To me, a short film shouldn’t be overly complicated. Few characters, one location and one single plot occurrence. That is what we tried to do with Arrêt Pipi (which means bathroom break and is about... a bathroom break).
The film is based on Japanese Urban Legend by the name of Ako Manto, about a malicious spirit who haunts public and school toilets, asking if you want red paper or blue toilet paper. I’ve always imagined Japan to be a slightly creepy country, a perfect setting for a story such as Ako Manto.
We needed a similarly eerie setting, and this lead us to Wallonia, Belgium. If you are from the Netherlands you've most likely passed by this part of Belgium if you've driven through southern Europe. I remember being creeped out by this place as a child, staring out the window of my parents car. Dark forests, abandoned industrial towns and a general feeling of desolation...
We shot Arrêt Pipi over two stressful days on a very tight budget. Director Maarten Groen & DoP Mick van Dantzig were heavily inspired by the mysterious work of photographer Gregory Crewdson. Maarten and I only wanted to use practical effects for this film, which is why we asked a great team of special make up artists. Post-production happened rather quickly as we had to deliver the film to the network five days after shooting began.
Making Arrêt Pipi has been a great experience. The film was featured by Short Of The Week and selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick. We're very grateful to all the members of our crew who graciously worked on a voluntary basis. Thank you all for watching and be on the look out for more to come!