WHEN YOU STOP ANIMATING: ANIMATION EXPERIENCE AND ITS LATER TRANSFERABILITY INTO OTHER CREATIVE AREAS
Eliška Děcká (Czech Republic)
1 – Assistant Profesor
Dr. Eliška Děcká is an Assistant Professor at the Animation Department at the Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU), Czech Republic. She teaches history and theory of animation while also collaborating with various animation festivals as a curator. In 2015, she co-founded a non-profit AniScreen with the aim to promote artistic independent animation by producing various site-specific curated screenings of animated shorts.
This postdoc research follows the methodology I used within my MA and PhD research – oral history. In spring 2017, I was approached by the festival Anifilm in order to curate a screening called “Forgotten Women Authors of Czech Animation”. Apart from the curating, other important part of the task was a realization of series of in-depth semi-structured interviews with all the living authors selected for the screening. By the end of numerous meetings with all the narrators (mostly in their 60s or 70s now) an interesting pattern started to show up: Although most of them were able to finish some quite successful animated shorts at the beginning of their careers later they decided (from various reasons) or were force by external circumstances to stop their animation professional path and start a new (often a very different yet quite successful) career in other creative areas. And what were many of them strongly reflecting on during those interviews was the fact that they were often able to transfer the skill, knowledge and experience from the animation years into their new area of focus and creatively used it for their benefits.
This paper is therefore based mainly on oral-history while also drawing on studies of cultural politics and other sociological and historical approaches. It’s also strongly influenced by previous animation studies researches focusing on the specificity of authorship within animation and its production process (e.g. Wells, 2002, Lorenzo Hernández 2013).