Michelle Brand
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The Journey Never Starts. The Journey Never Ends.

DURATION 00:02:52
MEDIUM Digital Animation
PRODUCTION University for the Creative Arts, 2016
SYNOPSIS An endless train journey through the mysteries of time. Always moving, always changing, one thought leads to another...

BLABLA

DURATION 00:02:52
MEDIUM Digital Animation, 
PRODUCTION University for the Creative Arts, 2016

SYNOPSIS An endless train journey through the mysteries of time. Always moving, always changing, one thought leads to another...

FESTIVALS London International Animation Festival, Anifilm, Aesthetica Short Film Festival, Athens Animfest, Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival, Zebra Poetry Film Festival, Open World Animation Festival, Canterbury University Film Festival, German Multimedia Festival MB21, Festival Internazionale del Cinema d'Arte

AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS German Multimedia Award 2016, Nominated at Canterbury University Film Festival 2017 for 'Best Script' and 'Best Animation'

Film Statement

Film Statement

Thoughts are often linked with motion. The original idea of the animation was to give such thoughts visual movement, underlining the idea of how thoughts lead to each other, at the same time recognising that each single thought is only momentary and passes quickly away.

The imagery combined with the train journey gives a feeling of how time is in constant motion, changing things around us. People come, people go, thoughts come, thoughts go, scenes are there for ‘the moment’, and then move on. The moment never stays, time never stands still. The purpose of the film is to connect this process of thoughts with the audience and take them on a journey that in fact every person shares.

Sketch Book

Sketch Book

The animation’s origin is from a small sketchbook I have kept with me since 2014, and in which I keep momentary thoughts, or observations. I didn’t want the film though to just be an animated version of this sketchbook, as that seemed pointless, but rather a projection of the mind in general.

Working Storyboard

Working Storyboard

Deciding on the order of the scenes was an interesting, but difficult process. It was important to reflect on the viewer’s possible interpretation and find a connecting thread between thoughts and images, giving the overall piece a sense of completeness and logic.

 The animation is drawn digitally in black and white, at times with detailed images and animations. I tried to keep the images as simple, but expressive as possible, enabling me to concentrate on morphing the scenes and taking the viewer from one moment to the next.

The animation is drawn digitally in black and white, at times with detailed images and animations. I tried to keep the images as simple, but expressive as possible, enabling me to concentrate on morphing the scenes and taking the viewer from one moment to the next.

 To help carry the audience through this, perhaps confusing, journey, I used a few visual motifs. The image of the train is the main metaphor of time and life itself, and of the journey we are taken on.

To help carry the audience through this, perhaps confusing, journey, I used a few visual motifs. The image of the train is the main metaphor of time and life itself, and of the journey we are taken on.

 The overhead train wires that can often be seen while travelling by train are the next main motif. They take the audience from scene to scene, and also form the key thoughts about the start, the middle, and the end of the film and the journey. 

The overhead train wires that can often be seen while travelling by train are the next main motif. They take the audience from scene to scene, and also form the key thoughts about the start, the middle, and the end of the film and the journey. 

Sound Design

Sound Design

The sound also plays a main role in creating the right atmosphere. The soundtrack is made out of two pieces of music from the German composer Max Richter. One piece of music melodically interprets the sound of the traintracks and creates a rhythm that can be heard throughout nearly the whole film, continuously giving the viewer the feeling that he is sitting on the train. In addition, it creates a feeling of continuity, connecting all scenes together. The second piece of music, with its slow melody, emphasises the dream-like atmosphere of the thoughts, and stands in contrast with the speed of the first music piece. These two pieces of music express the flow of time nicely, speeding moments up or down appropriately.

 With this project, I wished to create an observational and surrealistic animation that takes the audience on a thought-provoking journey they hopefully can enjoy.

With this project, I wished to create an observational and surrealistic animation that takes the audience on a thought-provoking journey they hopefully can enjoy.

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Festival Review (German)

The 'German Multimedia Award Festival' (mb21) was kind enough to send feedback on my film, explaining why it received the award in the category 'Best Animation' for my year group 21-25.