UPDATE(Feb. 2nd): Mrs. Maryam Mohajer won the BAFTA Awards for Best British Short Animation. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1. How did you come up with the animated short Grandad Was A Romantic?
I was thinking about the old love stories between our grandparents or great grandparents in Iran. How passionate and spontaneous they were. Falling in love at first sight then travelling for days to see your beloved. It’s also based on a few people that I knew or knew of, mixed together as one character.
2. Were there other titles you came up with before Grandad Was A Romantic? If so, what were they?
The words Grandad and romantic were there from the start; My romantic grandad, My very romantic grandad etc.
3. What is your writing habit?
It's more like an obsession. I start with the idea then I'm constantly thinking about it; there are many times that I wake up in the middle of the night and write things down in the special notebook that I keep on my bedside table.
4. What research did you do when making Grandad Was A Romantic?
Knowing some of the characters helps with the research; you just think about the memories you have of them or ask people about their specific characteristics, need to be careful when mixing a few characters into one though. I did a lot of research on traditional Persian sport 'Zoorkhaneh' in order to get the movements, the outfit and the location right.
5. Did you know how Grandad Was A Romantic would end or did it come to you while writing the story?
The ending was clear and decided from the start.
6. In one word how would you sum up your overall experience with Grandad Was A Romantic?
7. Congratulations on getting a BAFTA nomination for Best British Short film, who are you excited to meet or see at the ceremony?
Too many names come to mind.
8. How did you first found out that Grandad Was A Romantic got nominated for BAFTA’s Best British Short Animation?
I knew they were going to announce the nominations at 7:30am so I was sitting on the stairs with my daughter and my partner - all dressed and waiting to go to work/school- watching my phone screen. It was tense. Then the title just came up. I jumped. I screamed. I jumped again. this went on for a while. My daughter was staring at me.
9. If you win the award, are you going to have a speech prepared or are you going to wing it?
Haven't decided yet.
10. Which fictional character (besides yours) would you like to sit down and chat with?
11. What can you talk about for hours?
Funny stuff, stories, animation, films, dogs, food, kids, running
12. What piece of advice do you have for aspiring animators starting out?
Start drawing. Don't be scared.
13. Which of your animated shorts would you like to see made into an animation TV/streaming series or animated feature?
I think a few of them could work as part of a series.
14. Could you give a sneak peek on your next project?
It's a story about my grandad who played the accordion.
15. Last question, which film do you think would win for BAFTA’s Best Animated Film?
I haven't seen the other two nominated yet so really can't tell.
Congrats to Maryam Mohajer on her nomination. All the best as well and I hope she has the greatest time ever at the BAFTA ceremony. I want to thank her once again for taking her time to answer those questions. Also, I want to thank you, readers, for reading this latest blog interview and for visiting Novelpro Junkie. Take care and I hope you come here again.