Saturday, August 24, 2013

Response to video: This is not a girl.

It's an image of a girl.

If you're familiar with my videos, you'd probably notice a reoccurring theme. There's usually a socially awkward boy who meets a girl, and eventually, they break-up and he feels guilty for his actions and regrets ending their relationship. And if you're not familiar with my videos, I probably just ruined about half of my videos for you; trust me, they usually don't end well. Even though they have similar themes, they're probably the most honest and relatable videos that I've created, and I'm very proud of every single one of them.

Over the past few years, I've received several comments and personal messages from viewers who have identified with the stories and felt connected with the characters. But one time I received a message from someone who asked if there was a specific girl who inspired most of those videos, and if there was a girl, what actually happened. In a long reply, I mentioned that I knew a girl who was fairly younger than me, and after we lost touch, I felt guilty for corrupting her innocence and I blamed myself for most of her current shortcomings. A few years later, I talked with the girl, and she didn't blame me and apologized if I felt responsible for anything that happened in the past. Through my self-deprecation, I didn't take into account that it was her life; she wasn't a child, and she took responsibility for her actions and decisions. We were young, and it happened. After sending the fairly personal and lengthy reply, the viewer asked for more. Why did you break-up? Where is she now? Do you still love her? I went through the exact same thing, and you need to tell me more. And somewhere along the way, I felt like he crossed the line. I know it doesn't sound romantic, but the girl and I broke-up. For years, I felt miserable that I ruined her life, and one day, she said she was sorry that I felt guilty for so long. There wasn't a big fight or a dramatic plea to stay, we just moved on. And in some ways, it is a happy ending; it's just not the one you were expecting.

 no, really... what is she?

I've used the same female animation model for the past two years, and I wanted to tell a story through her perspective. She's just an idea, an accumulation of people who I've met and girls that I've nearly dated. In a way, that's the closest we can get to knowing someone, just imagining them more complexly. And even though she could literally do and see anything in this person's mind, she just wants to know more about herself, whether it's through trivial facts or old memories. But she can never truly find herself because she's not real; she's just an idea of a girl who left a long time ago.

I wanted to make a simple video. I've always wanted to make a video where the figure could interact with the text, and they could have their own consciousness outside of the words that I've scripted. This is the first video where I used the same female animation model throughout the entirety of the video so I tried to focused on the fluidity of her motions and expressions. It should be noted that the girl is essentially a silhouette without a face and has limited mobility so expressions had to be either subtle or highly exaggerated. Every little detail counts when there's only one character on a black screen, and I had to painstakingly adjust the girl's torso every half second so there wouldn't be a noticeable split between the body image file and dress image file. If you want to stare at the girl's waist during the whole video (because I would appreciate the extra view), you can see it enlarge, rotate, and move whenever she makes a dramatic movement. Hopefully it's not that noticeable.

With this picture, you can see the text in the background followed by the pre-rendered 
movie file in the middle with limited opacity and the small figure in the foreground.
Plus, it just looks cool.

On a side note, I didn't want to spend several minutes coming up with random facts about the girl to use in the background so I searched through old internet quizzes people emailed me from chat rooms (because I used to be an internet pimp) so ... if that portion of the video sounds oddly familiar to you, it could have been from you. It's the surreal since the girl in the video is supposed to be overwhelmed by a swarm of trivial facts that were partly true and partly made-up, and the text used in the video is actually partly true and partly made-up facts about a girl I knew about ten years ago.

Of course I changed the name and date of birth so it's a complete work of fiction.

No, that's not you ... It's Sophie.

1 comment:

  1. You are a clever animator and illustrator, I have a story to tell!