SYBD: Film Update – Should We Animate?

Yesterday we launched the first of a year’s worth of “Stories”. These will be men and women who I’ve met and chatted to, filmed their journeys while I took mine.

At the last minute, the star of our first story decided he no longer wanted to be included in the film, and I was most upset and left with the dilemma of what to do with his wonderful story.

So You've Been Dumped Stories - Brad
“Brad”, London

The interview with “Brad” (not his real name) had taken place years ago in London, and he recently said “I’m no longer that guy” which I can fully appreciate.

Frankly I’d hope he wasn’t. The reason I’d hoped to use him, was to show that men can hurt too, and that pain is universal for all of us in the situation of an emotional split.

I had liked that he’d pointed out that, because he was a guy, he just felt “ashamed” talking about it – which is why he logged onto SYBD to begin with.

Some of his advice, which ended up on the proverbial “cutting room floor”, was for people to avoid “bottling it up”. He suggested people should be sure to let it all out in a healthy manner other wise it gets pent up and comes out a the most inopportune time.

True dat my friends.

So as we’d recently been doing our break up lines in Muvizu animation – I called upon one of my animators to animate Story 1 – which would disguise the voice and face of our Brad. Ultimately I am pleased with the outcome and maybe Brad’s shyness is a true blessing in disguise (as these set backs so often are).

“Chapter One” is you will see is now done and live online (on YouTube, the homepage, down below, etc), I wonder if we should make all of the future stories animated too? Or will animating them make them lose their universal and inspirational message in the lightness of it all?

Watch the 3-minute video if you would…

….And then tell me what you think, if you would be so kind?

I’ve had varying opinions from friends/family/colleagues – but none from anyone actually going through a break up right now (as far as I know), so basically not my target demographic.

Whereas if you’re here on the blog, you might just be. (Of course you may just be a supportive friend who’s clicked one of my social media links – and I’m thankful you’re here too, bless you).

Whoever you are, I hope to hear feedback from you soon.

To animate or not to animate that is the pressing question on my mind? Will animated stories still be taken seriously and will they prove helpful? I want to know.

4 thoughts on “SYBD: Film Update – Should We Animate?

  1. Hi Thea,

    I appreciate the care taken to do a service to Brad while preserving the emotional truth of his now-quieted feelings. But in all honesty, the animations are a bit distracting, and introduce comedy and distance where none appear to have been intended. Watching an animation of a dude talking is nowhere near as engaging as the natural micro movements evident on a real person’s face… if anything, the animation flattens the emotion evident in the speech.

    I’m not sure how much time or money could support the kind of thing I’m thinking of, but would you consider using photo montages or videos of thematically or symbolically related subjects, with the manipulated voices as v/os?

    (With carefully chosen images and clever editing, cheese can be avoided…) I’m wondering if it might be worth opening up a competition of sorts to photo/animation/film students/amateurs – there’s a lot of talent in the world, and it’d be kind of a win-win (they’d get fantastic exposure from your site).

    I appreciate that administering it might take more effort than you have available, but it could prove interesting…

    (You might be able to even get a grant to help administer it, or even work directly with colleges…)

  2. also – it so happens that people in deepest pain tend to use really concrete, visual metaphors (above, ‘light at the end of a tunnel’ ‘head a big ball of string’) and often seize on little, sensory details in their storytelling – these could be used to great effect.

  3. I fully agree with you on many salient points and I have asked many of these same questions and put the thoughts to many, many people – most of whom who feel the animation is exactly what’s needed for such a heavy subject matter to lighten in.

    But I agree with you as I say and wondered the same. Would the point be lost in the cartoon as it were. Never have I seen what I am hoping to do with these “stories”…Real subjects in a non-real way.

    Also we need to bear in mind that “Brad’s” story was made in ONE DAY after having done a really nice normal DOCUMENTARY style interview edit and then told “don’t use me”, so perhaps the rush to animate has done a bit of a disservice, I don’t know.

    Given that the interviews are now YEARS old, I think several of the people I did interview would rather be an animation than themselves now.

    They’ve all moved on in different ways, many are married now, or excelling in different ways – some with more kids, etc etc. They are no longer that person.

    I had thought of the competition idea too. Wondered how it might work. There are certainly pros/cons of every way forward with this content. And in no way that I proceed will it sit well with every one else.

    I mean there will be supporters and no supporters to whatever method I choose. “Talking heads are boring” or “animations are lame” or “montages are pointless” or whatever….

    Incidentally though, the stories we’re now working on would NOT have been in the film anyway (for one reason or another: eg the footage was rubbish or they didn’t allow me to film them!!) – so we’ll work on these and see how they are received and then better decide what to do for the best way forward with this footage.

    Again thanks for the feedback. I appreciate the time and suggestions. x

  4. Again I fully concur. I especially liked his visual metaphor – particularly on the string and in one example during the interview he pulled out his headphones which were all tangled up to give the visual! So yeah, I do agree with you…

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