A Woman First

Here’s the film that I was working on for CAT 124, Animating the Community. The first or second week of class we were organized into groups of three and given a local veteran to interview. That weekend my group and I interviewed a married couple who had both served in the Marines. After a vague and hurried correspondence I found myself running around the student services center and the Gilman parking structure in clothes that were way too warm for the weather trying to give them directions to the room we’d found and set up our recording equipment in. Awkward flushed walk from the structure to the room and then two hours of talking with these incredibly nice people.
One of the goals of this class that I think it totally achieved was to change the students’ perception of veterans. Toby and Felicia were not old, grizzled, or haunted–neither one of them had ever actually seen combat during their time in the marines. Our conversation that Saturday dealt mainly with their childhood.
While it may not look like much, a lot of work went into this film. A lot of paradigm shifts, what I started with bears no resemblance to the finished project. At least 83 ‘sentences’, each traced over in ink three times, scanned into the computer, broken down into individual frames, layered each traced sentence above each other, saved three different files for each sentence, a slight shift in each of them, putting them together in rapid succession on a free trial version of movie software (this is discounting the three films I made with Windows movie maker, the quality of which was atrocious) each change had infinite repercussions, I lost count of how many times I started over from scratch. Don’t get me started on the slow process of whittling two hours of audio down to three minutes.

I could go on, but, who cares?? It’s over and I’m proud of what I’ve done.
This is the first animation I’ve ever made, if you watch it leave a comment and let me know what you think!

A Woman First from Jenny Alton on Vimeo.


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