MOSAIC FILMS: MAKING ANIMATED DOCUMENTARIES

Monday, 18 June 2012


Mosaic Films’ Managing Director Andy Glynne has pioneered the use of animation in documentary, winning a BAFTA, among other awards, for his short film series on mental health, Animated Minds. For his latest offering, Seeking Refuge, Andy uses animation to tell the stories of young refugees. Here he tells us why…

I first thought of using animation when I was making documentaries about mental health.

Mental health is very much a subjective experience. To try and convey that through talking heads gives no sense whatsoever what it’s like. My background is as a psychologist; I used to sit with patients who were talking about their difficulties and there’s a struggle to convey what it’s like, but with symbols or metaphors, you can give them another way to express themselves.

As I started getting into animated docs, I came up with a manifesto of when you should [use animation] and when you shouldn’t. Absolutely [you should] when you’re protecting anonymity, when you’re trying to convey internal experiences and when metaphor is better than literal interpretation: if someone’s being tortured and they’re describing what the feeling’s like, for example. There’s a big trend for people to just use animation because they like the idea of having animation in films and I think it’s a waste of money when that happens.



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