Christmas is once again hurtling towards us at a fantastic speed. And while there’s still so much to do in the run-up to the big day, that doesn’t mean we should overlook the unsung heroes that make Christmas possible. And that’s just what Niceshit and Lobulo celebrate in their new short film, A Holiday Dream.
Centred around everyday objects which add some magic to Christmas, including a bathroom cactus, a stocking hanging by a roaring fire and an attention-starved Christmas tree, A Holiday Dream gives them their time to shine and lets them finally air some home truths about the burden they have been carrying.
As with all Christmas treats, this one has been in the works for a while. Niceshit creative director Carmen Angelillo tells Creative Boom that A Holiday Dream started out as an idea in July when she bumped into Lobulo at Motion North.
“After the event and a couple of pints, we decided to do something together!” she explains. “The following week, we had a video call to brainstorm an idea, and quite quickly, the first draft for A Holiday Dream came out.”
Aided by their friendship, creative alignment and a similar sense of humour, A Holiday Dream sounds like a long overdue collaboration and a joy to work on. “We love a good story, and if it has a message, even better,” Carmen adds. “When writing it, we wanted the story to feel close to us, and hopefully, after watching the film, someone you care about instantly comes to your mind.”
Given Lobulo’s skills as a craftsman, Carmen knew from the beginning that she wanted the film to be physical. However, the latest controversial trends in the art world that reared their heads in 2023 only gave the pair more incentive to create a traditional, tactile project.
“All the AI trends gave us a great push to get as far as we could from that and to get to do something with our hands and friends,” she says. “This is AI-free generated art!”
As for the film’s subject matter, it was important for Niceshit and Lobulo to avoid cliches and find a new approach to the well-worn topic of Christmas. “We decided we wanted to do something for the holidays, but from a different point of view, a different perspective, and so we decided to shift the focus out of the celebrations and onto the ones who make these possible,” Carmen reveals.
“This film is dedicated to the real heroes here! Those who do all the work during the holiday season and whose efforts often go by unseen or unappreciated: from cab drivers to nurses and to that family member who has been cooking for days!”
As for the unsung heroes of A Holiday Dream, special mention has to go to both parties for all the effort they put into it. “Transporting the whole cast of puppets from the UK to Spain was an adventure,” laughs Carmen.
“Lobulo built all the puppets in his studio in London, and we shot and built the backgrounds in Barcelona, near Niceshit’s studio. Lobulo flew with three big suitcases and a puffy mini fridge under his arm. Imagine the officer at customs’ face!”
The short film was equally challenging and exciting because it was Niceshit’s first attempt at a fully-crafted puppet show. But as the final results proved, everything came together and paid off.
“We managed to put together an incredible team of friends and an incredible artist who helped us so much in this adventure,” Carmen concludes. “We have enjoyed it so much and every part of the process: from writing, designing, getting our hands dirty and the rush of shooting for several days.”