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Elif Dönmez & Deniz Koçyiğit


3 Minutes




A bulky man with long messy hair and beard enters a graveyard, digs up a coffin, and then drags it into an abandoned shop. There, he performs a necromantic ritual to raise the corpse from the dead. After the spell is cast the man sits on a chair in front of a mirror, while the corpse rises back to life behind him. It extends its hand towards the man, but surprisingly starts cutting and styling the man’s hair. The plot turns out to be the wholesome reunion of a barber and his long-time client!

Elif Dönmez is a recent graduate from Bahcesehir University with a major in Cartoon and Animation and a 3.5 GPA. During school, she has also worked in the animation industry professionally for nearly three years as a concept designer and 3D character artist with one of the studios being Lighthouse VFX, a prolific animation company based in Istanbul. Making independent short films is an ideal endeavor for her since it is an open art form for trying experimental styles and lets one curate every detail on their own.

Deniz Koçyiğit is an animator and aspiring filmmaker who recently graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from Bahcesehir University. He has nearly three years of experience as a professional animator and is still working in the field. Since he loves both the process of creating a story and telling it through animation, he has made creating independent films a goal for himself.

The origin of the idea for our film, Cut from the Dead, was from when Deniz moved across the country to attend university and had to go to a different barber from the one he had gone to literally since he was a baby. He left that first appointment with a frown and a terrible haircut. I know he tried several different barbers to cut his hair just the same way his childhood barber did before he gave up and decided he was simply going to buzzcut his own hair. We came up with a story for fun at the time about a guy who went too far not to change his barber, and when the time to make our graduation films came, we realized we already had our script!

Even though we love the gothic aesthetic, it's not the only reason why we set the film in a vaguely Victorian era. Until the mid-18th century, there was a profession called a "barber-surgeon". They used methods like bloodletting, applied leeches, and even did dental work. Taking advantage of this strange concept, we implemented little details like adding vintage doctor tools on the desk and a jar of leeches to make the atmosphere even more ominous; this also made the ending that much more unpredictable.

We thought the feeling of stop-motion would suit our film, so we utilized our knowledge of CGI and tried to replicate that look with 3D animation. We decided to compose our own score to fit the film like a glove and tried to make it so the music would rise or stop at important story beats. We hadn't done something like this before, it was challenging but fun. When all these elements came together we had a short film in our hands!


Writer/Director/Producer - Elif Dönmez & Deniz Koçyiğit