Hole in One (2020)
A short animated stop motion film made for the Cardiff Quick Draw Challenge.
In March 2020, the entire world was (rightfully) cancelled. Unfortunately, this meant the suspension of animation festivals, including the wonderful Cardiff Animation Festival. Fortunately, they released a Quick Draw challenge in March 2020, wherein participants must make a short film within 48 hours. The theme is given on 7pm Friday (this year’s theme was “green”) and a final film must be submitted by 7pm on Sunday.
I do not usually take part in these types of challenges however I did fancy giving this one a go. So I managed to create this short film entitled: Hole In One.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Matthew Lee's blog:
On Friday at 7pm, the theme was announced: “green”. The only thought I came up with related to vegetables or gardens. I tried thinking of bringing back the characters of "Veggie Rush!" to add to the world I originally created, however I did want to try making something new. So I asked for some suggestions from some friends and relatives.
The only suggestion I felt would be fun to do would related to my dad's interests in golf. So the idea was to focus on a golfer trying to get a hole in one at the green fields. Simple premise.
I started off with creating a few sketches of whacky crazy visuals and then I started to do a few tests and animatics of those same ideas.
When it came to the design of the golfer, I mostly kept the design close to the spitting image of my dad. However, one of the few issues I predicted was that the "detailed-design" would become an issue when it comes to the animation's consistency. So I thought I would try to keep the design in a clean structure. However, I did have a thought of having the body structure similar to the shape of a golf bag.
The next step was to spend the majority of the first day roughing out the animation and seeing how much of the originals storyboard would manage to fit in.
The fun of the animation was to see how many responses the actual hole I could come up with; i.e. moving across the fields, knocking the ball back, duck and dodging and more. This did lead to some fascinating animation tests with shape changes, pacing and squash-and-stretch.
The only scene which did not make into the animation process involved the golfer reaching the ball in the hole only to have the actual "green" area actually stretch like an elastic band as the golfer tries to take the ball back. This was actually a fun fact my dad gave to me: how the golfers usually take out the actual hole to get their ball back. I immediately thought this would be a funny visual sequence. However due to the amount of time I had left, it was not meant to be.
Much like most of my early work, I am not an expert when it comes to sound design. However I did not want to overload the sound effects. Instead I kept the sound-designs simple by including simple hitting sounds mixed with cartoon sound effects.
Looking back I can see some elements that would need improvement and if given an extra day, I would hire a professional sound designer to work on the sound, and possibly add some shading with the character. But overall, considering it was all done in 48 hours, I am actually quite pleased with how it all turned out.
I am so grateful to the folks of the Cardiff Quick Draw challenge for giving myself as well as other animators this opportunity. It was so stressful and yet so much fun. It was also quite nice tone chatting with other animators on the dedicated Slack channel.
I hope to take part in more of these challenges in the future.