A few questions I keep get asked about ze film:
- Why set it in the 80's?
Have set it in 1989 firstly, as that's the day (19th of April '89) the Sun printed its article 'The Truth' about the Hillsborough disaster.
Also however, i've set it this date as I want to create a true representation of the late-80's. When we see nostalgia on TV, the 80's is misrepresented as this pastel-coloured George Michael vilified nightmare, everyone walking round like their in Saved By the Bell. I want to correct that, and create a real paradigm-view of the late 80's/early 90's that is more truthful, more mundane, more down to earth.
Animations power for subjectivity will come into play too however, it'll be reminiscent of what I remember as normal from when I was younger, what I see in old photograph's, and anything really that is overshadowed by the 'hairspray-memory' of the 80s. It'll be pushed truth, caricatured enviroments.
The 80s has been miss represented, and the 90s doesn't yet really have it's own paradigm window. One good example that's tried to right history is This Is England.
- Why use Animation and not film?
Truthfully - why not? Why not give it a go with animation? Just because film is quicker it doesn't mean it's better.
If however you mean to ask 'what is it about the medium of animation, that reinforces your film - what is it's purpose in supporting the telling of the story?' that's a different question.
In that case, firstly, i'm using animation because it'll caricature the story, the characters, and as I mentioned, the environment. Not in the sense that everyone is walking round with big noses and funny teeth, but in the sense that everything's reality will be pushed to promote it to the audience, to give it more meaning.
The main characters are caricatured shapes - both of them made up of simple circles and triangles, but relatively quite plain of features. I want them like this because they become 'everymen characters'. The bloke looks like a leering caricature of a man you might see leaving a chip shop on a saturday night, or perched up against a bar. And his wife, you've seen her in Trago Mill's, or pushing a pram through town. I've seen Jean several times over since I draw her. She's everywhere, I just never noticed till I started drawing her.
Second major reason, because of the inherent message of the film - people stuck in a repetetive cycle - a loop. There'll be several segments of the film that'll be looped actions - an old man drinking at a bar, a tescoe's employee endlessly shelf stacking, scanning bar codes; the wife cleaning. This wouldn't work in live action. You could say it a different way, yes, but animation says it its own particular way, and in my opinion better.
So yeah, only two questions, and please pardon the rant, have been asked that question quite a few times now..
As to why i've chosen to do a film about a serious subject, I think every animator has a hunch on his back regarding animations appearance as only this 'childrens genre' to the general public. I guess that's why you get alot of dark animation too (thinking jan svankmajer, Brothers Quay etc), a backlash to the Disney mould.
When I went into this film I was thinking 'Yeh! Im gonna change the way people see animation! Lets do this!' but now i'm a little less naive. I see people have been feeling this same way for years (looking at alot of the Channel 4 animations for example) and that it's a mould that perhaps only time can change.
I do feel however that in 20 years things could be different. Things are on the rise that denote Disney - i'm thinking all the kids that are into anime/manga, and the rise and rise of video games. The next generations perception of animation could very well break the mould.
Right, that's the end. Will post up some concept art inabeeet.