I work as the Assistant Director at the “
Melbourne International Animation Festival“, which just ran for 10 days last week. Out of over 4000 submissions, we screened +400 films in 45 curated programs. MIAF is the greatest hub for screening independent animation in all of Australia.
My role was to lead the crew and run the festival, which included organising special presentations from Filmmakers and industry professionals, liaising with special guests, Filmmakers and festival attendees, general administration, and more.
This video is an overview of MIAF2018.
AWAKE: WAKING UP FROM THE DARKNESS OF DEPRESSION
||Digital Hand Drawn || Animated Film || 4’13” || 2018 ||
FILM || TRAILER
AWAKE is a hand drawn, 5 minute animated documentary that shows the emotional journey of of kid going through depression.The story uses metaphorical language to relaying the emotional impact of having depression, in comparison to real world experiences. The effect is to communicate and generate an empathetic response from people who have never experienced it, such as parents and friends of someone going through depression. The appeal of this feature lies in its uplifting message, which is to give hope to young adults going through depression, by showing that it is possible to recover and take control of their lives again.
The animation is frame by frame hand drawn animation. It combines traditional and digital drawings. All the concept art and some background art are drawn on paper, while everything else is drawn and animated digitally using a Wacom Cintiq drawing tablet and Photoshop. The cuts are then edited and composited in After Effects and Premier Pro.
The over all drawing style is very bold and graphic like street art. The majority of the animation is in black and white, with appropriate uses of colour to emphasise the featured emotions. The drawing style of the characters is designed to be cute and minimalist to make the animation process easier and aid production.
Left => Right: Sketch, Line, Doodle. The story focuses on Sketch, a teen who has fallen into the rut of depression. Sketch’s friends, Line and Doodle, want to hang out as usual, but they don’t hear the inner voice that tells Sketch that they’re not good enough. The main character is designed to be gender neutral and interpreted as a ‘persona’ than as a ‘character’ to show that depression affects many types of people regardless of their gender, as well as their friends and family.
When studying my Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) degree at the University of Newcastle, Australia, AWAKE was the practical part of my thesis, which was about how the medium of animation could be used to convey internal states of consciousness.I chose this topic because I observed that there were a lot of young people experiencing depression, but not too many of them spoke about overcoming their grief. I no longer experience chronic depression, however based on my past experiences, I wrote this story with the intention of inspiring people currently going through depression as well as their friends and family.
*Nangyang Technological University, Singapore, October 2017
*Best of MIAF Shepparton, October 2017*Newcastle International Animation Festival, September 2017
*Independence Celebration for Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, August 2017
*Melbourne International Animation Festival, June 2017
*Australian International Animation Festival, April 2017
*Watt Space Art Gallery, Newcastle, November 2017
*Maitland Regional Art Gallery, Maitland, November – February 2017