wake-walking wake-walking wake-walk
This piece was inspired by Waking Life, an animated film observing Wiley Wiggins and his interactions and conver- sations in a world that may or may not be reality. Bob Sa- biston, the head animator, and owner of Flat Black Films, started animating to capture and filter reality in human ex- periences. His films use a technique called rotoscope an- imation, in which one draws over a video to create an an- imation. Sabiston first started using this technique as a means to combine animation and documentary, forming a bond between the two. He explains this as a filtered reality. I loved the idea of abstracting reality while still portraying a somewhat accurate representation of it. The style of my narrative is inspired by Sabiston’s “The Perfect Human: Car- toon” (also “The Fourth Obstruction”) animation which was a part of Jorgen Leth’s The Five Obstructions. Wake-Walking shares the cartoon’s neutral color palette and abstractness. One quote from Waking Life that I held on to was “It seems like ev- eryone’s sleep walking through their waking state or wake walking through their dreams. Either way they’re not going to get much out of it,” John Christensen. Such a pessimistic view on life, we don’t even know whether or not we are dreaming. I decided to title my narrative “Wake-Walking” as a tribute to my inspiration but also to question meaning in life, dreams, and aspirations. The content of the film is more similar to Waking Life than “The Fourth Obstruction”, in that it starts with the same one on one conversational structure followed by short clips of dream-like realities. The conversations (pages 1-6) reference the uncertainty of the future, dreamers, and believers, while the sec- ond half of the film represents an abstract, dream-like, filtered reality.
bob sabiston bob sabiston bob sabiston bo Bob Sabiston describes rotoscoping as a “time-saving device and one for capturing the type of realism that is very hard to do with ‘true’ an- imation.” With rotoscoping, you can paint the aesthetic and capture the real life performances and interactions that true animation cannot. These elements are vital to Sabiston’s style, especially because his dream was to make documentaries. The films you trace don’t have to be high quality, in fact, most of the videos I rotoscoped were low qual- ity videos found deep in my camera roll. The major effort is going from the video to the animation and reinterpreting or filtering the content. The three conversations in the beginning of the film are inspired by Sabiston’s Grasshopper and Waking Life. Both films showcase one on one interviews about complex philosophical subjects like ex- istentialism or lucid dreams. Both films include the human, real as- pects of a conversation like short pauses, short breathes, low mut- ters, etc as if you’re watching a real interview. I incorporated these aspects in the conversations, for example, I included the long pause and pursing of lips in the first clip. The questions I asked were meant to provoke answers similar to the themes in Waking Life (Where do you see yourself in five years? Are you a dreamer?). For Waking Life, Sabiston hired 30 animators so each scene would be in a different style. These styles were meant to represent different es- sences of reality. The montage after the three conversations use differ- ent colors and effects which also portray different dream-like scenes. I used similar color schemes and stylistic elements from Sabiston’s “The Perfect Human: Cartoon.” I used muted colors and combi- nations like gray and orange. I also incorporated plants and the sil- houette with type. The silhouette matched the uncertainty and lack of identity themes of the first interview. I used type as a shape in the video, like in “The Perfect Human: Cartoon,” because I loved the aesthetic. I also incorporated the dreaminess and alternate re- ality of the clouds in Waking Life through movement and design.
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tell me where you see yourself in five years “I don’t even know where I see myself in a year from now. Do I have to answer that? ..19..20..21..22..23..24..” “Yesterday, my horoscope told me that my moon is in transit and that I need to be more open to new opportunities and the way that I look at the world, and I think that applies to how I want to achieve my dreams of being a veteran social worker.”
are you a dreamer? “I guess I’m a dreamer. I mean..I dream of things I want to do in life, but doesn’t everyone?”
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wake-walking wake-walking wake-walk