Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Welcome to my senior thesis film blog. I hope blogging will help me organize my thoughts, research findings and animation experiments, so that I can start putting my project together this summer. It's now a 5 min documentary of an experience my grandmother had one night in 1941.

This happened in Nazi occupied Krakow (Poland) when she was hiding in an apartment to avoid living in the Jewish Ghetto. One night it was too dangerous for her to go home, so she had to spend the night somewhere else. She had an address of a woman who was mainly dealing with the black market and who also let people spend the night for a small fee. Although she had nothing to pay her with - they work out a deal and the experience even ends well.

The story itself is very very simple, but I think it is special considering everything that happened in the bigger picture (the historical context) and it's importance to the person telling it. When I was in Munich last week I showed my grandmother the animatic. She approves ("sehr gut!" = very good). Others were slightly puzzled at first("so…you're making a cartoon about grandma??!")...

Unfortunately, my animatic file is too heavy, so I'll just make a list to remind you of the different parts of the story:

1. General talk about memories

- In the animatic, this part is all pen and watercolor. It transitions into thicker lines of ink+wash (black and white).

2. Exposition in the memory (when, where, who)

- There are 4 women walking into a room.
- This part starts with ink +wash
- Then turns into more watercolor (maybe in dark green and yellow). That is sort of a new idea -I'll post some images for this soon (so you can tell me what you think).
- She talks about strangers coming into the apt.

3. People in town

- this starts with a description of the father and his relationship to the Jews in the city.
- This part also talks about the people allowed to work in town.
- It is gouache and think the colors for this are red, black, and the white of the paper.

4. Incident starts

- Here the narrator puts herself in the back-story discussed earlier. That makes the color change again (still gouache) into blue/gray/brown.
- There is a problem returning to the apartment so she decides to spend the night somewhere else.

5. Conflict starts

- this happens when the narrator meets the trader woman and they talk. it has closeups and words. gouache.
- then there is the cleaning of the kitchen (chickens etc).

6. Cot

- it unfolds.

7. nighttime
- woman wakes up and brings a blanket.

- gouache.

8. general talk (good people/bad)

- Here I ask her opinion: are people naturally good or bad? The answer is: both.
- This is ink and wash and then watercolors ( as in the very beginning).

This is it for now.

Next time I'll post some images from 1940s research (clothing, city, cots).
There is also much progress on technique research (the gouache mystery).

If you wanna critique: be brutal!