THE SCREENING AWARD SUPPORTED BY AARDMAN ACADEMY RUNNER UP:
New Designers were delighted to be supported by the Aardam Academy for the 2020 Screening Award. Students were encouraged to submit short films, moving images, gaming submissions of all types. A panel of experts from the Aardman Academy team viewed all the film submissions and were blown away with the standard of work.
The first place was awarded to Micky Wozny, which you can view here, and we are delighted to announce that Em Green is 2020’s The Screening Award’s Runner Up!
Watch the animation in full below and catch up on our exclusive interview to gain this graduates top tips for an award winning design!
The discovery of mass clothes production in the Fabric World is exciting at first. A reflection of the fast fashion fuelled world we live in today, the people of the planet are happy with a new way to express themselves. But as soon as a pair of jeans won’t fit, or the colour isn’t quite right, the inhabitants do what we do – they throw their clothes away.
Just like in our world, the clothes are taken from the ground, using valuable resources, materials and energy. The exponential increase in waste and dwindling finite resources soon leads to disastrous consequences…
A response to the 2019/20 RSA Student Design Award’s Moving Pictures brief, and with visual influences like Media Molecule’s Little Big Planet, This Fabric World aims to demonstrate the effects of the ‘take, make, waste’ cycle through accessible, story focused visuals.
LUCY IZZARD, AARDMAN ACADEMY, SCREENING AWARD JUDGE:
It was a privilege to judge this year’s New Designers Screening Award. I loved watching such a variety of films, from hand drawn 2d documentary-style chaotic family Christmas scenes to 3d laser cut stop motion horse-racers with wiggly noses.
A real range of films & directions, some experimental and some more traditional in their storytelling but overall I was impressed with how many students used mixed-medias to get something refreshing and new. ‘This Fabric World’ was one of these films that alongside a strong ethical message, used recycled clothes to make the animation and it created a very authentic, beautiful design. Em Green, the director of this film, takes a very deserving Runner Up position in this competition.
Congratulations on graduating! It has been a difficult year to navigate, how have you stayed creative during this time?
At first, I did really struggle to feel motivated and inspired in the middle of a global pandemic – but in the end being able to focus on finishing my degree and being creative, allowed me to zone out and escape from my feelings of anxiety.
In terms of getting through creative block, my advice would be to talk through your ideas with whoever is close to you. It is good to verbalise them (even the initial or ‘boring’ ones!). This often helps me to stop overthinking as well, as I find out what would be engaging for my audience.
Why and how did you become an animator?
I’d always loved watching animated films and I really appreciated the time and attention to detail that goes into animation. I didn’t try it myself until the end of my first year at university though, during a group project producing a short stop motion piece. That was when I really discovered my passion for making things move. I feel that it brings so much excitement to otherwise still visuals.
Since then, I’ve learned more animation techniques by making little GIFs in my spare time and incorporating animation into university projects.
In my final year, my focus was on animated pieces completely and that was so much fun! I’m very much still at the beginning of my exploration into animation and what it can do, and I’m so excited to discover more techniques and build on my skills to experiment even further.
What is your creative process? Where do you start?
Lots and lots (and lots) of storyboards. I might do a small brainstorm of my initial ideas first, but something about the process of storyboarding really sparks the ideas in my brain the most. I’ll just start scribbling down boards, designing the characters and world as I go along. I am also working out the camera angles at the same time. Then I revise them as many times as I need until I get something I’m completely happy with. After that, it’s time to make it move, fine tune the nitty gritty design of it all, and voilà! It isn’t that easy in practice of course, but I do really love the process and watching it all come together.
What or who is your biggest inspiration?
I have so many influences across multiple mediums. One of my big visual inspirations, especially when creating This Fabric World, was the videogame Little Big Planet created by Media Molecule. I adore the real sense of tactility, personality and hand-crafted loving nature of the game as well as their other works. Some of my other inspirations are the animation studios Golden Wolf and Flow Creative. I love Golden Wolf’s ability to tell a whole story in as little as 7 seconds while still creating beautifully crafted cel animation, and Flow’s work has such a great sense of design finesse while still having heart.
If you could give any piece of advice to your first year self, what would it be and why?
Have more faith in yourself! This is something I’ve always struggled with; having low self-confidence meant I would often doubt my skills and my work, which then meant I wouldn’t present my concepts confidently or chase opportunities like placements and competitions. Part of being a creative is being able to present yourself well and get others to be on board with your ideas, so it really helps in the long run if you can be confident in yourself and your work. I won’t lie, sometimes I still struggle with this now, but it’s getting better as I gain more experience!
What is your all time ultimate favourite animation?
That’s definitely not a fair question – but if I had to pick one, it would be Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs. I just adore the whole thing; the cinematography, the world and character designs, and the sheer amount of time required to create it! I would recommend checking out the behind the scenes videos on it; someone’s whole job was to paint thousands of freckles onto the models each day, crazy – but what a beautiful result!
What does it mean to you to come as runner up on this exciting award?
Honestly, it means the world to me!
Coming from a background of graphic design, I sometimes struggle with a bit of imposter syndrome and think that I’m not ‘allowed’ to enter animation competitions, festivals or job applications purely because I haven’t always been an animator. This has certainly confirmed to me that what matters is my passion for it (as well as the skills, too) – that’s what defines me as an animator. This has really inspired me to keep pushing to increase my skillset and experience further, and to keep experimenting with animation – thank you so much to everyone at New Designers and the Aardman Academy for the opportunity!
What are the plans for the year ahead? Do you have any upcoming projects planned? If so, can you give us any sneak peeks?
Very nosy of you!
I’m really quite the busy bee at the moment – I’ve recently started as a Production Assistant at Finger Industries (check out our work if you haven’t already!) which is amazing fun; everyone is so talented and friendly here. It’s also a great way to blend my passion for animation with my super organised personality. As well as that, in my spare time I’m working with a local mental health service, Trent PTS, to develop animations to encourage people to refer themselves for therapy and explain to them how it works – and helps. It’s a great cause and I’m so happy to be involved; you can check out the first in our series of animations here. In the spare time left over after that (which isn’t a great lot, but I’m happy with that!) I’m planning to keep working on projects to add to my website, whether that’s freelance or passion projects. So, take a look and get in touch if you like my work!