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Alex Louw, Director of Charlie

Charlie started out as an assignment for my second year of film school when I had to make an animatic for an animation based on an interview. I thought immediately of my Dad telling me a story when I was young about a stupid dog from his childhood. I thought it would work perfectly as an animatic.


I asked my Dad to retell the story and I recorded him using my mobile phone, with him on the couch in the living room. It was very casual, and I wasn't too concerned about audio quality as I simply wanted Dad's delivery of the story to be as natural as possible. Thankfully he delivered an excellent take, and his laughter throughout the take really draws out the comedy of the situation. 


In my third year of film school when I was planning my script for my final graduate film, I thought back to the animatic for Charlie, and the positive reactions I got from the people to whom I showed it. I decided that it would be the perfect story to make into a animation as my graduate film. 


I brought my Dad into a studio where I could get a professional recording of the interview. Unfortunately that environment and the pressure of delivering a clear take meant that his delivery was nowhere near as entertaining as the recording I got on my phone. In the end I decided to use the original audio, and I just edited it to take out unnecessary parts and reducing background noise. The professional recording was not a fruitless endeavour, however. My Dad is notoriously good at making and imitating animal noises, so I got him to do several takes of dog noises, such as yelps, growls and barks. Almost all of the dog noises you hear in Charlie are the studio recordings of my Dad.

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