I tried to animate one section fully and then move onto the next but somehow I keep editing them all. I started and finished with the acrylic on paper section. I kept changing the transition between live action and acrylic but eventually ended up mixing the two in a way inspired by the work of Helena Almeida.
Painting Orkey Chang’s frames
Mixing both mediums – involving using a fake mask in the live action, rotoscoping, and tracing leaves
Lovely little paper curls that I ended up with – could be of use somehow in stop motion?
Since the pixilation section of the film is based on daydreaming, I tried to be a bit loose with the planning for it but the first rendition didn’t look like much except a guy that liked flowers. I redid it and rethought it after looking through loads of books on dadaism and using that aesthetic to represent daydreaming. I made a shot list as with the live action which helped a lot on the day. I found it a bit easier than directing live action as the things you are telling the actors are more straightforward and having to do with placements of their limbs as opposed to their moods. At one point it was a bit tricky so I would direct the actor’s legs while the cameraman would direct the actor’s torso and that worked out well.
To represent his head being elsewhere, I printed out the whole section, displaced his head before his body a few frames and then glued the frames back together with a satisfying tear across the middle. By punching the animation holes in the top and the bottom of the pages, it allowed me to line all the frames up afterwards. I hope to do some more pixilation in the future..
Of all the sections, I most stuck to my animatic for the section of the character with anxiety. The idea was simple: have her sinking through three different levels of the ocean, with the animals around her getting progressively more intimidating. Originally, I was going to animate it with oil on glass but I when I tried it, I knew instantly it wasn’t right. It felt like I was animating with toothpaste. It didn’t fit the feeling and mood of the section. Animating it in the familiar watercolour matched the underwater theme as well as the fragility of the character. It also allowed me to play with the timing and layout much more in the edits as opposed to having to have it all figured out prior. Haemin Ko helped me out with the watercolour which was very helpful and I have learned how best to direct others at this point which is good. I tend to overcomplicate things but I realised I don’t need to overcomplicate it for others; I just need to give them enough information to best complete the bits of animation I need them to work on.
For the section of the film of the character who is on the phone, I thought it would be an interesting juxtaposition to have his mind animated by scratch on film. They both have a black background and seeing a scratch on film animation is usually a bit mad which mirrors the amount of stimulus we encounter via technology, albeit covered up by lots of overly designed visuals. There are no in betweens, no lining up layers, and you have a tiny amount of space to work on so the variation between frames is large by its nature. It wiggles and jumps all over the place and there is no point in fighting that otherwise might as well use another medium. I quickly realised my animatic would not work for this section and I had to simplify it more into shapes. I kept the technology theme by using the language of emoticons which are designed to be small in their nature. When I did a test, I realised that going 24/25fps would be way too fast for any kind of non abstract drawn section so I simply let myself make a series of loops that then I slowed down into threes. This allowed me to have triple the amount of material I needed (I originally had 50 feet which at 24/25 fps would be exactly the time I needed, 30 seconds). This way, the work was really done in the editing and I had lots to choose from in the editing and re-editing. It was freeing to work in this way and I am keen to try it fully abstracted on clear film, working with colours and working with the verticality of the medium.