Scene 15 is complete, the table has been turned and I’ve started dressing and lighting the balcony set. In about a week I’ll be animating again. Because I did most of the detailing of the balcony when I was building the room this will be a quick turnaround. Momentum is a tricky thing. I’m into the guts of the film now and looking at the amount of work already put in it’s easy to convince yourself that you’ve earned a break, maybe take it easy for awhile. The thing is once you start losing days you’d be surprised how quickly it can all spiral out of control.
A film like FILTH has to be storyboarded (it would be foolish not to) and those storyboards are cut together with the voice performances to create what is known as the animatic, essentially the film in picture form. The animatic determines the length of each individual shot which hopefully prevents you from animating stuff you don’t need. Hey … I may enjoy this process but I’m not crazy enough to animate just for fun. But even with all that preparation, you might be surprised to learn how often I go into a shot with absolutely no plan. I may know that a puppet needs to move from A to B in a given shot but I leave what happens in between A and B to chance. It can be really dangerous with a linear process like stop motion but it leads to so many inspired bits of performance that I’m willing to gamble on my intuition. That and a little luck usually mean I won’t be animating a shot more than once.
I continue to shoot. Over 4 minutes is now completed. That works out roughly to 1 minute every month. If I keep up this pace I will finish animating a year from now. It seems funny to say that out loud. It’s not that far off but when I look at the shot list I find it hard to imagine little check marks next to all those shots. Then again, when I think back to last year at this time I was just starting to sculpt the puppets. It’s amazing how these little films mark the passage of time so clearly.