Recently I’ve been working on a project called ‘Dial a wife’ and as this is my first feature animation, like many films, it takes research and lots of it. With today’s access to the wide world web anything your heart desires is nothing more than a click of a button away. You can buy your groceries whilst watching your favourite movies at the same time holding a conversation with friends from yesteryear in between liking a photo of your childhood cartoons and speaking about how Mondays suck. Like many things these wonderful advancements in technology have their drawbacks. For instance my research carried me from page to page of other animations, studying techniques, formats etc, only to end up in the seedy side of the internet (by accident I might add).
I grew up in the nineties, the decade before the socially awkward, phone loving, Facebook updating, selfie obsessed teenagers of today. Now to put you in the picture I have a daughter who, much like every other kid, loves her cartoons. I am very familiar with ‘My little pony’ ‘Mickey Mouse’ etc. When I am watching cartoons with her I use the time productively and study the techniques used in order to expand my knowledge of animation. I take mental notes on different things that I’m seeing, for instance the dialogue and expressions between Rainbow dash and Twilight sparkle or Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.
I live in a house with three females, My wife, My 4 year old daughter and my 18 year old niece. Now I know what your thinking “Leo, don’t you think your being a little over dramatic?” and the answer is yes I probably am. That’s what happens when you grew up in a house full of males only to suddenly be outnumbered by the opposite sex. As much as I love them all it’s impossible at times to get work done when working from home. If it’s not interruptions with updates on James Martin leaving Saturday kitchen or the latest dance taught at nursery it’s teenage drama. I find the best time to get any work done is throughout the night when all are asleep which brings me back to the research.
Now going through note’s I made when watching cartoons previously with my daughter, I then delve into any information that google has to throw at me. Pages and pages on animation are there for me to see. I spend a good few hours checking the best of them, but then that thing happens when you have been up all night working at the computer. Pop ups and adverts begin to trick you, taking you away from the research you set out to do you now find yourself faced with the option of a Russian wife or Viagra and as I am currently not in the market for another wife and being up all night also not an issue these ads are immediately closed down. As 4am becomes 5am I try to watch some example video’s to try and keep a creative spark. I start by my own personal choices of Red vs Blue, then move onto South park at this point. I’ve trawled countless video’s but upon reflection of the day previous I decided to research the animation used for ‘My little pony’. I just wish I didn’t… Ladies and Gentleman, from the video’s I seen ‘My little pony’ isn’t quite so little any more. It prompts you to think on who’s idea it was to have Twilight Sparkle do the unspeakable things to rainbow dash in the manner she did. It doesn’t even stop there all your kids classics are there. Even the loveable Anna and Elsa from ‘Disney’s’ Frozen are there.
When your shift is finished and you have done all you can do, you find yourself asking a number of questions. 1) Has animation become so advanced that I cannot even tell the difference between the real thing or the seedy ones? 2) Are there really people out there who would watch Frozen and think ‘That Elsa would get it?’ 3) If anyone walked in and seen me sitting with my housecoat on in the dark with what appears to be seedy vids, would I look like I’m charging my sexual power? 4) Is it possible for anyone to stick to what they are doing when researching on the internet or does everyone get sidetracked by videos, pics or memes? Either way I choose to look at it as another day where I have learned new things gained new experience. This has become the one thing I love my job for the most. Every day brings something new. Some things you never even knew existed and things you really wish never existed.
Leo St Paul’s animated comedy ‘Dial a Wife’ AVAILABLE SOON
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