The blog has been quiet of late, as my time is taken up with new research projects that move away (but not entirely!) from animated documentary. I have been keeping a note of new publications though and have updated the animated docs info page. If you’ve published something on animated docs, or know of something that’s not on the list, please let me know.
Finally, I wanted to belatedly congratulate the teams involved in the Silent Signal project in winning a large project grant from the Wellcome Trust. The project brings together animators and scientists, including two of my favourite animated documentary makers: Samantha Moore and Ellie Land. This work is of real relevance to one of my new areas of research and I can’t wait to see the finished films.
Still from Loop (Samantha Moore)
The process of writing my book (nearly done now!) has been, as most writing experiences are, both pleasurable and painful. Finding better, clearer and more articulate ways to talk about films I first wrote about in my PhD nearly four years ago is at times a struggle. But, one of the fun things has been having an excuse to re-watch films and to remind myself why I first found this topic fascinating. After all, it’s the richness, creativity and diversity in the films that will (hopefully) make the book interesting and relevant.
Re-viewing Samantha’s Moore‘s wonderful An Eyeful of Sound for my chapter on animated docs that evoke subjective, conscious experiences, and attempting to articulate how and why this film does such a good job of evoking audiovisual synaesthesia has made me realise all over again how truly brilliant Sam’s film is. She avoids many of the cliches of this type of animated doc and doesn’t resort to directly visualising the experiences described by interviewees on the soundtrack or to easy visual metaphors. Instead, the film really manages to give a sense of what audiovisual perception is like for those who have this unique neurological condition. And it’s a great advert for why animation is so much more suitable than live-action for making documentaries about subjective experience, especially subjective experiences that are unusual to the majority of viewers. Have a look below