30 Second Animation: Spooked

This new project is to create a 30 second animation. We were able to pick our own teams this time so the dream team for the next 10 weeks we will kill each other is Méabh Gilheaney, Thomas Drake and John Hannon. Our first course of action was creating an Asana group to help us project manage this short animation.

We were super organised until we discovered the deadline was a lot earlier than we initially thought, half way through his project:Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 19.43.53.png

So we started off by deciding on what genre we wanted our animation to be categorised under. We were persuaded not to go down the comedy route as it’s too easy and a punchline is not the same as a narrative.

We all wanted to go in the horror/tragedy direction. Our thought process:


Some of our initial ideas were that of a haunted house scenario where everything that’s creepy turns out to have a reasonable explanation. We thought of gloves in a shop at night coming to life and crawling about the place or mannequins moving in the shadows. An early favourite was of a dog making his way through a happy town all cheese and joy only to turn in at a graveyard at the last moment and sit by his master’s gravestone cheery.

We set ourselves a task of coming up with a few initial ideas before we met up to discuss our animation’s narrative. We came up with ideas such as posing a rhetorical question to the audience across our short and maybe relating our film to current world affairs.

One of Méabh’s ideas was of a dead body with a mad scientist doing crazy stuff in the background. The scene would build up to a moment of suspense when the scientist goes to pull a lever but we are suddenly interrupted by a director’s CUT board and then go to a scene where the two actors in costumes are standing having a coffee break together.

Thomas showed us these short videos which are really simple but still effectively creepy:

John had an idea of a victimised rubber and a bullying pencil where the tall pencil is then taken off-shot and sharpened only to be thrown back into shot now really tiny in comparison to the rubber tables have turned kind of thing.

So how do we make a film in 30 seconds?

We enter right into the heart of the story and use the audience’s assumptions against them in the first few seconds. Focus mainly on imagery and utilise the impact of the setting to emphasis the narrative. Every film has an ordeal; In 30 seconds this could be a twist ending – a denied expectation. From Yuan’s lecture on film form I learnt that suspense is created by prolonging the expectation so the way best way of doing this in my opinion would be to leave it on a cliff hanger.

This link was useful on how to go about the basic elements of scary stories.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s