This mix of performance and animation by Kathy Rose I found by reference from an experimental animation book in the library (new favourite place). I found it quite playful and also respected her in the fact that she isn’t hiding behind a light table as I and most animators tend to do by nature of the medium; she is literally entering the world of the characters she creates. I imagine this must make her understand the timing of her animations in such a different way than we normally do as her own body has to respond to it. As I am interested in mixing live action and animation, this blend of performance and animation is inspiring and unique to me.
I received an email from Vallee Duhamel about their new video and loved it. They are a Montreal based studio that does lots of art direction and blends animation and live action in a highly polished yet highly experimental way. This particular piece is all live action but through editing they created a world that one would think could only be accomplished through animation. Also, the music and the colours work really well together to create a mood and harmonize perfectly, bringing the viewer into their world fully. It uses cyclicality and scale to create a surreal world and I am inspired by their editing and their professionalism, hoping to get to that level at some point as well.
When I first received the Children’s Society brief, I was paralysed with having the pressure of telling a story of a child refugee coming from Sudan to the UK, a topic both sensitive and one I personally have not experienced anything near. In the past, all of my work began with topics that are bothering me, stuck in my head, and my only responsibility has been to myself. So, this was intimidating.
I let some time pass, began research and watching films telling the story of child refugees and reading What is the What by Dave Eggers, a story of one of the lost boys of Sudan and his struggles of acclimating to a new culture and moving forward from an extremely difficult reality. This reality includes seeing his friends getting eaten by lions right in front of him as they made this journey to escape danger, more dangers always confronting them. I knew there was no way I could fully understand their journey as I understand my own but I was going to try to get closer than I was before.
I then went back to the audio and realised the speaker only talks about Sudan briefly in the beginning of his audio and his real focus is on acclimating to a new culture and his struggles with that. Having moved around a few times while growing up, this was something I could connect with more easily. Also, even though we are older, this is something most of us in the animation program have felt at one point, the majority of us being international students here. This is also something everyone feels at some point when travelling or when in a group of people who talk or look or act or behave differently than what they know. It is impossible to avoid unless you live in a little box. Aha! I found the universality.
Yesterday, I went to Tate Modern to see some of the surrealist works to get inspired by this idea of other, the strange, the foreign and how to visually represent that. As usual, though, I went for one exhibition and ended up being more struck by another. I stumbled the Khartoum school, “a modernist art movement formed in Sudan in 1960 that sought to develop a new visual vocabulary to reflect the distinctive identity of the newly independent nation” (Tate Modern). I am using the visuals and forms from this movement in my character design as it connects with the culture, works well with character I was beginning to design, and is beautiful in itself and the simplicity of its forms (would work nicely in morphing animation, something I want to explore further in this brief). References of Khartoum school below–>