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  • Writer's picturekatebilbow

Animation-Documentary Collab

Updated: Mar 22, 2021

In a virtual collaboration between myself and (MA) Documentary students, Liela Ibrahim and Kimberly Fua, this 360º experience dissolves the walls between us during this period of time and celebrates human connection. Through video calls, film and animation, this 3-part project delves into the significance of the room and demonstrates what can happen when the confines of these rooms extend beyond the walls that limit them.

We had a couple calls, to get to know each other a bit, asking about our lives and interests. It was really lovely to get the chance to meet new people during such an isolating time.

These rotoscopes were creating using footage from the zoom calls.

We divided the collaboration into three section, one for each other us to share our take on the brief, which would come together as one.

For my part of the project, I created an animation titled, "When the walls come down", which looked at human interaction during a time of isolation and the digital dependency for connection.

I asked if Kimberly and Liela could send me a photo of an object in their rooms that had a certain significance in their life. I wanted to animate these objects as a way to communicate the energy that's created through video calls; we open up our space to others, no matter how far away and, just like that, spaces that were once unknown and disconnected come together which, in this case, resulted in a really light-hearted and passionate sharing of our experiences.

Kimberly studied Fine Art (Painting) in Italy prior to studying on the MA Documentary course and so these paintbrushes have been integral to her passions and livelihood.

While I was on a call with Liela, she shared quite a few objects that were important to her, including her favourite plants and a framed drawing her husband had drawn of her father. I decided to animate this elephant as I felt like it could easily interact with the other objects in the animation.

This was my object, a purple shamrock plant. Our living room is filled with plants and I've seen them, especially recently (!) as a coping mechanism. Feeling down? Get a plant! It seems to do the trick. Saying that, I do have about 15 with one on the way! They are also beautiful and something to pour your energy into keeping alive!

I made sure each animation had a way of interacting with the vast space and the other objects; the paintbrushes would "paint" the space between us, the elephant would walk over to the paintbrush jar and knock it over, and the purple shamrock would turn into butterflies and fly over us.

Here's the final outcome of my contribution:

Here is the complete collaboration:

As Liela and Kimberly are (MA) Documentary students, they wanted to focus their contribution to the collaboration on my experiences.

Kimberly was interested in the significance of my bedroom and any routines I had. I shared that I often stand at my window and look down at the gardens and streets below. In the evenings I sometimes sit by my bookcase and IKEA paper lamp and read. So, she made an animation presenting those scenes!

Liela asked if I could share something that I had had on my mind recently, and so I shared my thoughts about rooms being the container for the human experience and how they are a silent witness to everyone and everything that live and passes through it. She shared that she felt my work looked very much like water and so asked if could film scenes of water in my bath and the journey from there to sitting down and drawing.

We put all these bits together and exported as a 360 VR experience. I feel that, as our collaboration focused on the significance of rooms and by extensions the breaking of these walls, a VR experience would further this narrative by including the viewer in the space we created.

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