Garret Phelan, artist/curator/all round messer came in to give a 3 day animation workshop. Throughout the first day the topics for the group project were debated, discussed, disparaged, diluted and deconstructed. Again, this gets back to artists, even such weanlings as ourselves, being as easy to get consensus as the eventual choice of topic proved to be. Repeal the 8th. a worthy topic for dissection certainly, but by the end of the first day we were 21 donkeys pulling in generally the same direction but not quite. It was never going to work as a single animation. So the tack that i took was to sit on a fence, or rather tried to sit on.
Charcoal animation a la William Kentridge is beautiful, but you can be damn sure that he knows at least where he is going with his imagery before he starts. I did not. And when i suggested to the coordinator that maybe we should storyboard I was told to just freestyle it. HA! Starting with a fairly innocuous pair of words “Yes” and “No” and trying to mash them together to show the messy nature of binary discourse which on the surface looks simple, proved otherwise. Speech bubbles become torso and head and the tail of the speech bubbles become arms and legs and then you end up with loaded imagery. Which is all well and good except for the fact you have spent 60 odd drawings and half a day to get there. In retrospect, the solution given to me by an accomplished animator Eimhin would have eased me out of that imaginary cul de sac; Spacecrabs. I should have turned that stinking little unintentional foetus into a Spacecrab.
I should have aborted the animation altogether and would have if I had that option.
What we have here is the result of carrying to term a fatal animated abnormality.
Moral of the story is to always, always, Storyboard.