Today’s 2d Wednesday from David Tart actually teaches as well!
The film follows the journey of “You” (the main character), a 3rd-tier technical writer who dreams of one day being a product designer. Working after hours, he creates a fantastic new product. When he presents his product to his employers, they inform him that it’s up to him to create an advertising campaign for the product – an advertising campaign that must be animated. This poses a problem for “you” – he knows very little about animation, and is instantly filled with doubts, and thus his future hangs in the balance. This is where our friendly narrator steps in, to guide “you” through the process of making an animated film. Step by step, our hero’s anxiety and doubts are put to rest, and in the end, he is triumphant!
The Story of Animation came about as a solution to a problem: The Animation Workshop, an animation school in Viborg, Denmark, had been graduating a great number of incredibly qualified animators, animation producers, and CG artists over the past 10 years. These artists had been forming small companies and beginning to produce fantastic work. The problem was not with the studios, or the quality of work they were producing, but rather with the clients: Most of them seemed to believe that animation was a simple, uncomplicated process, and were often disappointed to learn that there were very specific stages in the animation process that required their participation (and finances). It’s almost as if they believed that creating animation was as simple as pitching an idea, and then sitting back while a couple of animators with pencil and paper goofed off, told jokes, and drank copious amounts of coffee until “wallah”! the animation was finished! Furthermore, they seemed to think that there would be no difference in cost between an animated film created in flash, 2D, stop motion, cut-out, motion graphics, or fully rendered Pixar-style 3D animation! At the time Morten Thorning, Director of the Animation Workshop approached me with the idea for the film, I was experiencing similar problems with a client in Copenhagen. In fact, I’d just spent several days creating a presentation about the benefits of using animation for an environmental messaging campaign. I was tasked with convincing a panel of scientists, sociologists, environmental activists, and architects how animation could be used to create positive, engaging, and entertaining content for environmental action messaging – no small feat!
After talking things over with Morten, it was decided that I would write and direct the project, which would be produced by Claus Toksvig of The Animation Hub, and animated at Tumblehead Studios. Tumblehead, led by Magnus Moller, did an amazing job on the film, assembling a team of character designers, animators, storyboard artists, and background artists (all graduates or current students of the Animation Workshop). Tumblehead saw the entire process through, from concept to post-production. The narrator was voiced by the awesome Richard Spiegel, and the sound design and score created by Mark Menza, whose many credits include sound designer and composer for “The Jimmy Neutron Show”. Additional support was provided by Thomas Ahlmark (a veteran of many Animation Workshop productions).