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Creator Q&A: Anna C. Gilmore

1. What is your name, what do you do, and which film did you make?

My name is Anna C. Gilmore, I am a freelance animator and illustrator and I made the film "The Three". 2. What experience do you have creating art and animation?

I have experience both from college and working independently for the past three years as a freelancer. I mostly work on my own so it is a lot of problem solving and experimenting with new ideas. But, I think most people in this field always had a part of them that wanted to tell stories, so I'd say that about myself too.

3. What inspired you to pick the story you chose?

I chose to base this animation on Irish mythology before I even knew what I was gonna do. My family is Irish-American and my mom would always tell me stories from Irish legends and history growing up. Unfortunately when I looked for a creation story, a lot of that part of Irish myth is lost, but there was a recurring myth of three female deities/spirits that were once one. So I did my best to fill in what that story would be like from ancient Irish artwork, spiritual sights, kinda looking to themes that would be important to have in a creation story.

4. What was your process for making your film?

My process was really building from the idea of making a creation story that would be a look into a lost myth so thinking of the designs of the three goddesses was the start. I did not want them to look like classical blond flowery goddesses, so I looked into sculpture from neolithic and pre-colonized Ireland. I used a lot of neolithic Irish imagery in this, specifically Newgrange. I knew it was just going to be me, so I had to limit what I could do to some 2D animation and then using After Effects. I think the spilt would be 30% 2D and 70% after effects, and also all the planning time which took a bit of time.

5. How long did it take to make?

After planning the project took about three months to get it all done, maybe less because there were times I had to stop and focus on another project, but I tried to get to a comfortable point each time before moving on.

6. How experienced were you with narrative and story-based projects before making your altered fairytale? I would definitely say I am not too experienced with story and I think that shows with the ending, I feel like I could have come up with a better end note. I have always loved stories, especially mythology, so I think that helped with working my way through making an new myth. 7. What was the easiest part? The easiest part would have to have been the research for me. I love history and I loved looking into an almost lost history like you have in Ireland. A lot of the historical restoration in Ireland is only a few decades old and there is all of this beautiful Neolithic and Mesolithic sites around Ireland, all with legends and stories surrounding them. 8. What was the hardest part? The hardest part was definitely some of the 2D animation, specifically the scene when they are spinning holding hands. I knew I wanted it to happen but just thinking through the logic of spinning and dragging gave me a bit of a headache. I do think I would do that scene differently, maybe not show the feet. 9. What was your favorite part? My favorite part, even though I just said it was the hardest, was the 2D animation. I had just started to learn how to use OpenToonz, and I always get excited about learning new programs. A lot of it was trial and error, but I ended up growing really found of some of the animation I did with it. I hope to work on future animations with it. 10. Do you have words of wisdom for anyone who might want to create an animated short of their own? I would definitely stress planning out and knowing your limits. If you are working on a team it is different because everyone keeps each other afloat but it is easy to loose track of scale when you are working on your own. Spreadsheets are your friend, and just keeping even the basics outlined will keep the scope in a step by step process which is so much easier.

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