TAIS Animation ABC's Studio Spotlight Residency - Susan Wolf

"Swimming in the Imaginary" is a short film by Susan Wolf, which was completed during the Toronto Animated Image Society's one week residency (Feb 14 - 20, 2016) called "Animation ABC's". In this residency, four animators were asked to create an animated piece to reflect on their process.

Sound design: Jeremy Costello

Technical support: Raphael Sanchez

Post-production technician: Tim Tracey

What inspired you to get into animation?

I always marvelled at the idea of taking a static image and making it move. Animation is magical. The first animation that I made, Ida, was drawn frame by frame with an HB pencil on bond paper, as part of the Centre for Art Tapes media art scholarship program in Halifax. This was just after I had finished a BFA at NSCAD. You can watch the film here: https://vimeo.com/134461767

How did you hear about this residency?

TAIS Director Jenn Snider got in touch with me and invited me to participate.

How do you feel about making an autobiographical/fictional work about your animation practice?

At first I thought we were being asked to make a very instructional film and I wondered how to convey the repetitive and quite mundane process of animating by hand in an interesting way. It actually became more challenging and more interesting when I realized that the assignment needn't be literal. I chose to focus on how I generate ideas and represent the process in a more metaphoric and symbolic fashion. The self-reflection did add a layer of discomfort in the making.

What was your biggest challenge during the residency? Your biggest discovery/breakthrough?

There were a number of tech challenges during the residency and I needed to get used to the camera/set up/equipment in a space that was new to me. By far the biggest challenge was time-- too little of it.

Do you have any upcoming/other projects that you would like to mention?

I'll be going to the National Film Board at some point this summer to finish up post-production on my animated short, "BushSnake". It's made in the same paper cut-out style as "Swimming in the Imaginary" (my film for TAIS).
Going forward, I'm very interested in creating work that integrates my backgrounds in movement and sculpture with animation. I'm also keen to work more collaboratively, particularly with dancers, and I've been taking a lot of dance and composition workshops lately. So, we'll se where this leads.

Where can people go to see more of your work?

Website: http://susanwolf.space

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/user17072236

NFB Hothouse Apprenticeship Film: http://www.nfb.ca/film/pfff_en