In 2000, the United Nations estimated that 5000 women a year a murdered in "honor killing". Independent agencies claimed that number might account for Pakistan alone, and that 20,000 annually is closer to the truth.

There is not much animation can do about this, but in this short documentary animation helps present ideas that can make dramatic changes in cultural behavior.

(click here, or the image to see the film)

After director Katy Chevigny asked philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah to star in her film for Cinelan's Focus Forward project, she realized she had set a difficult task for herself -how to visualize the abstract concepts and make them into a film.

This is when she made the irrational and foolish decision to use animation extensively in the film. Compounding this questionable choice, she called on us at Ace & Son Moving Picture Co., LLC to produce the animation despite having worked with us on more than one prior occassion.

 

 

 

 
 

For us, there were a few goals. Primary, of course, is properly representing the material -both stylistically and narratively. That's primorum principiorum for every project.

Beyond that, we wanted the animation to open the space of the screen. We wanted to bring motion, first on a lateral axis and then make the leap the temporal motion. For this we employed a fluidity within the animation by substiting drawn transformations for hard cuts. In this manner the picture acts as an agent of the content. Dr. Appiah discusses how honor can be used as force for change, and the animation shows that not only through images but, more importantly, through form.

Whew! It's all pretty clear in the film.

To create the animation, the line work was drawn on paper and the paint was applied to a separate, matching layer of paper and composited in Adobe After Effects. We wanted the scratchy ink line and washy colors and determine this was the fastest method to achieve the look.

We actually wanted to paint on the same paper as the ink line but the order for the bond which caused little bleed took too long to arrive (4 weeks!) so we settled on this method.

 
 

 

"The Honor Code" will premiere at the TriBeCa Film Festival on April 25 as part of a program of short documentaries presented by Cinelan and GE's "Focus Forward: Short Films/Big Ideas".

An ArtsEngine, Inc. Production

DIRECTED BY - Katy Chevigny
PRODUCED BY - Christina D. King, Marilyn Ness
EDITED BY - Gabriel Rhodes
MUSIC COMPOSED BY - John Kimbrough

ANIMATION BY - Ace & Son Moving Picture Company
ANIMATION DIRECTOR - Richard O'Connor
DESIGN/LEAD ANIMATOR - Kelsey Stark
ADDITIONAL ANIMATION - Liesje Kraai
PRODUCTION ARTIST - Dee Mackey

CAMERA - William Rexer II
SOUND - John Zecca
RESEARCHER - Danielle Varga
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT - Justine Pierce
SPECIAL THANKS - Kwame Anthony Appiah

 

 
 

 

 

 
 

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