' Tara Donovan - Animator: Directing a short animated sequence for "Mummers" Pt 1

Directing a short animated sequence for "Mummers" Pt 1


May 25, 2014
For the past several months I've been working away on a special project for documentary director and producer Michael Morrow. I had the pleasure of working for Michael on the Beast Legends series of animated shorts back in 2010. I was thrilled to have an opportunity to create a short animated piece for his independent short film - a horror comedy called "Mummers", currently making the festival rounds. Michael directed Mummers while on location in Newfoundland filming Cold Water Cowboys for the Discovery Channel.

Mummering takes place on Christmas Eve in traditional outports of Newfoundland, Canada. It is similar to Hallowe'en in that it involves disguises, home visits and harmless pranks. Having spent my highschool years in Newfoundland I was very familiar with the concept and it seems every bit as creepy now as it did then.

In Michael's film, some harmless jokesters set off mummering but the evening takes a macabre turn....

My job is to create a 1-minute flashback sequence for Mummers. I had pretty much carte blanche to create the look of the piece. Along with heaps of reference photos from Michael's East Coast travels I took a lot of inspiration from one of my favorite Newfoundland artists, printmaker David Blackwood. I chose hand-drawn Flash animation and CG sets. I was eager to try some 2D animation again after many years in Maya.

I was very happy to be working once again with the talented Andrea Malus who did look development, modeling, texturing, lighting and compositing. She and I were both surprised how much we enjoyed taking a step away from our usual upbeat cartoon work to dig into something rather dark.

The film is very nearly done so I will post more information and video soon. For now here are a few stills.