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Narrative Animation

Deandra Asara

Born and raised in Indonesia, every Saturday morning my eyes would be glued to the television screen, watching every badly dubbed cartoon that I could. I loved the colours, the shifting forms, the movement, and the crazy stories that it told.

In 2015, I moved to London with the intention of studying Film Production, but after finishing my course, I felt deeply unsatisfied creatively. I decided to go back to my original interest and studied Animation at the University of Westminster for my BA, before then coming to the RCA.

Since then I have produced several short films, both narrative and documentary, which have been screened in various festivals around the world. Last year, my BA graduation film “Cold Fish” (2019) was nominated for the Royal Television Society London Award 2020.




Degree Details

School of Communication

Narrative Animation

Within my practice, I like to explore themes of memories, dreams and the way we as humans try to manifest our desires. I am inspired by the people and the things immediately around me. However, being stuck in my London flat for the most part of the year has made me want to look further, both in terms of space and time, for inspiration. It has instead led me a little closer to home.

I work with digitally hand-drawn 2D animation combined with analogue textures. I like the vibrancy and the flexibility that comes with working digitally but also the warmth and tactility of paper textures.

What I aim to do through my work is to give a shape and a voice to emotions and thoughts that we tend to overlook amidst the cacophony of modern adult life.

a collection of visual + sound experiments

style frame - the makeshift net

the place that left me. (2021)

This film is based on the summer I found out that my favourite place on earth had disappeared seemingly overnight, and the loss and shock that I felt when it happened. I wanted to create something that highlighted the transient nature of the landscape around us, and how hopeless rejection towards this change could be destructive to ourselves.

One of the strongest memories that I have of this place is catching dragonflies using makeshift insect nets made of a stick and a plastic bag. In the film, the dragonflies will run parallel to the change that the area goes through as well as the changing relationship that I have with it.

While the film is loosely based on real events, it is not a documentary. I want to create something that resonates with many people and not just a retelling of a personal story.

The film tells a story about a girl who looks for and tries to rebuild the place that left her.

ChangeMemoryNostalgiaSound Narratives
style frame - the dragonfly on her hand

style frame - the dragonfly on her hand

style frame - looking at the dragonfly

style frame - looking at the dragonfly

The background is drawn with a pencil on paper and then scanned in. Not only does it give a particular texture, but it also gives it some imperfections. The space looks like it is constantly moving and oscillating while the character is made up of lines that are much more still, showing the uncertainty of her memory of the space around her and her being too anchored and unwilling to accept change.

sketchbook - design and storyboard ideas

sketchbook - design and storyboard ideas

writings - a collection of general writings as part of the ideation process

writings - a collection of general writings as part of the ideation process

sketchbook - a spread page of storyboard and design ideas

I experimented with different forms of writing in order to inform the flow of the film. I started thinking of this lost place as a character of its own and decided to write a letter to this place filled with questions that I had for it and for myself.

I am trying to work in a looser way by capturing individual scenes quickly and then trying to structure them together not necessarily into a straightforward narrative.

4 February 2021
15:00 (GMT + 0)

Instant Cartoon

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