Progress Diaries with UTS Animation students No.2

Hi there!! Hope everyone’s had a good week working hard on their adaptations for Microflix 2019! Just like this group of UTS second year animation students whose short film ‘Prune’ is adapted from “Self Medication” by Shady Cosgrove…

Do you guys have experience in adaptations? If so what were they?

As second year students this was actually the first film we’ve ever created, so adaptation from text to film was new to us with this project

What were key elements within the texts you were looking for as a potential text to adapt?

I think a key aspect we were looking for in our texts was a strong central message relatable to us in particular; we wanted something related to us as young people.

How and why did your group decide your text?

We actually had a shortlist of films, but we ended up settling on self medication because we saw the potential to explore different ways of conveying the core theme of the story.

Did you decide a budget before beginning the project?

There was no budget for this project! As it was a student film all of the resources were created by us and our sound team.

What was involved in the initial stages of your adaptation process?

Initially we spent 3 to 4 weeks exploring different metaphors for the obsessive escapism at the core of the story, writing up plot outlines, storyboarding image sequences to see how it would look and designing the characters and environments before we moved forward to production.

Can you please explain a brief timeline of the rest of your progress:

Once we hit production, we had a two month pipeline which we split evenly among all four of us: we each were allocated different scenes for rough animation, line, colour, lighting and compositing etc. Line and colour were further broken up into character and background, and this pipeline worked well for us as we weren’t stuck in a bottleneck waiting for a previous step to be completed and always had something to do.

How have you so far collaborated with UTS Sound Design students on your adaptation?

With the sound students, our process was mostly keeping then up to date on the project and our animation milestones and providing detailed feedback with every iteration of sound we received in order to reach the final product. We mostly discussed online and shared our work through google drive.

What were key challenges or issues you have faced during your progress?

Time management and learning new skills were some main challenges; this was the first time we had undertaken a project of this scale, and working in such close quarters with a team where communication was so important to making sure everything hit deadlines and looked good.

How did you overcome these?

Keeping communication up with our team definitely helped; we relied a lot on each other for feedback and in case of emergencies having a team which were all passionate was great. With time management, we all worked really hard because there was really no other way to avoid it with our other projects. In the end though we’re really pleased with how it went!

What have been some positive highlights of the process?

Seeing people react to our film and genuinely enjoy it was by far the best part of the process, as well as having such a dedicated and understanding team who were all dedicated to making the film the best it could be.

What have you enjoyed about adaptation?

I enjoyed seeing how the transition from one form of media to another allowed you to take so many liberties, but still maintain the core of the story that makes it recognisable. Adaptation can breathe new life into a story or allow you to see it from a different perspective, which I think is the most interesting thing about it.

How do you feel about the concept of the Microflix Festival, like the combining of literature and film?

I think it’s great to see this combining of creatives, especially bringing light to Australian talent and storytellers. It allows us to showcase more than one facet of Australian art and I think that’s really special to see how we inspire and build off of each others work.

Anastazija (Taj) Luksic is a student at University of Technology Sydney, where in 2017 she completed her Media Arts and Production degree, and is currently finishing off her Creative Intelligence and Innovation bachelors. During her degree she worked on personal documentary projects, with one screened at the Focus On Ability Film Festival 2017. She also volunteered on a number of sets ranging from a commercial for Batyr, to ‘The Horizon’ web series.