Monday, January 4, 2016

Today we have started the new year with a two week long Experimental Animation Workshop, with Post Graduate students of Animation Film Design at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

I am coordinating this workshop, and we have decided to use sand as the medium to work with.  This is not the first workshop that I have been involved in at NID using sand, that took place in 2008, and finally it delivered a beautiful short film called Srujan (Creation).

This time we are also taking the theme of origination for our project.  The reason for this is that sand is such a simple, basic medium that suggests the beginning of time.  Sand is a hard medium to animate with, as each and every image has to be created by hand, transforming the moving elements in the picture, while trying hard to keep the rest still - which is a frustrating task when one is handling sand.  Therefore, we are working within our limitations, and also the short time that is available to us, so we are planning to use simple images based on geometric and other basic shapes, tribal patterns and characters inspired by prehistoric cave paintings, with the idea that this will work well in sand.

For our source material regarding the story, we have consulted Augustine Kom, who is the son of Guru Achon Kom from the Kom tribe in Manipur to share their traditional story of how man emerged into the world, and how he had to find a solution on encountering his first adversary, the Tiger.

We have seen three outstanding sand animation films today, for inspiration for our work.

These are:

The Gift (2005) by Jessica Langford

9 minutes duration, a five minute extract of the film can be seen here:

The Metamorphosis of Mr Samsa (1977) by Caroline Leaf
Available from:

The Owl who Married A Goose (1974) by Caroline Leaf
Available from:

Tara Douglas
Adivasi Arts Trust

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