A Stream of Consciousness

by Megan -

Have you ever sat down, put a pen to paper, and just wrote down all the thoughts pouring out of your head? It can be almost therapeutic emptying out the clutter in a stream of consciousness. This is exactly what artist Melanie Page did to create her film “We Are So Small.” This concept of “automatic writing” was championed by surrealist André Breton, the founding father of Surrealism.

This consisted of two separate sessions in which I sat for around 20 minutes and wrote down my stream of consciousness,” Melanie tells us. “It’s a really great way of giving yourself parameters within which to develop a theme or narrative for an artwork.

Once she had her narrative down, Melanie got to work on her set pieces. She says, “I spent a long time creating the sets I used in the animation, and was very interested in using 2D cut outs to develop a very specific look to the project. I paid particular attention to the use of space and enjoyed dreaming up the various ways in which I could utilize the text as imagery.

The film has such a simple and beautiful quality to it that’s complimented quite nicely with the background ambient noises of birds chirping and a breeze flowing through. While the accompanying sound is soft, the minimalistic soundtrack speaks volumes when paired with Melanie’s quirky 2D cutouts and animated poetry.

I am an artist that dabbles in many mediums and I am constantly looking for new ways to satisfy my creative outlets,” Melanie says. “I have previously created short video profile pieces but this was my very first time experimenting with animation. I like the traditional old style of animation and wanted to recreate that effect with this piece.

Melanie created “We Are So Small” using a Canon EOS 60D and iStopMotion on a MacBook Pro, then used Final Cut Pro for post production. She tells us, “I discovered iStopMotion through a friend who had previously used it. When I asked around for suggestions of reasonably priced but effective animation software, iStopMotion was the best option. I have used other video editing software, but nothing at all like this before.

From concept development and set creation to filming and postproduction, Melanie did a fantastic job with this film! The animation consists of 2,672 frames and took two months from concept to final production to create.