Unique style is hard to come by nowadays in a world of video-sharing websites and accessible software, but this surreal short film cut-through and grabbed my attention. Using a wide range of mixed media from paints and pastels, plus software such as After Effects, Blender and even Windows 3D Movie Maker (remember? from 1995!), Dan Jacobs has created a piece that is interesting on a number of levels.
I caught up with Dan to ask him some of the many questions this film left me with…
Dotmogo: Could you tell me a bit more about the inspiration that lead to this bizarre tale?! It’s quite abstract, did you have a script as such?
Dan Jacobs: The main thing I wanted to achieve when conceptualising the film was just to create quite a full on sensory experience that reflected my ideas about escapism. Originally, the narrative came secondary to the overall mood and different impressions I wanted to create, but as I developed the story it became more central. I like the limitations of working to a narrative as it can force you to be more creative, but I was keen to keep it quite loose and surreal so I could work quite freely and spontaneously at points.
Dotmogo: The range of techniques give the film a really unique feel, would you say that is ‘your style’?
Dan: I definitely wanted to make something that felt unique and authored, so I guess I would say it’s my ‘style’. Having a strong hand drawn element was absolutely essential, I love how it feels aesthetically and it adds a human quality which is great for story telling.
Dotmogo: There are quite a few video game references in the animation, what lead you to that?
Dan: I grew up on video games and that’s definitely something that lead me to get into animation. I wanted to capture an element of nostalgia in that sense, but without blatant 8-bit graphics and chiptune music.
Dotmogo: Did you work with sound and visuals in tandem or did you do one and then the other?
Dan: I was thinking about the sound and listening to a lot of music that I think captured the mood of the film as I was making it, which had a big impact on what I came up with in post. I like working with samples in Ableton, with a few synths here and there.
Dotmogo: Finally, have you graduated this year? What was your course like and what are your plans next?
Dan: I graduated from Illustration with Animation at Manchester School of Art earlier this year. It was a great course, really open ended with a big emphasis on drawing and experimentation. I’m currently finishing off a video for Fun Adults and setting myself up as a freelancer, exciting times!