Animation: Bad Futures

Section: Bad Futures, dates counting up from 2007 to 2055
Format and style: Matt of numbers on top of treated archive footage, complex sound mix
Lead Animators: Cath Elliott and Greg McKneally
Studio:Photon Shepherds / Hodgson Studios


Bad Futures

Cath Elliott writes: This section of the film was challenging to put together. It documents the devistating changes in the climate and its effects on life in a count-up sequence ranging from the year 2007 - 2055. Footage had to be sourced and edited against a script which was a collection of news room audio and an underlying, powerful sound track.

As the numbers increase in size, the visuals become more apparent through the shapes, which meant there was more room for experimenting in what the audience was able to see at any given time. In essence, I had four 'windows' to play with and it was great to be able to experiment with layout, cropping visuals, portraying emotion, balancing colours and movements and layering the footage in order to tell this incredibly shocking story.

Video. The finished thing (but only guide voiceover):

In some cases, it was impossible to crop the images so I had to use footage from elsewhere which included some of Frannys old films. As the original script was slightly longer and the research team had DVD upon DVD upon DVD of disaster footage to hand over to me, it was literally a matter of trawling through hours of it, marking sections that would fit with the script, searching for new material and subjecting Beth (!) to many bike rides across town into Soho with yet more footage as we were receiving it from various sources such as BBC motion gallery and ITV.

The script went through many changes and edits over the weeks and each time the entire section had to be reshuffled and re-edited, not only so that the footage would be cropped correctly behind the matte but also making sure that the flow remained in synch with the script and cued to the music. It was a challenge to construct because it stands alone in the film and receives a generous amount of time. It is a serious and shocking part of the film and it was tough to have to view some of the footage. I often had to desensitize myself to the reality of what I was seeing in order to get the sequence finished.