New Narratives Reflection

Now officially addicted to coffee. 6870924 hours spent learning/crying over Maya. New skills gained. New favourite three words “Rendering Sequence Completed”. Lessons learned. 

Once again, the Semester has flown in. I thought first semester was fast but this semester was even faster! Wow.

Anyhoo, where to being, where to begin…

Well, first of all, it has to be said that New Narratives has been my favourite module to date. This module has brought up thoughts and ideas from the world of animation that I’ve always been interested in, such as, creating the story, storyboarding, thinking about cinematography, and the heart of the why behind our creations.

As a class, we explored Vogler’s book The Writer’s Journey which made us all aware of how much thought and time needs to go into creating our stories. We studied a movie assigned to us and had to research and create both a schematic and artefact in response to it. This was a dark period of this semester that I will quickly skip over… *cough* Jacob’s Ladder *cough*. And last but not least, the biggest challenge of all: we had to create from scratch a 15 second animation.

Every inch, every nook and cranny of these projects has tested to the limits our ability to work as a team with those around us. It’s been a real insight into what working at a professional level with other team members will be like. I can say with all certainty that this has been, hands down, the most difficult aspect of not only this module, but of the entire course. Since semester one, when my lecturers said from the get go, “You need to say “we” not “I” in your projects, I’ve been trying my darn hardest to implement that motto into my work and way of thinking. However, this strains a lot of relationships in teams when others are determined to name the part they played rather than just realising that it’s a team project. The end product is the goal; not who can put their name on most tasks completed on the project. It’s a lesson we’re all continuing to learn I guess.

On another note: in between classes, I found myself exploring both art galleries and the world of film a lot more. The days I had “off”, I felt compelled to go out and seize the moments to research the topics closest to my heart. This ranged from staring at old sketches by the masters at Ulster Museum, to scribbling down notes by the light of the movie screen at Queen’s Film Theatre. My head is still confused as to what area of animation interests me the most but I’ve definitely come to learn that I’m passionate about the camera and the story behind the animation itself.

To sum it up: it’s been an odd but highly informative past few months. This semester in New Narratives has pushed me out of my comfort zone majorly. I’ve learnt a lot both in my professional work and in my own life. It’s funny how both can act as catalysts for learning in the other.

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