Welcome to week nine of AFF at Home! For those of you just joining us – AFF at Home is Austin Film Festival’s way of promoting a sense of community, engagement, and creativity in a time of distance and restrictions. Each week we’ll guide you through content and storytelling tips to help inspire and motivate you to take your next creative step.
This week we are focusing on Writing for Animation. Sure, animated films and television series are a little more ‘drawn’ than live action fare, but how different is the actual process of bringing these stories to the screen? This week we will explore the animation process and how writing for animation can lend itself to writing for live-action.
Let’s get going!
-Colin Hyer, Creative Director
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There are plenty of ways you can help.
Writing for Animation: Seis Manos
Who said animation was just for kids? This week, join Netflix’s Seis Manos co-creators Alvaro Rodriguez (From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series), Brad Graeber (CEO, Powerhouse Animation), and director Willis Bulliner for a conversation on writing, developing, and animating the adult anime series. In this podcast, the team will discuss the collaborative process for creating an animated series.
Want to hear more from the Seis Manos team? Join their virtual watch party on Saturday!
- King of the Hill: Behind the Drawings (2005) King of the Hill writers John Altschuler, Jim Dauterive, Dave Krinsky
CONNECT WITH US
How will you apply this advice on animation to your work this week? Tell us on Twitter using #AFFatHome or in the forum below.
Student Screenwriting Corner
The key to great animation is building your world. Watch On Story Season 9 episode “A Conversation with Linda Woolverton” and learn about her experience with creating worlds, defining rules, and bringing her perspective to classic Disney stories.
-Sally Seitz, Young Filmmaker’s Program Director
On Story: A Conversation with Linda Woolverton
Interested in our kids programming?
Take a look at our upcoming Summer Camps and Classes
“The constant refrain around AFF is the mirror-shattering trumpeting of writing and storytelling. Through AFF at Home we intend to showcase every extension of what Austin Film Festival aims to champion in its community, including our vaunted film competition alumni. We are delighted to represent the legacy of our alumni base through the WATCH section of the AFF at Home campaign; by curating incredible titles that are now available to stream in your living room, shower, wherever. Come join us in celebrating some Festival competition favorites, and marquee film titles from our Writers Conference heavyweights.”
-Casey Baron, Senior Film Program Director
AFF Now Streaming Pick:
Hand-picked past competition films from the AFF Film Department
Animated Films have always functioned for me as a space for wildly imaginative adventures and whimsical, larger-than-life characters. Whether we’re talking about legendary Hall of Famers like Bugs Bunny or contemporary icons like Elsa, their charm continues to permeate the genre and captivate audiences of all ages. By way of AFF’s Animated Short Film competition, we have welcomed some truly incredible films and accompanying filmmakers to the heart of Texas. Recent successes such as an Academy Award nomination for Siqi Song’s inventive title SISTER and shortlist recognition for Bradley Slabe’s heartfelt tearjerker Lost & Found showcase the caliber of storytelling present within the scope of AFF’s legacy. This week we’re excited to put forward visionary tales from AFF24 & 25, including Max Porter & Ru Kuwahata’s Academy Award-nominated Negative Space, Natasha Tonkin’s Tête à Tête, Luis Usón and Andrés Aguilar’s AFTERWORK, and Eusong Lee’s My Moon. Each of these films represent a different jewel from the incredible catalogue of AFF’s animated competition films. Take a look at some of these masterful animated tales below.
– Casey Baron, Senior Film Program Director
Negative Space (AFF 2017)
Writers/Directors: Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata
A man packs his suitcase in the meticulous manner his father taught him as he reflects on the relationship they shared. Oscar-Nominated
Tete a Tete (AFF 2017)
Writer/Director: Natasha Tonkin
Kerry struggles to overcome the obstruction of modern technology during a visit to her sister’s family’s home.
TETE A TETE
Afterwork (AFF 2018)
Directors: Luis Uson, Andres Aguilar
We are all condemned to work and repeat the same empty routines again and again. Can we reach that carrot with which they want to keep us forever occupied, chasing eternally something we do not need? Groompy, a funny cartoon, is about to find out.
My Moon (AFF 2018)
Writer/Director: Eusong Lee
The love triangle between the Earth, Sun, and Moon takes a turn when one leaves for the other.
HAVE A FILM?
Submit it to our Film Competition. Next submission deadline is May 22.
On Story Movie Night Pick:
Screening with a postshow On Story conversation
Grab your kids or a group of friends and harness your inner child with Disney’s animated classic Moana. After the film, watch our On Story interview with writer (and AFF screenplay alum) Pamela Ribon to learn about the collaborative nature that’s required to make an animated film.
A CONVERSATION WITH PAMELA RIBON
Of the core elements in a script, character and setting have the most potential for radical creativity in an animated context. Even though CGI has significantly blurred the lines between what live-action and animation scripts can be,the physical elements of character and setting still have some limits in live-action scripts. General constants include humans and Earth, or at least, some rendition of either. With animation, the canvas for character and setting is completely blank, which presents wonderful opportunities but can also pose significant challenges. Creativity requires limits, so while some core story elements like plot, structure, and dialogue provide a solid foundation, if we choose to experiment with character and setting, we’ll need to set boundaries within our story. After all, it’s hard to sit through a story about a totally invincible superhero or experience a lawless magical world. So this weekend, if you’re already (or want to start) experimenting with character and setting, make a list of your characters and describe each of their flaws. Then, describe the rules of the world in which they live.
When you’re setting these limits, keep the following in mind:
- It never hurts to consider your audience’s human flaws and apply them to your imagined characters. The same can be done with regards to Earth and an imagined world.
- Consider the flaws of your protagonist in comparison to the supporting characters. Do their flaws complement each other or not?
- When thinking about the world, what is its history? Have past events caused certain natural or societal limits?
- How do the laws of your world affect character behavior? For example, gravity is a natural law of Earth and therefore humans (generally) are bound to Earth’s surface.
- Consider how your characters think about the laws of their environment: do they intend to defy them? Or, do they follow them without much thought?
Rules get a bad rap, but if implemented well in a creative context, they can really spark some magic.
– Sage Kosiorek, Script Competitions Director
Finished with your script?
Submit it for our competition!
Animation can allow you to defy the limitations of film. A scene that would be impossible to capture in live-action can be brought to life in a world of limitless possibilities. It allows you room to take risks and be a bit silly in the making. This week we’re asking you to tell us about your favorite piece of animation. Is it a movie that sticks with you? A show that makes you feel good? Tell us in the forum below or using #AFFatHome.