Stop motion is exciting, so I went into assignment #2 with gusto. The poem I chose, Stephen Crane’s second poem in his series of The Black Riders and Other Lines, is absurd. I really like the conflict between how ridiculous the birds are and how seriously they are treated. The poem’s rhetoric exaggerates the absurdity of the narrative. So I knew I wanted to make a weird, weird world for the short. The poem is also very eerie. To capture eeriness and absurdity, I wanted to create three creepy girls that attacked a normal man. I wasn’t sure exactly how, but I wanted the man in the poem to be horrified of the girls.
I began with clay. I successfully made one horrifying girl who looked both alive and dead at the same time. I imagined her head would start spinning in the short and that she would eventually eat the man. But this never happened as no man was ever created. No other dolls were created out clay after I found it awful to have her move the way I wanted to as it was tedious work breaking anf fixing her limbs. And I couldn’t imagine doing it on four characters.
So I said bye to the clay and struck pen to paper. I managed to make three rather creepy girls. I still wanted to make something horrifying. But as I started to set them up all in a row, I began to doubt my creepy intentions. I feared I was too attached to the idea of making something weird and scary and thought that prioritizing that idea compromised the overall short by making it feel artificial or insincere. So I went about my apartment and gathered some interesting looking things. I made different facial expressions for the girls and kind of let the assignment flow together. It was overall very fun to make.
I am glad that in the workshop people wanted to see the creepy side of Crane’s poem being expressed in the video. I look forward to making something scary now that I’m less scared of coming off as formulaic or gimmicky.