Eeeep it has been a while! In the past month, I injured my hand, back, broke a laptop, crowdfunded, and did a bit of animation.
I finished one of the four sections of the animation before we broke for Easter. I finished the section taking place in a desert, animated traditionally using pencil and then acrylic paint and composited digitally. First year student Orkey Chang worked with me and it was super helpful to work with her. After directing in a previous group project, I learned to be quite specific and direct and think of assets that would be good for their skill set. Orkey was super helpful and quite quick which was great and worked on both human and animal animation which she showed interest in.
I also did tests and organised to do the scratch on film section of animation. I am animating straight ahead and did tests with the help of the film department (and their beautiful new Steenbeck!) and now have all the materials ready to do that next week.
I planned everything and shot the live action sections today. It was such a massive prep but it was really interesting to do something totally different. I had my wrist bandaged up for a few days and a backache that I didn’t know you could get at age 25 after completely cleaning my deck to become a set and handling heavy iron garden furniture in and out of my flat. The costume design sent me all over the city and I changed my mind loads but ended up at one of the earliest ideas (that I believe Shaun mentioned) of having the costumes hint towards the mediums and moods of the characters animated imaginations. In the end, the colours and costumes was one of the things I was happiest with. The colours made a nice colour palette that came together naturally, working intuitively, trying to channel Agnes Varda. Directing was a challenge as bouncing between your imagination and directing others was wildly different than animating straight from imagination. I don’t think I am made for it as my films are usually more coherent than I am but as always I love trying new mediums and forms of art so it was super interesting in that sense. Surprisingly, I found myself more comfortable in front of the camera than behind it (I was one of the four actors in the scene.. by acting, that makes one less person to direct!). After looking at the footage, I think I could probably use it but think it would make sense to reshoot using someone who knows all the technicalities of a camera as that tripped me up a bit. It was a really good test though and will use the footage to mock up what it will look like (much better to show vision than my doodled animatic).
The pixilation section I have now sorted out and will shoot in two weeks time when I can take out the camera again. That would be just a day’s work and I am thinking to use a camera person for that as well.
The last section, the oil on glass, I will focus on when we return to uni for those three weeks.
I know it is a bit all over the place and such a mix but I still feel really excited about using all these materials and my story and sentiments all feel right and keep me going. Having finished all my past animations on time gives me the confidence that I will finish this one as well, although I know it will be mad to get there.
Casualties along the way
Abandoned communal deck transformed into a set
Pretending to know what to do