Going Solo

25. January 2021 • Anna Michel

Going Solo

25. January 2021 • Anna Michel

Going Solo

Samantha is one of the few animation students who chose to follow the daunting path of working alone for her final bachelor project. In this interview we find out about the perks and challenges of working alone instead of in a team and discover what the lobster represents to this experimental artist.

  • Can you share with us what inspired you to work alone and when did you make this decision?

Samantha – I knew from the very beginning that I wanted to work alone, I like working with others but I saw an opportunity to follow the movie making process while being supported by school. I saw a chance to bring to life one of my ideas in my style and have complete freedom over it. That idea really excited me.

  • What is the theme of your project?

The theme touches on unfamiliarity with your surroundings, the people around you and especially with yourself. The idea is to portray this feeling and to lean into that feeling of strangeness and unfamiliarity to get better acquainted with it and find your flow.

  • Which materials/techniques will you be using?

I work with analogue 2d with pencil and paper, combining two methods.

  • What was difficult about working on this solo project?

The difficulty still is and will be that I am working by myself for the entire project, dealing with insecurities and not feeling strong or talented enough. Even though I feel that way, I fight those feelings and try to have fun and enjoy the process. At times it can be really difficult. In a solo project you do all the tasks, and although it’s wonderful to be a part of everything, sometimes, you can’t give a difficult task to a friend because the friend is you…. and the other friend is you… and…well….it’s all you! So it’s also a difficult thing, to start those tasks you don’t feel comfortable with. As soon as you accomplish them you’ll be happy because you’ll be like “wow I made it by myself!” But before that, it’s a fight.

For me, the most difficult part so far was story development and how to do a dossier. As they say: time is money and money is power.

  • Did you feel pressured to make a more classical animation style movie?

Sometimes. There are so many different opinions from different people. I get a bit insecure because my project is experimental and some opinions push to get it to resemble a clear story. But instead I try my best to follow my feelings so that my project feels right to me.

  • What have you most enjoyed so far in the process?

So far I have really enjoyed everything.

  • What do you hope people will take away from seeing your project?

I hope that people experience a connection.

  • And of course, what do lobsters mean for you?

The lobster is blind. Humans are also blind, they don’t see really well. The lobster has a good 180° vision and can detect motion in dim light, but when it is bright, it is blinded and doesn’t see very well anymore. In my story, poor vision is something that the lobster and the humans have in common. I can compare them to a deer or a cat which can see a lot better. So the lobster is more similar to the human and is really important to the entire creation of the setting because animals, basically, explain the world.

  • Will you be collaborating with artists from other sections? If so, what does interdisciplinary collaboration bring to the project?

I will be collaborating with Loïc Kreyden (alumni) for sound design and I am really excited and enjoying that process. Sound and picture will be very important because of the experimental aspect. We have to work in response to each other, which will influence the pictures and sounds. He has a lot of experience especially with experimental and abstract sound design. I am really excited and looking forward to seeing what we can combine and create.

  • Have you chosen to work at home or on campus ? How have the corona restrictions impacted your experience?

I think zoom works pretty well at the moment at least for meetings and having an exchange. I am really happy that I can count on my mentor Jane, I see her a lot in person. I think I will be working at home and at school. On campus I see my classmates so I can exchange and share experiences, ideas, feedback and also have access to the resources I need for the project. At home, sometimes, I can save time but if I combine these two workplaces, it would be a good solution for this entire situation and try to hang on during these pretty unexpected and strange times. But I mean all times are good times, am I right?

  • Any funny or strange zoom moments so far ?

I remember one moment, it was during the development course presentation which was a big moment for everyone. We all waited for our turns to present. When it was my turn, I started talking without realizing I was muted, it was a bit embarrassing but fortunately didn’t get me out of my vibe so it went pretty well.

  • Let’s hope this helps the students in the first years to grasp what it takes to go solo – thank you for your sharing your experience so far.

My pleasure!