Creator Q&A: Numinous and Zipazap
1. What is your name, what do you do, and which film did you make?
Z: My name is Zoe (aka zipazap) and I worked on "As on High" with Numinous
N: My name is Numinous and I’m a freelance artist. I worked on “As on High”, our take on the Babylonian creation myth. 2. What experience do you have creating art and animation?
Z: I work as a full-time motion designer at a production company, so I've been in the industry almost 3 years now.
N: I’ve been working on my illustration and motion graphics work for about a year and a half now, including the School of Motion bootcamp.
3. What inspired you to pick the story you chose?
Z: Numinous asked me to collab on the project, and already had a story in mind so we went with that.
N: I studied the Enûma Eliš in college and came to understand it as a myth of justification for each ancient monarch’s mandate. Reinterpreting the myth as one examining the price of violence between the powerful was a compelling opportunity.
4. What was your process for making your film?
Z: We were chatting via discord, I set up a collaborative moodboard and we worked from there on a visual script. Then based off of that we made a storyboard and then divided the scenes depending on who wanted to do what.
N: Zip covered this well, there were a lot of compromises between my ideas about how to portray the myth that she helped guide to a realized project. Honestly, she created much of the visual style and that contributed tons to the appeal of the piece.
5. How long did it take to make?
Z: We started planning in April, then worked on it on/off till the end of June.
N: I didn’t keep much track during the planning phase since much of that asynchronous. I’d say around 40-hours over the course of June for my sections.
6. How experienced were you with narrative and story-based projects before making your altered fairytale? Z: I had a bit of experience from work but alongside this I was also making a music video with a narrative so I was becoming very familiar with story-based projects over that time period.
N: I’ve written short fiction and extended world bibles for tabletop games and other projects for years, so the main novelty here was doing it in a visual format. 7. What was the easiest part? Z: Easiest part was animating my sections, that's where I'm my most comfortable.
N: The design for this project came together really quickly and easily once we had the moodboard going. 8. What was the hardest part? Z: Hardest part for me was probably figuring out the first full storyboard. We had style frames and Numinous did a great job in condensing the story down, but getting it all combined took a bit of brainpower on my part.
N: Animating the foot in my scene! I adjusted the whole part frame by frame with multiple shapes since I was struggling with rigging during the project. Afterward I picked it up just so I never have to repeat that process. 9. What was your favorite part? Z: I put the final video together with the sound and textures, and I think seeing it all come together was my favourite bit. To quote Num "ZIP THIS LOOKS GOOD???? DID WE DO GOOD?????????"
N: I really enjoyed discussing the ideas for the visual style. I came into the project with a strong idea of how I wanted to use motion to portray divinity, and I was happy with how that came into their own throughout the project. 10. Do you have words of wisdom for anyone who might want to create an animated short of their own? Z: I would say, don't skimp out on the pre planning, especially if you are working with someone else, as I think it really helps to have make sure you're on the same page from the start. I also would say maybe don't do the VO yourself, cause you then have to listen to yourself over and over!
N: Test all your big dreams as soon as possible to see if they’re going to end up in your final piece. It’s good to know if you have to pivot on an idea earlier than later.
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