Terrible Two & Wheres the Drive?
Well folks, its been 2 years since we started on this journey together. Sorry I’ve been so quiet, but I honestly ran out of ideas on how to update you and keep it interesting for so long! Progress has been slow, but it is still very much actively happening and taking up all my free time. I am still energized by Lake Beast, and although the story has evolved over time, there have been surprisingly very few rewrites. A difficulty in projects that drag on this long is that you end up reshaping it to suit whatever your changing tastes of the moment are and it becomes a jumbled mess. Or you try to turn it into the end-all-be-all greatest thing ever and keep changing and/or adding to it. I can thankfully report that has not happened. Its still the same film I pitched to you 2 years ago.
Quick Progress Report
Here is a screen grab from the Lake Beast After Effects timeline. I have finished animation all the way up to the red line. (The last frame is where it says END) Its about 71% animated!
I have cut about 40 seconds of fully animated footage (ha! ugh!) that fit less and less well with the overall vision the more I watched them. I’ll make those scenes viewable for the backers once I decide they are 100% for sure cut. Heres a couple grabs from those deleted scenes now though!
Wheres the Drive?
One of the big things stalling this short has been a more personal issue that i haven’t really talked about much. Back when I started making my own films in like 2005, I had a willingness to work 15 hour days on pure creative energy alone. I was living in my first solo apartment for dirt cheap in Arkansas and all I wanted to do was make my movies. I was mostly blind to my own shortcomings and certain I had something important to say and show, so in between meager freelance gigs I worked steadily and hard. I was literally living out my dream, as strange as that may sound to some :)
Cut to 6 years later, present day. A lot has happened since then! So much its hard for me to chart how and why I feel differently than I did about the dream of being an indie animator. The short version = Marriage in ‘09 + Move to Portland, OR in ‘10 + Bigger, crazier client jobs & less energy reserves. Thats only half the story though…
Its really not dramatic at all, but I don’t have that same fire in my guts that I used to. I think I have reached a level of maturity during Lake Beast where I can see the shortcomings of my work more objectively, which means I can suss out better ideas through more thorough self-critiques, but I also get a lot more frustrated that I can see through my lack of ability. It takes me much longer to get to an idea that I really like. The naiveté of 6 years ago allowed me to cruise along much more smoothly, but now that I’m harsher with myself, I get bogged down and the gears gum up with doubt and frustration more often. The end result will be a better film I hope, but it has been a slow and difficult process for me.
With this maturity comes a much more stable emotional existence however. As exciting as it was to work long hours caught up in the dream years ago, I was also in a strange, turbulent and lonely place emotionally.
I happily traded that for my current life!
My next goal after Lake Beast is to plan as much of a career in animation as possible, and find out what that entails. Its a total mystery to me right now! Some reflection and guidance will be needed.
Thanks for reading and caring!