Animation in Isolation

Isolation Animation Nominated at Indie Short Fest

In our May Newsletter we put out a call for animators to ‘Beat the Isolation Blues’ by producing up to 60 secs of animation as part of a collaborative initiative by Roobot Productions. The resulting short film Isolation Animation has since been selected for the Los Angeles Indie Short Fest where it is nominated for ‘Best Experimental Short’.

Bringing together the work of 31 animators, including AWUK member Christine MacKay, the film is an expression of the artists’ experiences of the Covid-19 lockdown. Director Ruth Ducker says it was great to see each artist express their experience of the lockdown in such different ways. There was only one rule for the artists to follow: each animator had to start their animation from the final frame of the previous animator. Otherwise, they were free to express themselves however they wanted which many found to be both exciting and scary.

Being a firm believer in looking after your mental health, Christine described the project as a ‘welcome and fun challenge that gave us free creative reign and refreshed our burning passion for all things animated.”

Not being able to see what others were working on aside from a single frame undoubtedly increased the diversity of the work and Ruth encouraged the artists to express themselves without creative interference.

Christine’s team upped the ante even more by having 5 animators work on 1 collaborative piece and splitting the 15 seconds between creatives, leaving only 3 seconds each to animate. This challenged the creatives to create effective transitions in a visually delightful way and the resulting section showcases everyone’s different personalities and styles through extremely different but equally gorgeous approaches to the animation.

Working on a voluntary project throughout the lockdown proved challenging at times as everyone was dealing with their own personal lockdown circumstances. Some artists had to juggle the project alongside their work, others had children or caretaking responsibilities for other family members. To breach the divide and combat the isolation felt by many, Ruth would send regular updates to the whole group so that each individual, though working alone, still felt part of a team of people who were collaborating. This also helped achieve a collective responsibility to one another to deliver.

For Christine’s team, the transition to working from home went extremely smoothly so working collaboratively and remotely on a project like Isolation Animation was one of their strong points. They loved the idea of creating something with other studios and the mystery of the outcome was tantalising but encouraged them to churn out work whilst keeping to a high standard.

For more information about how ‘Isolation Animation’ came to be, check out the ‘Making Of’ video below:

1 comment

Christine MacKay

This was such an amazing collaborative project to work on and Ruth and her team threaded it all together into an incredible piece – we LOVE it!!

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