The Book Club

About the Film 

The Book Club tells the story of Nigel and Ellie. Nigel lives alone, going about his daily life, with little thought for much beyond his garden fence. Until one day, Ellie arrives on his door step, offering a monthly book club subscription. Every time Ellie returns, Nigel attempts to impress her with a new outfit or act. Of course, this does not entirely go to plan. The Book Club is a story of love and friendship, but it carries a deeper message, about staying true to oneself.

About the Filmmaker 

Tobias La Montagne is a musician and award- winning filmmaker. His Stop Motion animated short film The List was shown at the 2017 Scout Film Festival and received Grand Prize and Audience Favorite award at the 2015 Ashfield Film Festival. His sequel to The List, the Stop Motion animated short The Book Club received Grand Prize and Audience Favorite award at the 2017 Ashfield Film Festival. He has garnered accolades from The International Youth Silent Film Festival where his film The Blue Box, made with filmmakers Annie Matica and Elias Konturas for their company Vast Walk Films, was a finalist. La Montagne is also the owner of Zap! Film LLC, a video and media production company. La Montagne also writes and performs original music with his band Parlicium. They have performed at the Green River Festival, Three County Fair, Ashfield Fall Festival, GoshenRocks, The Valley Sessions and Bratt Rock, among others. He lives in western Massachusetts with his family.

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Q&A on the Film 

Book Club.jpgRead the full Q&APBS Spoke with Writer, Director, and Animator Tobias LaMontagne about how he brought his intricate stop-motion set to life in eight months. 

PBS: Can you tell us more about the process behind making this stop-motion film? How long does it take to bring something like this to life? Where did you source the materials for your set?

Tobias LaMontagne: This particular piece was eight months of work in total, from the start of pre-production, to the end of post. Out of that it was, of course, the animation that consumed the most time, taking four months to animate the final five-minute film. The materials came from quite a few different sources. This film is a sequel to my 2015 short, “The List.” I still had a lot of furniture and house dressings from the first production.

The house that the main character Nigel lives in was built for this film from a kit. Everything had to be added, as the only way the kit was prepared was laser-cut shapes. Paint, wallpaper, flooring, furnishings etc. all had to be brought in. The house alone took me roughly a month to construct. The neighboring houses were purchased pre-built as their interiors didn’t need any particular layout or feel. Another change from the first film was that we used fake grass on this set opposed to a real piece of turf in “The List.” I knew the process would take much longer on this film so we needed something that wouldn’t age over time. I found a lot of the miniature set dressings from local stores and some searching online. The film was truly a labor of love, so much was built by hand, and I think it translates very well into the final visual piece.

More from the Q&A 

About the Partner 

Operating out of the Riley Broadcast center in Wixom, Michigan, Detroit Public TV publicly serves the nation's 11th largest television market. DPTV hopes for a community that people trust public media to facilitate new ideas, make decisions and enjoy enriched lives. DPTV provides local programming that airs culture, art, news and educational outreach campaigns that use the power of media to provide knowledge and understanding.

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