It was two days ago. I called the famous Mr. z! on a coffee. He didn’t want to go out, but I did what every girl does – I was saying “please” for an hour until he said “fine, let’s go.” Sitting in the garden of a cafe, we started our occasional conversation, until I told him why I want to talk to him. I wanted an interview. With him. He was actually surprised, because he didn’t know the why. I knew. It was that new nickname, “Bouncing ball” (it’s not what you think, perverts!) that he got. He was reluctant at first, but he finally gave up. “Fine, fine, you can interview me, if you want, but don’t ask me about other projects. Or private life. Or everything else that is off topic”, were his last words before we started interview.
I took my notebook, and we started:
1. In the last few days, something we often hear when people mention your name is “bouncing ball”. Would you tell us what it is?
A: it’s animation short in which I describe my perception of sound through drawing. I made it for project in multimedia production class. I loved animation since I was a child. So far I made few animation shorts.
2. Project for multimedia production? That sounds so ordinary. So, why is this video special and how does a video for a class become so important?
A: Well, there is plenty of reason for this video to be special. First of all, that’s my first hand drawn 12fps animation ever, I mean; it’s rare these days that someone draws animation from frame to frame. Also, I wanted to see how others would rate my animation, so I decided to send it on a contest. I still await the results.
3. Wow, a contest! Tell me about that contest. What’s the topic is there any reward? Are there many people participating?
A: Name of the contest is “Pogledaj me” (Look at me). There are five different categories (my motion, my place, my workpiece, record changes and my vibe). Rewards are 300e per category, and 400e for viewers’ prize (video that has the most Facebook likes wins). It’s strange but there are not so many participants this time, I think there are above 20 in total, but quality and style are quite different from one video to another.
4. And I thought people wouldn’t pass a chance to earn 300e. They are so lazy these days. Anyway, what do you think, do you have any chance to win? Even better, tell us about your video some more.
A: Yup, there’s always a chance, but. As I told you before, this animation is not made for purpose of contest. I crossed so many rules in this one; I’ve done so many brave (or stupid) moves in creation of it so it’s hard to tell. If one is looking for something with deep poetical meaning that will shake the foundations of one’s thoughts then I’ll not win. But if criteria are creativity and originality and criticism of life then I have a good chance. You see, we are all like bouncing balls. We jump from one place to another in our lives. There are some things that may step in our way and try to make a mess of us (yes, I’m thinking of bird in animation), but we need to jump over and progress in our lives. Just jump, and jump, and jump.And, in the end, you will reach your goal. That’s the idea behind „Bouncing ball. “
5. And so we all jump… I suppose you spent days working on this project, right?
A: Huh, because of other obligations I had a very short deadline. Just three days passed from moment I started to make music until I rendered the final output. I had already some plans for this kind of project, even before this came out, so without searching for style and idea I could jump right into the middle of production chain. I was lucky this time.
6. Three days? That’s not too much. I wonder what your personal record is… What about programs? Which ones do you use and are they difficult for working with?
A: Well, my personal record is… I’ll tell you that in private. For this certain project I used Flash cs4 for animation and ACID for sound. I use Flash every time I want to animate something completely by hand (I use genius g-pen tablet for drawing inside of a Flash), if I need something more complex then I use after effects. For making of sounds and music I mainly use Cubase, but this time something went wrong and I switched to ACID. When I have both video and audio I prefer to render them together with Premiere. Drawing in Flash is really easy and intuitive, and I use only few shortcuts and tips. That part was really easy, but very time-consuming. I needed to draw 6 pictures and align them very precisely just to get ball to bounce. There are some grass, some rocks, bird, owl, wave, rain… you can see why is so time-consuming now.
Sound is a different story. I have some experience with making music so it wasn’t hard, but if you are completely beginner, you have to learn a lot to achieve acceptable quality.
7. So, as one of those people who are stuck deep into the water of multimedia projects, do you have something to say to rookies? I believe they would want to know some tips and tricks for making videos.
A: Watch. Learn. Practice. Experiment.
I’ll post the whole story about techniques I used in this project together with software tips and some other things that helped me a lot in process of creating the bouncing ball on my blog soon, and if anybody have some questions please don’t be shy and ask.
And after finishing the conversation with a man who can finish a video for a couple of hours, he showed me that famous video. Truth to be told, I was impressed. It seems that sometimes, the less is more. Rest of the time we spent sitting and enjoying the sun in the spring.
If you liked it, don’t forget to vote for it here. Mr. z! needs your support for this contest.