February 2, 2011

Thesis Statement

Filed under: books!,Thesis — Tags: — *aly* @ 8:12 pm

I intend to animate a short story I wrote about a walk through a Dickens-esque London street at midnight. I’d like to animate using found and archival footage as well as some hand-drawn resources. The aesthetic will be dark and Victorian but the ending will be a surprising contrast.

After Effects will be my animation and editing program of choice. The aesthetic of most Tim Burton projects are inspiring in their silly spookiness. Particular scenes from Hardtimes (oh that weather) and Oliver Twist (you know, the scene that was Dickens’ favorite to read aloud) were part of the inspiration for the story, as were the short stories of HH Munroe—“The Open Window” being a longtime favorite.

During my time at ITP, I have become more and more fascinated with video and animation. I have always had a love of 19th century literature (ask to look at the tattoo I got recently for proof) and have always wanted to do something with the short story I wrote. My thesis is the perfect opportunity to bring these elements together.

The story was an assignment that I completed for a 19th century literature class that marked the culmination of my senior year as an undergrad at Sarah Lawrence College. Having read a score of 19th century authors, we were tasked with a creative writing assignment: to write a story in the style of our favorite author. And so, I decided to describe a part of my life from my previous year abroad in London and to do so borrowing heavily from Dickens’ style.

Since that time, the electronic copy of the story (which must have been saved on a floppy disk) has vanished. Not terribly surprising given that I moved to London the day after graduation with nothing more than a suitcase and a sewing machine, and that was some 12 years ago. It may be more surprising to find that I was actually surprised.

So, my first task will be to recreate the story, some parts written, some parts in storyboard format. All in sentences considered verbose by modern fiction’s standards and quite a bit dramatic. Considering how much time has passed since draft one, I have many additional memories, adventures, and fancies to add to the mix.

In preparation, I have altered my reading list (and my blogging style…):

As the wind howled relentlessly around me yesterday eve, I trudged my way from my office to the subway and was horrified to discover that I had no wondrous tome in which to bury my nose and transport myself away from the despairing depths of public transport. Alas. So, with reckless abandon, I threw myself at the feet of that great goddess of wisdom and knowledge (and little things that blink and beep) and resolved to simultaneously download a book on my phone while battling the Great Elements; whereupon, I found great success and succor and downloaded no less than TWO within as many paces.

In short, I have started my thesis work by reading A Christmas Carol (2nd time around) and then maybe Oliver Twist (3rd/4th time?) and then maybe that great unfinished bedevilry: The Mystery of Edwin Drood (2nd reading?). Just to get in the mood, you know.

A thousand pities to the poor souls condemned to correspond with me via email while my brain happily soaks in Victorian aesthetic. Phrenology tells us that I was born into this world with this particular project on the brain.

Links to past projects with similar aesthetic:
WWI Mary

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