I teach an 8 day Animation Intensive course. Students learn to create hand-drawn animation, paper-puppet animation, claymation, and stop motion puppet animation. The goal of the intensive is to create 4 short videos, in different styles, that have realistic movements. Students accomplish this by learning how to use the 12 Principles of Animation, understanding basic cinematography skills, and familiarizing themselves with the camera equipment and animation software. When the films are completed, I teach the basics of foley sound design. Students apply those skills to one of their completed animations. The final day, we screen and critique the films and I provide resources for students to submit their work to international festivals.
Each class begins with a warm-up exercise, a short screening and talk. Then I move into a demo and the rest of the time is dedicated to working on the project.
Students have full agency over the subject of their animations. This course fulfills many of the core competencies. By setting a technique framework and offering suggestions for inspiration, students are able to tell their own stories. The screenings students watch exposes them to art that empathizes with people living in culturally different worlds. By showing these films and talking about them, students are invited to interpret the filmmaker’s ideas through their own lens. During the final critique students have a chance to reflect on their and their classmates’ films in an open forum. Students are given tools like storyboard sheets, and pre/post-production checklists to help them organize their time and become independent learners. Once the demonstration is complete, students are able to interpret their understanding of the techniques and express a short story using a variety of animation techniques.