December 29, 2019

'Facing It' by Sam Gainsborough

According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 13 people suffer from social anxiety. “Facing It” from director Sam Gainsborough — turns this common stress response inside out using visually dynamic claymation design.

In the film, we see a young man sitting at a bar contemplating whether to strike up a conversation with a crowd of happily chatting people. As he reflects on his past, he finds that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and that his self-conscious parents discouraged him from fully expressing himself. Using seamless animation, Gainsborough shines a light on the inner torment of having social anxiety, bringing this common condition the exposure and empathy it deserves.

— Vimeo's interview with the filmmaker —

On the inspiration behind “Facing It”:
“I’ve always loved claymation — I love it when you can see fingerprints and really feel the physicality of the clay. I used to watch lots of Aardman shorts when I was younger. I had the idea for the mixed-media technique a few years before making the film. It was an idea that was impossible to explore before going to the National Film and Television School. It was fantastic to meet an amazing team of people who were excited by the challenge. The story came very organically after experimenting with the technique. Working with Louisa Wood (co-writer), we really put ourselves into the film and tried to create something that people would connect with.”
On the challenges of making the film:
“Making this film was the most challenging project I’ve ever worked on. There was no rulebook at the beginning of the process. It was great, and a creative process that would be really difficult to replicate outside of the university context. We always trusted that it would work, but we never really knew for sure! We’ve released a short making-of film to give people a sense of what the production looked like behind the scenes.”
On advice to aspiring filmmakers:
“Just get started. Don’t be scared about making something that’s not perfect. Enjoy the process of making, trying, and failing. Don’t worry if your work is too similar to someone else’s, and don’t worry that people might not like it. Basically don’t let anything stop you from making whatever you want to make.”
On what’s next:
“We are currently looking for funding for our next short. It’s another life-sized claymation hybrid film, but it has some new techniques thrown into the mix.”

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