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Creator Q&A: Helena Kampen


Helena Kampen did not finish her film in time for it to be featured in the inaugural Things Took a Turn anthology, but she continued to work on it and has since finished it, and it's the perseverance to finish a project that marks a great creator.

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

My name is Helena Kampen, I’m an illustrator and animator, I made Alice in Oooland for the first year of Things Took a Turn.

2. What experience do you have creating art and animation?

I have been doing art and animation for almost a decade. I’ve started on the computer, doing keyframed animation, and then discovered the beauty (and the pain) of the frame by frame traditional animation, which I try to incorporate more on my work now.)

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

There’s an episode of Adventure Time where Finn is stuck in another world (pillowtown), he gets there though a tiny door, then in the end it was all a dream and he could barely remember it, so that’s where I was! Oh! Alice in Wonderland references!

4. What was your process for making your film?

After I’ve establish that I wanted to do the Adventure Time intro with Alice in Wonderland characters, I’ve started to research to see which characters from Alice in Wonderland I could replace in each section. Then I’ve storyboarded it all. After that I created some rough camera movements in after effects and cinema4D, so I could try to match the camera moves from the intro video. And then after all the illustrations were done I went animating!

5. How long did it take to make?

It took a long time (like 2 years) because I was very slow to do it. If I were to do that in one go it would probably take me around six to eight weeks.

6. How experienced were you with narrative and story-based projects before making your altered fairytale?

Not much experience with narrative! Actually I guess my movie is not really narrative hehe.

7. What was the easiest part? Re-watching Alice in Wonderland.

8. What was the hardest part? Anything with 3D.

9. What was your favorite part? There’s a few: (***Spoilers if you haven’t seen the film yet.***) Probably storyboarding and illustrating.

10. Do you have words of wisdom for anyone who might want to create an animated short of their own? Just start, don’t think too much and just get some scribbles on paper. Starting is the hardest part, it’s painful and overwhelming, but if you just start small and look at it once in a while, it will start flowing.

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