Joanna Quinn

Joanna Quinn is an English, award-winning (and Oscar nominated) film director and animator. Some of her most well known works include; Britannia, Girls Night Out, Dreams and Desires – Family Ties and so on. Fortunately for myself and many others Joanna came in to the school to give a talk about her work.

It was instantly clear that she has an extremely bubbly personality and seems like a fun person. Although there was a lot of conversation about her work and her success as an animator. There were elements that I took from the talk. One was her briefly describing the process; when making her animations they are all hand drawn (which I found to be incredibly daunting), but as she said the drawings in-between the key frames are very loose and do not necessarily need to resemble anything. It is this idea that the eye doesn’t track each individual shot but rather the movement as a whole. This stuck with me because I am currently completing an animation project and although it is not hand drawn, keeping in mind that there has to be movement and not still frames is 100% key.

We were shown two of her films Britannia and Dreams and Desires – Family Ties. I enjoyed the the two but Britannia was my favourite because of its satirical nature.

It is a 5 minute satirical film using a bulldog to represent Britain and its quest to become wealthier and wealthier, without taking any consideration to what its doing to the other nations. This film has numerous awards and was nominated for a BAFTA award.

I really enjoyed this film because not only do I like her illustrations, I also like the narrative that goes along with it. The focus is always kept on the bulldog and there is no background or colour, yet despite this the animation remains engaging throughout. The transitions between the frames are not only flawless but contain huge bursts of movements. The drawings are also simple and are not over complicated, she has removed any element that isn’t necessary, keeping it a clean and easy to read narrative. I also like the different angles she has used and the perspectives, for example the dog is clearly dominant throughout because it is much bigger than the people it encounters from the other countries. This constant change in scale angle and perspective definitely helps to keep the audience engaged as it never becomes boring.

It is hard to ignore Joanna’s unique style within the animations, both addressing an issue and adding humour into it. I think that this combination works so well because not only does she instantly gain the audience’s attention, she manages to keep it throughout the duration of the film.

All in all I thoroughly enjoyed her talk and it was nice to hear someone who although studied graphics has found enjoyment and success in another discipline. I will bear in mind the pointers she gave about animations for my current animation project.


Author: marislathamgraphics

I am a student at Cardiff Metropolitan University studying BA Hons Graphic Communication.

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