Horse in a coat, guffaw like a horse, dappled horse, Chief Crazy Horse, at last…
All the well-known images at first promised us an easy task, similar to making a stump of a tree using an axe.
Before the work started nobody thought that a horse could be such a tough character, and that the work on it can drag on so much.
One would think: what is so tough about that? You should just go and draw a horse. Everybody has seen them not only in movies and cartoons, but also with their own eyes.
So we went and we drew – and there ensued a horse, an ordinary, unremarkable horse… But the problem was that we needed a Personage and a Character of the movie, and not just a noble animal.
The main thing was to find the form and proportions of our character, to draw as for them to coincide with artist’s view and not to stand out from the general stylistics of the movie.
Our Buţa has to be not just an ordinary cart or peasant’s horse, but a horse, which would look similarly good both on the battlefield and put in harness of Gojo’s wagon. At the same time it has to have its own inimitable temper. Specially for this we called the animal painters – painters, specializing in animals, but they also came with nothing but an ordinary domestic animal.
After long and unsuccessful searches of the image we understood that the casual attitude towards the goal won’t work. We should understand deeper the nature, habits and moves of the real horses.
We didn’t have to ask the producer for a long while and so we went outside of town to communicate with the live horses.
There we found out a lot of new stuff about the horses (they really guffawed at us like horses), talked to breeders and trainers (they guffawed too), rode the horses (that’s when we guffawed at one another)…
After this trip everything went swimmingly – Buţa came to life, got his charm and temper. But you would rather see for yourselves…