A Minnanifesto

Animation is the perfect medium for the artist who can’t limit her or himself to just one medium. Animation can encompass drawing, painting, sculpture, storytelling, music, literature, acting, filmmaking, photography, movement and dance – basically everything. It can build an entire world straight out of the artist’s imagination, and it is a medium that allows one person to practice all these disciplines. Animation is the summation of all the arts.

Independent filmmaking can be very artistic, but traditional filmmaking is an industrial process that was designed to be efficient and productive, but not artistic. The committee structure of even independent filmmaking dilutes the role of the artist, at least in a traditional sense, where the strange and peculiar insights of one person guided the artistic process and saw it from beginning to end.

Animation can be the work of a single person. One person can begin with an idea and follow it through to completion with just their singular sense of the world guiding that process. This has been true for independent animation for long time, but the hard work of traditional animation meant that a work-alone animator would have to spend years making one short film. With digital tools, an animator today can make work more quickly and still be the single guide of its viewpoint.

The animation practiced by the major studios often has as its goal to create realistic depictions of movement and image. But animation by the artist usually involves a massive degree of stylization and exaggeration. The world created by the animation artist doesn’t have to cling to the physical reality of the world around us, it can be an internal world, a world filtered through one mind, a world of shapes and sounds that are not heard on the earth that we know through our exterior senses.

Animation is an incredible artistic medium with numerous possibilities and types. But it is also very much ignored in the Twin Cities and Minnesota. Neither has an animation-only film festival, like many other states and cities do. Major film events in the state, including the Minneapolis Saint Paul Film Festival, include very little animation.

It is time to Start Seeing Animation. It is time to build a greater animation consciousness in Minnesota. That is what MinnAnimate is all about.

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