Imagination breeds animation

Animation is a gateway for imagination to become reality.

The sixth annual Giant Incandescent Resonating Animation Festival (GIRAF) is bringing a collection of independent animated films to those in Calgary looking for this very type of inspiration.

“It’s such a large art form and it deserves its own festival,” says Karilynn Thompson, GIRAF’s director.

Last year over 700 people attended GIRAF and the Quickdraw Animation Society, host of the festival, expects a greater turnout this year. Events include: feature films, shorts, workshops, artist spotlights and a documentary about the animation industry.

Thompson says animation is so powerful because some themes and ideas wouldn’t have the same impact if they were made into a live action film.

Dudley Storey, an instructor in SAIT’s New Media Production and Design program, agrees.
“You can show things (in animation) that are simply never possible in real life. It’s feasible to tell stories without a creative limitation,” says Storey. “If you can imagine it, you can create it.”

However, not everything is peaches and gravy.

Animation can be labour intensive because a lot of the production starts from scratch, he says.
“The real world is already built for you. Animation does allow more creativity, but it’s difficult to have that resonate with people,” says Dudley, adding that it’s easier for viewers to relate to a human face.

Kyle Cooper, president of the SAITSA film club and a SAIT Film and Video Production student, prefers live-action movies, but recognizes some of the creative shortfalls of using actors and sets.

“There are some things you just can’t do with live-action . . . but those lines are blurring,” says Cooper, who adds that computer graphics enhancements are removing some of those restrictions.
The boundless potential of animation is also apparent to Film and Video Production student, Darryl Jordan. “I don’t think there are any limitations other than the human imagination,” he says.

“Back in the ‘80s, you couldn’t make a film of giant walking, talking robots properly. But you could see it in the cartoons.”

GIRAF runs from Nov. 3-7 at the Plaza Theatre.

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