Creating an Animated Documentary

We were finally introduced to what the last semester will be all about: an animated documentary for the Children’s Society.

I was honestly very worried at first. Animated documentary is a field I have zero experience in. As a core Disney fan and a believer that animation should distract, I had never shown interest in animation that educates. However, I knew this Masters would challenge me in ways others would not. And going out of my comfort zone is exactly what I need to make my animations work, and matter.

We are now to produce a one minute animation based on a piece of dialogue given by the Children’s Society. This project will last three months and we are to treat the Children’s Society as a client, which adds to our list of challenges. We are now not only to animate a whole movie but also to communicate, pitch and storyboard. We are to empathize and be tasteful in the way we are going to tell someone else’s painful story. Mine is about mental health problems and the loneliness that is entails.

This represents a huge amount of stress only to be quieted by good advice and exceptional organizational skills. I do believe that is why we were given an essay on animated documentary and simulated work experience before we start, to be ready for what’s coming.

As a true control freak, I have already started thinking of how I will be animating this piece, but I am still unsure if I should launch the 3D wagon on such a big project. My 3D knowledge is very rough and I want to portrait this story well. Moreover, I cannot make all the decisions by myself anymore. I need to share my ideas to my tutors first to make sure I am not portraying the story in a way that may see insensitive to others.

In the end, this project is more than animation. It is frightening, but also incredibly exciting!

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