The main character of Abigail Lamb’s graduation film is a sculptor who is captivated by the moon. “It’s about inspiration, and the places that comes from for different people,” says Abigail, “And it’s also about artistic process.”
The film draws on the animator’s experience of both undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA). “I’ve had this film in my back pocket for a number of years. It is inspired by people I know in real life,” says Abigail, “People like my grandad (Pops) – I wanted to make a film about him, but it never came to anything for a really long time. After a year of working on other people’s films and getting to grips with the process of how I work best, I was able to bring the idea and my new skills together.”
The result is a 2D digital hand-drawn animation, which has no dialogue and is in black and white. The score is composed by MSc Composition for Screen graduate Nick Harbourne, who Abigail has previously worked with on her animated films.
“The main character has a collection of images of the moon at different phases of its cycle, and she collects moon rocks that she uses as the basis for her sculptures,” says Abigail, “At the end, I throw you for a loop, but I’m not going to reveal what happens.”
The chosen themes and subject matter were also deliberately timely, with this year being the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. “It’s evocative of a time before we’d landed on the moon. Back then, we had a lot of unrealistic expectations of what space travel would be like,” says Abigail, “It draws inspiration from old Looney Tunes cartoons in the way that it looks and the way that the characters act, and I’ve paired that with a more emotive, silent film aesthetic.”
Abigail stayed on to do a Masters at ECA, partly because of the studio environment, “I really like the way that the Animation department teaches. I chose to study here because I didn’t feel like they were going to push me into 3D animation. You can obviously do that, but you’re not forced to.”
“When I started my undergraduate degree I was most interested in stop animation, but I’ve slowly become a 2D animator as my drafting skills have improved so much at ECA,” said Abigail, “I think it’s got a really good studio vibe, and you can learn so much from the other students.”
Abigail hopes to gain more experience by working in an animation studio after graduation, with the ultimate goal being to set up her own studio one day. “I’d like to try and stay in Scotland if I could, but I’ll probably follow where the work is. There’s a small pocket of film studios in Scotland, and that’s something that I’d love to contribute to and be a part of.”