I want to make animations. I’ve known this for a while, but I’m just starting to come to certain realisations… that I want my work to be experimental and different from conventional media out there… but most of all, that I want to make animation with a strong narrative element. Narrative and story have a hell of a lot of power to them, and if it’s done right and isn’t purely the ‘same old shit’ it can change people or just make people think. Abstract animations, or animation without story are really interesting and I love a lot of them, however my interests definitely lie in slightly more conventional territory. Fear not though, my work will still be really fucking odd.
Narrative is a huge concept and can be pretty abstract so there is still shitloads of room to do varied and different things with it. Previously the majority of my work and animations have been experimental and if they had a narrative focus, it was secondary to other things I was trying to do at the time. I did this for several reasons, one of which i think was that I found comfort in pure experimentation and lack of adhering to any conventions. I’ve decided to bite the bullet and train myself to make the best narrative works I possibly can, even if that means my first few are completely lame and don’t really work(which is a definite possibility).
I’m currently working on a 3 part comic Zine and two narrative animations. I’ve never really written dialogue or characters before so I’ve got my work cut out for me. I’m finding that the comic zine is a really good exercise in writing for characters because I can write a lot of dialogue and a lot can happen in the scene; yet it won’t take me over a year to actually produce the work from script. It’s still visual but it’s quicker than animation and useful because I have trouble writing something if i know I’m never going to use it.
One of the animators that I look up to and respect, M Dot Strange has previously talked about aspects of his work and the order of importance he places in them. He puts 4 of aspects in order of more to less important.
I agree with him and feel that this ordering is important. Originality is important, however it isn’t the MOST important aspect with the kind of work I want to create. Story and Character are extremely important; however because I’m not interested in realism, Mood and world building are key to creating an effective final piece. These are all important aspects which need to be worked on, but putting them in order helps to make my goals and priorities clear when creating work.
It’s going to be a long(and possibly embarrassing) haul but it’s time to truly start.