52: "Mini Jazz"

When December arrived, I had 37 films completed at a point where I was supposed to have 48!  I had to make 15 films over the course of 31 days.  Rather than shit my pants, I decided to use this limitation to my advantage.  One of the ideas I concocted was to do a solo Ani-Jam.

Ani-jams are improvised, tag team animations done by several animators.  One animator starts it off with a short animation.  Then passes it on to another, who picks up at the last frame where the previous animator left off, not knowing what the rest of the animation looked like.  Just the last frame.  Then the second passes to a third.  Then to a fourth.  And so on.  The end result is a ridiculous concoction of strange animation that would never belong together outside of this context.  Sort of like Mad-Libs or Telephone.

I was going to do 5 very short films in a row -- one each day -- picking up where where I left off the day prior and taking it on a new and completely unrelated tangent.  Given the improv nature of this, I was going to call this set of films "Jazz", parts 1-5.

Well, that never happened.  But I still wanted to make a film that was a totally improvised collage of nonsense that, somehow, had a thread.  So this film was sort of born out of necessity.  I saved it for last because i just wanted to let go and have some fun.  I think it turned out to be one of the most interesting and visually rich films out of the entire series.

I was originally inspired by a short sound collage called "Whatever Happened to All the Fun in the World" on Frank Zappa's 'Sheik Yerbouti' album.  I took this idea of randomization and collected a slew of sounds from all over the place and edited the final selections together into my own sound collage.

The difference here is that I wanted to mimic the structure of a jazz song, where there are landmark grooves that are known to the musicians (and familiar to the audience) that are spread out throughout the song in a pattern, leaving gaps of time in between these landmark points.  All of the gaps in between are improvised.  Make sense?

The military rocket launching countdown became this thread because it was the only sound clip I collected that I was able to make such a thread out of.  There were three rocket launches, therefore three sections.

This film took about 5 days to complete.  The audio alone took a long full day.

I supposed my guiding light through this one was "cannibalization".  An important part of any creative process is to cannibalize all of the things around you to use as creative fuel.  That's why it's important to get out of your element from time to time and cannibalize new things since you've already devoured your regular surroundings.  I say this because I cannibalized the internet as much as I could here.  Any sort of imagery, as long it was useable, was on the table.  Like foraging through a junk yard.

The process for this film was very straight-ahead.  No plan, really.  Just sort of listened to the next section of audio and pieced together the thing I imagined would go best with it given the time I had to make it.

I made most of this film on the final day of the year.  I didn't really want to release the final film on New Year's Eve.  Kinda hard to compete haha!  I didn't really have a choice though.  Is what it is.  Just like this film!

Here are some finished stills from "Mini Jazz":

As always, THANK YOU for reading!