Area 52 is a collection of 52 experimental animation films that attempt to cleverly comment on the things that connect us as a species in my own tongue-in-cheek way. Each film will be released on Instagram so they will all be under 60 seconds in length. Beginning the first week of January 2017, a new film will be released each week until the end of December 2017.
Here is a brief teaser that will hopefully encourage you to read further:
These films are approached from two sides. Conceptually, I want to make films that make commentary on the little things...and sometimes the big things...that we can all relate to. A "little things"example: I made a film that strings along various human mouth noises as a reminder that we're all cut from the same cloth...or the same string in this case. The big things? Mass murder-by-surprise and the resulting emotions that come with it. The way culture divides us and attempts to suppress our ability to think critically. The overlying theme of Area 52 is that when you boil away all of our cultural bullshit and fabricated identities; we're primates. We're animals. And we act accordingly.
Some films will be mere observations of experiences told in an unconventional way. Abstract love letters, if you will.
The other side of the coin is the Technical approach. I'm looking to explore and discover new devices to tell stories with. I WANT to be uncomfortable and push - maybe not THE boundaries but - my own boundaries as an animation filmmaker. Can I tell a story with a single piece of string? Is it possible to tell a story using only circles? What if I used lipstick?
In a nutshell, taking a concept that everyone can understand and cleverly visualizing it with an unconventional technique and telling that story in under 60 seconds. If those things work in concert, it makes for the quintessential Area 52 film.
As is the nature of experiments though, not ALL of my films will succeed. Some are bound to fail. But I (and hopefully you) will accept those failures as well as the successes along this journey.
My hope is that I can make these films for people around the world (or at least those using Instagram) to digest and appreciate without using the parameters or boundaries that cultures use to define and separate us. Visually speaking, things like definitions of gender, race, ethnicity, religious ideology and language will all be discarded. This limitation will force me to make films that utilize animation beyond the norms and the pre-conceived notions we are currently used to when we think of animation. So if you're expecting singing bunnies or pictures of people talking to each other, this probably isn't for you ;)