Signe prepares "The White Set" for shooting later today. The After-Party scene.
It is not easy to write an update in times when most of our activities seem frivolous. But I feel that my connection with you is not frivolous. So here it is: an update on how our studio and "My Love Affair With Marriage" are doing. I hope you comment and connect with us.
Like everybody else, we had to make a series of quick decisions to reconfigure our operations when New York and Latvia went on lockdown. Animation is a uniquely suited medium to continue work in the time of lockdowns. When live-action film productions have to be postponed or cancelled, animators are still able to work remotely.
The Latvian Team started to work from home three weeks ago. In our Brooklyn studio, however, we've had to figure out a different path. Some of our work is done remotely, for example, John and Yasemin are shading animation drawings at home. But building sets, scanning drawings and writing exposure sheets require physical presence. Sturgis and I have hunkered down in the Brooklyn studio. Sturgis has taken up scanning and organizing the drawings so the Latvian team can have uninterrupted workflow. I am continuing to animate, we're photographing sets, moving the project along. The film is 3/4 done, the end is in sight, that's why we can't stop now.
The one important thing we've had to figure out was how to mentally and emotionally continue the work. What is the meaning of this film, if we all may perish tomorrow? Of course, having something to do helps us get up and get through the day. But this is a bigger issue than just taking it day by day.
We are standing in front of the Abyss of the Unknown. Will there be a need for "My Love Affair With Marriage" once we cross the Abyss?
I believe that we need bridges over this Abyss, from the past to the future. There are practical bridges (salaries as means of survival), there are spiritual bridges (hope that life will be better) and intellectual bridges (understanding what life is).
On a practical level this project is providing salaries for 15 - 20 artists. It will help these artists survive. On an intellectual level "My Love Affair With Marriage" is making the case for Humans as Biological creatures. It gives insight into our feelings and decision-making processes from the perspective of neurons and neurotransmitters.
I'm washing my hands yet another time. I imagine the invisible virus on my skin and how the foaming soap molecules destroy its protein coating and wash away the RNA inside. This image of the power of soap is in my head only because I saw an animated video on Facebook and suddenly the doctors' order to wash hands for 20 seconds became abundantly clear to me. THAT is what animation can do - simple and effective explanations of complex biological matters.
“My Love Affair With Marriage” may help us understand our Biology and teach us to respect the Nature around us. That is our hope for life becoming better and more enlightened. A spiritual bridge to the future.
We are still piecing together funding for animating the Biology segments of the film as well as post production. If you have ideas and suggestions of resources please let us know. You can find more information on the Donate page of our website.
Thank you for your love and support.
Signe, Sturgis and the "My Love Affair With Marriage" Team