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  • Writer's pictureSilvana

End of Semester One

This semester went really well, despite a big workload. I have been juggling this course, the dissertation as well as producing a 3:30 mins long music video for the Scottish band ‘Midnight Ambulance’. It was challenging at times to work on three different projects throughout this first Semester, but at the same time I enjoyed it as I could always work on something different if I was stuck in one area. The projects further seemed to have been positively impacting one another which has been beneficial for this course.

Because of the music video I did spend a little bit less time on the pre-production of my film, and although it feels like I am at a good starting point for the coming semester, there are some areas where I wish I invested some more time. For one I would have liked to do more test shots. I have one finished test shot, but I am only 80% happy with it and would like to improve it. But the music video is animated in a similar way as I am going for in my final film and can thus be seen as complimenting the tests. My goal is to create at least one more animation test over the winter break (which includes using TV Paint for animating the matte for the character fill). This will further help me get clearer on areas where I might need support or technical resources, as so far, I cannot identify any special requirements I might have. The second part where I feel I could have dived deeper is research. I find it difficult to know the right balance between research and development work, and I have certainly put more time and effort into the second. I will continue to keep my eyes open for any influences and inspiration that could be used for my film.

I thought that at this point in the semester I would have established a sound collaboration, but even though the pitch to the music students went well, not much came from it yet. I have a few sound-designers/composer that I collaborated with before that I will contact over the winter break and hopefully know more by the start of the next semester.

Working out my animatic has been a fun and straight forward process. I first animated very closely to the storyboards, which helped as I was following guidance and thus not overthinking it. The feedback I gathered on it then inspired a lot of ideas on how to change things and make the film clearer and more concise, it was very helpful. I rigorously cut out entire scenes from the first two animatic drafts, a process that usually pains a little felt very easy this time around. I effectively applied these changes and quickly arrived at the third draft, with which I am very happy. I will take the freedom to change a few things over the next month though. One thing that bothers me a bit is the conventional use of head-on perspective in my shot staging, I would like to play around with that aspect more.

I am very proud that I finished the music video, my longest animation project yet (almost the time of my final film). I animated it in three months on top of the workload for my university projects and that gives me confidence that I will also manage to complete my final film next semester. I even managed to finish it a few days ahead of the deadline which shows that my time management this semester worked well. It was my first experience working directly with a client (although it felt more like a collaboration), and I learned a lot from it. Especially how much communication is needed in the pre-production phase and that it is helpful to set a deadline for adjustment, so that not more changes are requested while animating already. The music video has helped me to create a work pipeline for the final year film, which has become second nature and I am thus much faster now working with the different techniques and programs. It was also great to have a project which keeps me in the habit of animating regularly, I feel that I have more practice and confidence moving forward.

Overall, I am happy with the work I produced this semester as I think it paved a good path into the next one.

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