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I'll Be Me

Shannon Davidson, Distance Education Centre, Victoria

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Winner Screen It! 2005

How did I come to make films?

I made my first film in 2004 called 'The Land is Me'. I hadn't made a film before and after attending a workshop at ACMI, I saw the 'Screen It! 2004 Competition' advertised and decided I would have a try. After more than 60 hours work I was lucky enough to win the 2004 competition. I was invited to the 'Little Big Shots Film Festival' in 2005 where my film was screened. During the film festival I saw some Claymation films made by children and I was inspired to make my next film out of plasticine.

What is my film about?

I entered the 'Screen It! 2005 Competition' at ACMI. The theme was 'Playing Games' and my film is called 'I'll Be Me'. I decided to write a story based on things around me and a girl learning Taekwondo. The story is about being yourself, when you want to achieve something there will always be things going wrong, but you need to be able to recover and try again no matter what.

Making my film

I found the plasticine very difficult to work with because it got dirty easily, melted in the heat and when moving my animated figure, the plasticine would always crack. The legs of my character were very deformed after repairing her so many times.

Each scene took approximately 7 hours to shoot and there were a variety of problems I encountered. In scene one, I had trouble making the girl stand up because her head and hair were very heavy. I used two 'F' clamps which were attached to the table with a piece of string between them. From this, a piece of fishing wire was attached to her neck. To make her skip I had to take the skipping rope from her hand, put it on the other side of the fishing wire and re-attach it to her hand. Often her hand came off while doing this.

In scene 2, much of her body was showing, so there were more cracks to try and cover. To do the somersault, she needed extra support so a piece of fishing wire was tied around her waist and connected to the 'F' clamps. Mum had to hold other wires attached to her feet, because this scene needed two people to shoot.

Scene 3 was also difficult because most of the time, the girl was standing on one foot. The supports were attached to her neck and waist and it was always a rush to take the shot before she fell. If she did fall, I would put the camera into overlap and try and find her last position. During her time as a red belt, her face got cut down the middle with fishing wire and I had to do urgent repairs on her face during filming. When she got to black belt, mum sewed a black ribbon around the neck of her uniform while I repaired her feet and hands.  My film took 130 hours to make, most of this time was making the plasticine figure and scenery, filming and editing.

What I am working on now?

At the moment I am editing a short film on how I made my animation. A few years ago I wrote a story which I will make into an animation using Macromedia Flash. I also have other ideas in mind which I want to experiment with.I am hoping to enter other competitions at ACMI in the future. If you are willing to put the work in, anyone can make a film.

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