UCLA Animation Workshop | UCLA Animation Film Spotlight: 9 and Counting
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UCLA Animation Film Spotlight: 9 and Counting

Though I’m normally known for cute animal stories, “9 and Counting” is a bit of a departure from my older work. Well…maybe actually not that much, it’s still an animal story after all.The film started off as many as my ideas do, in my sketchbook. I drew this unamused black cat with a Cleopatra collar and she intrigued me. What would the only thing that she is deeply afraid of? The only answer that made sense was death. From there things from the story slowly put itself together. Immediately death and cats brought to mind that saying that cats have 9 lives. The collar placed her in ancient Egypt which in itself gave the plethora of death mythology and symbols. And hey-how convenient, the Egyptian god of death just happens to be Anubis-a dog. Though it took awhile, things were naturally coming together.

Art direction took cues from ancient Egyptian culture. Looking at pictures of tombs, hieroglyphics, Anubis and one of my least favorite thing ever, mummies. Ancient Egyptian colors influenced color choices-gold, black and white and lastly, green at the end. Textures and details played a big part too. The further she divulged into fear and ran away from the truth, the more and more the details disappeared until she was in a literal void. Every decision was made in service of story-in clarity of location but also of emotional state.

To create “9 and Counting”, I used a mix of Photoshop, TV Paint and AfterEffects to bring it reality. Sally Chou created the amazing music and sound effects that really brought the film to life, capturing the exact mood the film called for.

-Lauren Krieger