Having completed my film, My Heart's in the Highlands, based on the poem by Robert Burns, I am very happy with the outcome and I have learnt alot in the process of making it. I feel it visually portrays the poem in the way I have interpreted the text. Originally the poem sparked off lots of ideas and I envisaged various ways of showing my ideas in a film, I have always been influenced by fast-moving, psychadelic videos and I'm very interested in the combination of film and animation. For example The Coral's video for 'In the Morning' has paint overlayed on each individual slide in the video which is very sketchy and purposely rough looking. I wanted my film to look classic and atmospheric in an old fashioned way but with elements of contemporary illustration. In all my work I am constantly seeking to successfully merge collage and drawing/painting. In an early critique it was brought up that the jerky nature of the collage sections was slightly unsettling in comparison to the drawn animation. I then proceeded to make this smoother and quicker in order to eliminate that problem, I also used a watercolour animation to link the collaged parts with the drawn sections to make it all run a bit smoother. Overall I am very happy with the combination of the two having completed the film. I feel the film doesn't lend itself to a particular audience as it has elements that could be appreciated by all ages although the fast moving nature of it may not be appropriate to young children. In context I feel the film would work well on television as an accompaniment to a poetry reading.
For the most part I have taken the narrative fairly literally by using shots of, 'mountains, high covered with snow', 'wild-hanging woods' and 'loud pouring floods'. These are accompanied by drawn animations of running deer which is clearly mentioned throughout the poem. I have created the character of a man saying farewell to the highlands, whom I imagined to be an old man and wearing classic winter clothing; hat, scarf, duffle coat. After a critique it was brought to my attention that a musical canon is very similar to the way the poem repeats it self and almost goes around in a figure of eight. Apart from repeating images of deer and snow covered mountains I wanted to create a metaphor for this and the beginning and ending of the poem. The snowdrop is a famous Scottish flower of the Highlands. I created an animation of the flower growing which I have repeated throughout the film as a metaphor for a musical canon and the repetition of the poem, also I reversed the animation so it looks like the flower is dying at the end of the film. I feel the poem is very sad and this represents that well I feel. Recently I got a response from Matthew Richardson, an illustrator who I have alot of respect for artistically, after I had sent him the link to my film. He kindly took the time to give me some feedback. He really liked the film and appreciated the effort I had put into it. His criticism was that the two elements of drawn animation and collage didn't compliment eachother too well and suggested keeping the styles separate as one is very jerky and the other smooth and flowing. But he understood that I was particularly trying to make them work together. This feedback came after I had finished the film and will help me for future projects using this medium. It also added to the constant debate of what was working well in my film, my peers had said they loved the collage and stencil parts and how it all worked togther but others had brought to light the issue of whether it was a comfortable viewing experience and I had to make alot of decisions throughout the making of the film related to this. Overall I feel I have compromised with both elements, creating exactly the kind of film I had set out to and the feedback from the final film has been positive.