Behind the DOLL FACE
DollFace by Andy Huang
Depressing, moving, inspiring, disturbing… just some of the words used to describe this incredible animation that received over 3.5 million hits on YouTube. Meet Andy Huang, the mind and the talent behind this incredible animated piece, and find out why, after such viral success, he’s still interested in joining an education-focused organisation like Campfire.
For an extensive half-hour interview with filmmaker Andy, listen to MarBelle’s Director’s notes from 2007. For the skinny, here’s some fresh highlights from Andy just this week.
Campfire: What gave you the inspiration for Doll Face?
Andy Huang: I was inspired by the writing of Marshall McLuhan in Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. I wanted to make a piece that was somewhat of a fable or allegory about the inescapable pursuit of images in a capitalist society, and the narcissistic relationship between technology and visual culture.
CF: Can you give us a simple overview of how you got that amazing realism. Maybe include the software you used and how you worked the real human face in so beautifully with that other-worldly robot stuff… it’s wild!
AH: I used Adobe Production suite (After Effects, Premeire) and Maya
CF: How many hours did it all take to pull together?
AH: It took a year to complete on top of my other work
CF: Was going ‘viral’ planned, or did it just happen that way… and what did that do for your career?
AH: It was certainly not planned! Having a project go viral is a huge education on how to manage your career and your content in the age of social networking. It’s overwhelming.
CF: We encourage filmmakers to go with Campfire exclusively, but we know that some have their work on YouTube, Vimeo or elsewhere. So what value do YOU see in having your film with a service like Campfire?
AH: I like that Campfire is curated and targeted. I am all for education so I am happy to include my film in a program like Campfire that seeks to enlighten and inspire teachers and students.
CF: Finally, what advice would you give to both experienced and emerging filmmakers and their teachers?
AH: Technology changes rapidly but artistic fundamentals do not…
- teach your students the fundamentals of drawing
- take life drawing classes
- teach them about 3-point perspective
- have them take photography classes.
…and writing skills are extremely important…
- three act structure
- the anatomy of storytelling
- the Hero’s Journey
…these things are paramount and are the key to making great work, despite the ever-changing digital landscape. Film is first and foremost a visual medium and a time-based one - music and all forms of visual art are the most informative when it comes to teaching about filmic language.
CF: Thanks for sharing your insights!
AH: Thanks Richard.
Campfire produces Fireside Notes to support teachers using short films in class.
These Notes are available in pdf form for all films that join Campfire’s distribution, and the Notes for Doll Face (shown below) are available by registering for school membership as a teacher. It’s FREE to register as a teacher.