AWUK Raising Visibility | Alex Davy

We firmly believe in the importance and impact of raising the visibility of women within Animation and VFX in order to support and inspire others. As a members' organisation run by volunteers, we welcome involvement from you, our members, to make this happen! In this new blog series, we ask recent event speakers to share their experiences with us. 
If this inspires you to also get involved, please contact our Panel Producer, Debra Coleman, at debrac@animatedwomenuk.com

Introducing Speaker: Alex Davy

Please introduce yourself/tell our other members a little bit about yourself.

Hello! My name is Alex Davy, well actually it's Alex Connolly but you know how is it after you get married but people know you for your previous name, so I guess I'm Alex Davy for my career, but Alex Connolly when on the phone to the nursery.

I'm a storyboard artist and first time director for the upcoming Bluezoo short 'Armour'. Also juggling a 9 month old, long covid and house move (Not literally juggling my baby please don't call the authorities)

What events have you contributed to, on behalf of Animated Women UK?

I gave a talk at Animex 2022 this year about being a first time director and first time mum. It was a surreal experience as to be honest, does anyone ever feel like they're an expert at work and have the right to talk to others? Or is that just me? Either way, I was plonked in amongst some really talented speakers who were giving quite technical and proficient talks about VFX, games and animation, giving
their expertise about how these incredible shots were made and what kind of tech was involved to achieve it,

...then there's muggins here giving a silly talk about being a mum. It got quite a few laughs though, and at the end a very sweet woman came up to me thanking me for talking about what its like to be a mum working in animation because it seems like no one ever...talks about it? Like you have to hide your baby from zoom calls in case the CEO's find out and you're yeeted off the project, OR if you're just THINKING about having kids and wondering how on earth that's even possible with all the unpaid overtime, working through sickness etc etc etc

Spoiler - turns out the answer is to just lose your marbles

Alex Davy giving a talk at Animex

Please tell us a bit more about them: what was involved? Was it in person, or remote/virtual? Who was the audience? What was your role?

The talk was in person, which was the first time I'd done anything like that since my daughter was born. There was a green room and everything, even a fancy dinner the next day. I remember getting picked up at my house by a driver Animex had organised, putting make up on in the car whilst apologising to the driver, 10 minutes earlier asking him politely (shouting out the window) to wait a tic because none of the posh clothes I had before pregnancy fit my body anymore and I was just having a teensy breakdown.

Fast forward to the dinner and I'm walking about with an inane grin on my face because I was doing career stuff again! I was talking about animation! I was an actual person again and not a 1-woman-cafeteria as Ali Wong puts it. I had make-up on, and EARRINGS. DANGLY EARRINGS.

The audience for the talk was a mix of other industry professionals (terrifying) and students (equally terrifying but a bit sweeter). I'm amazed anyone came to be honest as put 'being a mum' in the title of any talk and you've already alienated all the blokes, and most students who aren't quite in that mindset yet? Either way somehow it was a full house and we had some laughs as I muddled through the creative decisions behind the short, what its like working alongside your male CEO and trying to stand your ground creatively but also not shit yourself because he's the big big boss. Its been a huge learning curve and I can't wait to do it again.

'Armour' short, directed by Alex Davy for Blue Zoo - concept/look dev

How did you find the experience? What did you learn/gain from being involved? Anything you would have done differently?

Next time round being a director I won't be as much as a fanny as I have been on this one - meaning I won't fuss over whether people want to listen to me, or if people thought a decision I made was stupid, It takes a bit of getting used to, learning that the people involved actually like your idea and want to hear more about that idea, that you'll be listened to and appreciated? Maybe its just the juxtaposition of making a firm creative decision and directing others to implement it... after washing out the baby bath because Robin has pooed in it

I've also learnt a huge amount from working with Tom Box - I spoke about this in my talk, working with the head CEO is terrifying, people who say its not are either incredibly confident or lying. But just watching his demeanour, how calm he is whilst juggling numerous tasks, and how diplomatic he is made me want to emulate him a bit.

'Armour' short, directed by Alex Davy for Blue Zoo

What do you get from being a member of AWUK? And what does 'raising visibility' mean to you?

Well... I was able to give this talk at Animex specifically about that experience (of the challenges of being a Mum and working in animation), and that one woman who came up to me afterwards seemed to make it all worth it, there was a real connection between us for this kind of unspoken topic in animation, so that was nice. So I suppose raising visibility means being open with others than being a mum in animation means you're going to lose your marbles, but the more people talk about it instead of pretending none of us have children or want children, might help change things for the better?

Any final thoughts to share?

Long covid is shit!!

 

Watch the 'Armour' Short

Posted by Peri Friend

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