Jenny Mascia says hand-painted animation is the “perfect way to depict emotions”

In addition to the watercolour the first film uses micron pens, as the roughness of the multiple strokes added another layer of texture to the depiction of the character’s emotional state. “As they find more inner stability, you will see the line starting to soften and becoming cleaner,” Jenny adds.
As it was a small production, Jenny was not only director but writer, art director, producer and animator, as part of each film’s small team. Sound design was by Andrea Martignoni, whose “sonic interpretation of the story truly completed the piece,” Jenny comments. Overall she says each short is the “fruit of the team’s dedication, talent and trust. Ultimately we were all driven by a cause that felt much bigger than us.”
In the second short, mixed media animation fuses with live action, which Jenny says allowed the film to move between the present moment and the characters’ mental perceptions. “We slip between these two, revealing the healing power of being present. Hand-painting over live-action footage seemed to encapsulate the idea of reinterpreting reality.”
Stylistically, Jenny wanted to play with two contrasting colours, blue and bright yellow, “depicting depression and calm”. In the scene where the character is kneeling and opening their hands, they are “sharing the struggles they’ve been facing and their suicidal intent,” the director explains, so “the transition carries us inside their dismal version of the world. The colours are intense and the architecture of the space feels oppressive”. Afterwards the animation transitions out of this “threatening” world, and into scenes where the character is being helped to put their suicidal intent behind them. “This action creates a reaction in the world around them, slowly transforming it into a new space. A more neutral one,” Jenny describes. “Each transition in the short defines a shift in the character’s state of mind, and visually depicts the effect the steps are having on them.”
Meanwhile in the third film, 3D and 2D animation mix with hand-painted sections, combining elements from the previous two. There’s more realistic characters and environments, alongside visual metaphors, a blend of mediums such as watercolour and acrylic paints. “In this short, more than the other two, the texture is very visible, which suited the intensity of emotions in teenage years.”

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