chat with him for a bit about this intriguing new short work.

You will be able to see The Clearing for yourself beginning on December 9th as part of The New Yorker Screening Room series.

Bill is a wildly delusional sad case. He thinks of himself at the head honcho of the family but he neglects his wife and son at every turn. It’s only a matter of time before he gets his comeuppance and then some. Deb is his partner and she’s pretty much had it. Perhaps some unexpected development will set things straight.

Bill and Deb are played by legendary comedy talents, the husband and wife team of Julian Barratt and Julia Davis. Hope conjures up a riveting morality play spiked with wonderful dry wit that is fully brought to life by the voices of Barratt and Davis.

Silly and sad in equal measure, Hope’s surreal comedy would fit right into a vintage episode of The Twilight Zone. Hope was joined in his efforts by producer Johannes Schubert, who was named Austria’s Producer on the Move at the Cannes Film Festival in 2022 and was featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

The Clearing is the latest of a host of outstanding animations to come out of the U.K.’s prestigious National Film and Television School, including Wallace & Gromit, The Hill Farm, Head Over Heels, The Bigger Picture, and many more.

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