Katrina Greenteeth

Shelley Noble of Halfland fame sent me this pic last week, and I had to share it, a quick little photoshopped image that perfectly nails down one of my dilemmas....

How will I balance the opposing aesthetics, the 'realism' of the set and Jenny versus the cartoonyness of Nola? Why is Nola 'cartoony'? On the surface I think its my reaction to the media's portrayal of the city during the disaster, the way we were sort of caricatured, filtered through the media circus, which is I suppose how anyone feels when they are broadcast to the world through Fox News and CNN. Edited. Drawn. On a deeper more personal level, I think it has something to do with me not dealing with the events of the storm, that the events were very real but the damage inflicted, the effect on us and our city, hasn't become real for me yet. Post traumatic stress or denial, I'm not sure, but I think emotionally I'm still a cartoon...
Here are a few other reflections of Katrina in Jenny:
*Jenny herself with her spinning eye, obviously Katrina, the source of destruction, the storm on the horizon
*Nola is NOLA, New Orleans LA, the embodiment of the people
* pier=levee, rickety man-made protection from the waters
*Jenny at one point, in an overhead/birds-eye-view shot, will swim her way to the pier following Katrinas exact path to shore through the Gulf of Mexico, and the shore will be shaped like the gulf coast with the pier jutting out from where New Orleans would be on the map
*Jenny's behavior echoes the behavior of a hurricane, immensly powerful on water, deteriorating on land as she lacks the water's support....I see her movement on land as skeletal, broken, like Kayako on the stairs at the end of 'Juon The Grudge'
*the broken down fishing shack, painted a bright blue....at the time, I thought, 'Blue seems strange, but the film will be b&w, or at least highly desaturated, so it should have some subtly different shades of grey' Now I look at the shack with its blue roof and all I see is a run-down Katrina home. At the time I painted the bait shop piece, nearly every roof in the city had a bright blue tarp over it, a sign of roof damage. Subconsciously incorporated.
*there will be an old rotten fridge taped up outside the bait shop
*there will be a water-line on the shop showing the level of a past flood, another sort of surreal thing to see here, to stand on the corner of a neighborhood and scan down the block, it looks like a giant has taken a rust red crayon and drawn a straight line down the front of all the houses...


herself said...

Cool project notes, Jeffery. Therapy and art, woot, woot. Art therapy? Either way I think it's great. A lot of your audience won't catch all the parallels you are putting into the Jenny film--but you'll know it and feel better for it I'm sure.

I want to add that the image sent wasn't at all a bash at the contrasts in styles of these characters, it was getting clear to me that you had two styles going. I love both the artfully somber Jenny and that wacky hilarious Nola. I think you've struck comedy GOLD with her. Lesser talents could try all they wanted to create a character that makes people laugh automatically like she does.

And I am now thinking that the juxtaposition of the two looks will be even BETTER than if you had to choose one style over the other. The contrast makes the other work even better I think.

I trust your instinct in these things, even before your mind understands your choices!!

grant said...

Great posting Uba. I love your anthropomorphism of environment and nature into characters. I think that provides a great foundation for a unique film. Your posting inspires me to assess the infrastructure of my own animation projects.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with Shelley... I don't think there's any problem at all with the different styles. It would be different of Nola was slick and toylike, like a Robot Chicken puppet, but she has the same kind of naturalistic feel Jenny does.

I'd caution you not to rest your film too strongly on Katrina metaphor.... make sure that the story is complete and satisfying over and above that. Don't ever forget we're total story whores... our job is to satisfy the audience first, then indulge our own whims and obssessions. Otherwise we're just self-pleasuring. And if you're gonna do that, it doesn't need to be posted for millions of people to see!

Darkstrider (who's having ever-worsening computer problems and can't remember his blogger password)

sven Bonnichsen said...

An interesting random idea popped into my head:

When Jenny is in the last stages of taking NOLA down, have the audio track be overwelmed by the sound of a gale force storm.

(It's kinda art-filmish -- but I've got a sweet tooth for such things.)

You could even rationalize it as the sound of blood rushing in NOLA's ears...

Bottom line: NOLA's death might be the moment to derail the audio track from a literal telling of what's going on; switch to metaphor. ...Which ironically in this case would be the literal, since the entire story is a metaphor to begin with!