THE PLANT OF YOUTH
This is a short animated film based on The Epic Of Gilgamesh. I made it as my graduation film for the course MA Character Animation at Central Saint Martins college of arts.
The original story is the oldest written story known to us, it dates back to third millennium BC, when Sumerians were developing the first urban civilisation in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq). It tells the story of a half king, half god, who eventually sets off on his heroic journey in search of immortality or as it has been interpreted The Meaning of Life. It is not exaggerated to say it is the origin of all the heroes and superheros who would come along centuries after, following the same pattern, reminding us that what we care the most about has not changed since the dawn of history.
I chose a loop form for the narrative because in the original story there are a lot of repetitions, falling sleep and waking up, meeting people and creatures, leaving them behind and at the very end after his long journey he comes back to his city to seek eternal life in good reputation. Then through out the history of literature came his likes to go on heroic journey only to find knowledge and peace wher they have started.
The technique I used came out of experimenting with plasticine on the lightbox. I started with a thick piece of plasticine, with the plan to use many pieces as cut out bits and move them under the camera. But at some point I smeared some of the clay on the glass sheet I was working on while I had the lightbox underneath and it looked like stained glass which fitted with my story very well. I was also exploring different ways to animate with ink and ended up using glycerin and ink for underwater scenes.
The plant of youth (gilgamesh) has been
shortlisted for NOVA AWARD in 2016
screened at Genesis, London as part of PANORAMA screening programme in 2016
screened at Canterbury Anifest as past of 'best of' selection in 2016
selected for BENJIN Film Festival in 2017
showcased on Show Me The Animation online animation magazine in 2017
selected for Anim!arte - International Student Animation Festival of Brazil in 2017
exhibited at Konkuk University, South Korea as part of 'The Curiosity Screen' exhibition in 2017