Hope you’re all kicking ass creatively.
I’ve recently stumbled across an excellent website called Great Women Animators.
The website is a database of female animators from the 1800’s through to the present. It also covers both animators working in the art world and cinema industry, which is great as there sometimes can be a bit of a divide as to what animation resources cover.
It’s by no means an exhaustive list of women working in the animation field, but as it says in the sidebar, it’s always going to be a work in progress. The database contains several of my favourite animators such as Suzan Pitt and Caroline Leaf, but there are many more that I’ve never heard of. I’m keen to dig in over the next few weeks and find some great animation I haven’t come across before.
I probably don’t need to say it but initiatives like Great Women Animators are a great way to address the gender inequality in moving image and the greater culture which it represents. According to a multiple of sources there are far less Women working in cinema than men. I have not been able to find any statistics on equality in the animation industry itself, but I imagine animation is a ‘bit’ better than the cinema industry as a whole, but probably not by much. The website also has a great resources section if you want to continue delve further.
Hopefully databases such as Great Women Animators help young women(and everyone) to find artists that inspire them and encourage them to dive in and start making. Initiatives like this create a great way to discover new artists that can inspire and influence your work, so check out the website or accompanying tumblr!
The website is run and maintained by Canadian artist/illustrator Heather Kai Smith who’s work you can check out here.
I’m still alive and still working on my film!!!
I’ve almost finished my feature screenplay but I have a little way to go. I just need to tighten up the dialogue, the ending and sharpen the premise and I’m done. Well… kind of done anyway. Writing a screenplay is one of those things where even when you’re ‘done’ it’s liable to still need adjustment and work later on. So as soon as I hit 95% on the screenplay I’ll move on to other parts of pre-production. The story is way better than it was, however I’m still having some trouble with getting the dialogue how I want it. Dramatic yet not cliche or hackneyed. Sounds simple yet it seems to be harder than I imagined.
I’ve also begun to do research and environment concept art which is really fun. I’ll do a post soon on various other parts of the pre-production I’m working on, such as character design, environment design and directing voice actors.
Also, as soon as I can afford a decent mic I’ll start working on some videos highlighting and reviewing rare animations that I think are interesting. I have to study and examine other animations and films anyway so I thought if I document it and make videos about them, it might help people discover some new stuff they’re into. I’ll also get a basic camera soon so I can make production video logs of my film-making process, video tours of my studio(*cough* bedroom) and other content. In the future I should be posting at least once a week! ><
That’s all for now!
I’ve been going through a bit of a rough patch with my health lately, hence the lack of posts and progress.
A couple of weeks back I got a pretty bad case of the Flu and it ended up turning into an intense case of tonsillitis. It looked and felt like insects had laid eggs in my throat. Thankfully after a course of antibiotics I’m almost 100% again.
I’ve also had a pretty difficult few months mental health wise, battling with depression. It’s something that I’ve struggled with since I was a teenager and It’s never really gone away, I’ve just gotten better at dealing with it. It still comes back to fuck with me every so often.
I really recommend learning how to use Cognitive Behavior Therapy if you suffer from a similar thing. It won’t cure you but it might be a useful tool to help you at least make your depression manageable. See a pro for sure if you’re having a rough time, but if for some reason you can’t (cost etc.) there are some D.I.Y CBT guides out there to take you through it and help you learn to utilise it yourself. Hopefully it’ll help you remain productive even in the shittest of times.
Another thing I’m beginning to realise the more I get older is that if you hope to make it as an independent filmmaker, artist, musician, writer etc., you really need to take care of your body as well as your mind. Because we’re working on the fringes with fuck-all money or support it really puts you in a precarious place if you get sick or messed up. It also sucks up loads of time you could be spending improving in your art. You can’t work as hard when you’re sick and your quality of life isn’t as good so it’s worth keeping on top of.
I’ve been trying to exercise every day or two and eat better which is making me feel better. It also gives me more energy to do solid creative work. No doubt I’ll have a relapse into healthiness but as long as I get back on the horse I’ll be making progress.
Anyway that’s enough of a rant for now. I’ll have more updates on my feature and more badass animation content soon.
Over the weekend I finished the 11th draft of my feature script and had some friends around to do a reading of it. They gave heaps of in-depth feedback and solid critique which is what I needed. The outside perspective is really helpful as after days and days of writing you can kind of lose perspective and you miss things that don’t really make sense or aren’t particularly strong.
I’m going to take 6 days off the feature and then I’ll get stuck back into it with fresh eyes. I’m not sure how many drafts it’ll take until I get to the final version but It feels like I’m getting much closer.
I’m really looking forward to finishing it and getting stuck into other pieces of production which will roll out quicker.
Gotta keep pushing on!
Normally I try to stay away from more commercially oriented stuff on this site as Underground Animation is for the stuff that’s made for the sake of it, not for a commission(not that I’ve got anything against that per se)… but this is way too good not to post.
A reader messaged in and reminded me of this great video of Terry Gilliam in his younger days, showing how to make a cut-out animation. His enthusiasm is really contagious. What a dude!