This week we began to focus on character, and the idea of driving a story from what is within a character: externalising the internal. I chose the premise ‘a fish who has a deep sea phobia’ to play with this idea. I made this short animation, focusing on expression first and then environment and body language.
Animation was perfect for making a fish character which was very stylised. This was important for making a character which was both expressive and empathetic. The framing was also a significant part of highlighting the irony of the situation, as the environment is revealed after the fish’s expression.
This kind of comedic timing feels very reminiscent of classic cartoons like the Looney Tunes, where characters commit to an action first, break some rules of reality, and then these rules immediately catch up to them (e.g. running off a cliff, stopping mid air and then falling). To me this character does not entirely fit the mould of this classic gag because it is cute in style, but an element of this kind of timing is still present in the scene.
Hence, I think one important takeaway from this is a reflection on narrative timing. I think when writing a story, or drawing a storyboard this aspect is easily overlooked because these objects are not experienced in the same linear format of animation. Animating means you must consciously curate the way your audience experiences time. My work in week three hinted at this idea, as there were aspects of that story which I envisioned would take long periods of time, or appear to take long periods of time, but I would like to play with this concept more.