The dust has settled a bit since we finished up on production, and I thought I’d pen a few notes before the memory fades and I move on to less exciting projects such as finding rent money and figuring out where to put all this leftover plasticine.
I’m really happy with how the film has turned out. I think that there’s been a really solid realisation of my initial idea, which has of course grown organically since I first put it out there in February. From the initial character design to the overall look and feel of the piece, Good Grief has been a very satisfying exercise in careful planning and considered artistic choices. I have certainly learned a lot more about my own practice and peccadilloes as an animator, and have a new list of things to watch out for on the next project.
Working on Good Grief was an exercise in thrift, with many props and puppets hastily cobbled together from a limited number of materials due to lack of funds and looming time constraints. I don’t think the film has suffered at all for this, the handmade, smudgy quirks of claymation only adding to its charm. Having said this, I’d love to have a go at working on a stop-motion production where time is not an issue, to give each pose and frame the attention it deserves. I really admire the work of all of the animators who contributed to Adam Elliott’s masterpiece Mary and Max, and the Aardman projects, where puppets look perfectly sculpted and their movements are smooth and natural.
The process of opening up my artistic practice and bringing everyone in on how the film was being created felt like a risky one, but I am so happy I made the decision to do this early on in the piece. It feels very risky to throw your idea out to the public and tell everyone what you’re going to do before you’ve actually done it, the gamble being left with egg on your face if the final thing doesn’t measure up. I have been so surprised and delighted at all of the new friends I have made and the positive feedback and encouragement I have received along the way. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that when you’re locked down in your bat-cave making something, there’s an audience out there waiting to find you.
The next step for Good Grief is only just beginning. We’ve submitted to a few film festivals already and will be hoping to hear back from them in early 2013. We will of course keep you posted about festivals and screenings on this website. We will be screening the film in a limited capacity at ACMI as part of the Victorian College of the Arts Graduate Screening program on the following dates and times – tickets are available to the public so if you want to take a stickybeak at some quality short film get in quick.
VCA Screenings – Program F (18+)
- Sun 9/12/12 5:15PM
- Fri 14/12/12 9:15PM
- Sat 15/12/12 7:15PM
You can also hear me talking about the film and the VCA with fellow film-maker Tim Marshall on Film Buff’s Forecast on Melbourne’s 3RRR radio. Tune in to 102.7FM Saturday December 1st, 12-2pm.