2-day Animation Workshop with Melissa Ferrari

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2-day Animation Workshop with Melissa Ferrari




This two-day experimental nonfiction animation workshop will focus on two overlapping themes: environments and archives.  Aligning with Larry Spring’s desire to playfully explore, understand, and recreate or re-enact aspects of both the observed and unseeable world, this workshop will introduce participants to a variety of experimental animation approaches that can be used to find and visualize truths outside of conventional documentary modes.

Workshop Schedule

  • Day 1: Intro to Experimental Nonfiction Animation & Archival Documentary

Beginning with the field of archival animation, we will investigate how stop motion and replacement animation can be used to unveil hidden patterns, expose forgotten histories, evoke emotion through abstraction, and negotiate epistemological questions in archival images and documents.  Discussions will include the nature of archival theory, broadening definitions of archives, and the inherent role of power in institutional archives.  The instructor will provide a range of materials that may be drawn from the Larry Spring Museum’s archives as well as local Fort Bragg Archives.  Participants will have the opportunity to excavate this source material to animate with, or they may bring their own archival materials.  Technical instruction will include an introduction to documentary animation as well as the basics of animating, editing and sound design.

  • Day 2: Landscape as Archive

We will extend our focus on archives to the local landscape, shifting to palimpsest animation techniques (charcoal and sand animation) to observe and document changes in the environment. Palimpest animation intrinsically kindles themes of history, evidence and time within the technique itself.  For this part of the workshop, we will meet at a local coastal location to animate “en plein air,” experimenting with drawn charcoal landscape animation and sand animation to record the surrounding environment from observation, and considering Larry Spring’s emphasis on the importance of observational understanding and how this relates to questions of subjectivity and indexicality.  Students may also reprise “replacement animation” techniques to find patterns in the local scenery.  Technical strategies will include considerations of timing such as “boiling landscapes” and incorporating documentary audio from nature.

Final Screening

This workshop will culminate in a final screening.  Students are welcome to create longer animations and/or compile their work into a short film with sound design.  Shorter “experiments” from the workshop will be edited together into a cohesive screening with documentary sound design.  Participants will have the option to show their work in a looping installation format as well.

$25 for both days. No one turned away for lack of funds